Best National Parks in Canada

Canada's geography is grand in both scale and scenery, giving locals and visitors enough adventures to last a lifetime. Much of Canada's brilliant landscape can conveniently be found in the confines of its incredible national parks, offering the opportunity to get up close and personal with natural wonders ranging from glaciers to granite peaks and so much more. To determine the best of the best, U.S. News took into account scenic beauty, accessibility, expert opinion and traveler sentiment to determine the best national parks in Canada. Got a favorite? Vote below to influence next year's ranking. 

SUMMARY

Best National Parks in Canada

  • Jasper National Park
  • Gros Morne National Park
  • Kluane National Park and Reserve
  • Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
  • Grasslands National Park
  • Point Pelee National Park
  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park
  • Jasper National Park
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    Jasper National Park

    #1 in Best National Parks in Canada

    Jasper National Park is by far the best place to experience the Rocky Mountains. The largest national park in the Canadian Rockies offers endless opportunities to hike, bike, boat and more. Jasper also holds the unique distinction of being the world's second largest dark sky preserve, with excellent conditions for star gazing. To soak up the best of Jasper, drive down the famous Icefields Parkway, considered to be one of the most scenic drives in the world.

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  • Gros Morne National Park
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    Gros Morne National Park

    #2 in Best National Parks in Canada

    Gros Morne National Park's geography is so special, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on the island of Newfoundland, the park stands out for its striking fjords and the Tablelands, where visitors can walk upon the exposed Earth's mantle. Gros Morne's location on the Gulf of St. Lawrence also affords access to impressive coastal scenery, which is best viewed along the spectacular Green Gardens trail. Meanwhile, ambitious hikers can climb to Gros Morne Mountain's summit on the trail of the same name.

  • Kluane National Park and Reserve
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    Kluane National Park and Reserve

    #3 in Best National Parks in Canada

    If you live for hiking, then Kluane National Park needs to be on your bucket list. The park has 23 different trails and routes that range from quick half-hour hikes to multiday treks. The park is home to 17 of Canada's 20 highest mountains, including the highest peak in the country, Mount Logan. Whether it's hiking, rafting next to glaciers on the Alsek River or "flightseeing" (air tours) over Canada's largest icefield, there's truly an adventure activity for every type of traveler here.

  • Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
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    Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve

    #4 in Best National Parks in Canada

    Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve's remote location on Moresby Island off the western coast of Canada is no doubt a challenge to get to, but once you get an eyeful of its incredible offerings, you'll realize the destination is worth the journey. Gwaii Haanas features moss-laden forests, dramatic coastal terrain and even UNESCO-sanctioned ruins. Keep in mind that there are no marked trails at this park; everything must be navigated the old-fashioned way (with a map and compass).

  • Grasslands National Park
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    Grasslands National Park

    #5 in Best National Parks in Canada

    This Saskatchewan park is Canada's first and only park to preserve and represent the mixed-grass prairie ecosystem. The ecosystem is home to animals like bison, black-tailed prairie dogs and short-horned lizards, and visitors can even see dinosaur fossils here. To see these animals and the park's terrain, plan a road trip along Ecotour Road, drive slowly and leave at dawn or dusk. Grasslands is also the darkest dark sky preserve in Canada, which means stargazers are in for some spectacular celestial views come nighttime.

  • Point Pelee National Park
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    Point Pelee National Park

    #6 in Best National Parks in Canada

    Point Pelee is a bird-watcher's paradise: More than 390 different species have been sighted here. Each May, the Ontario park hosts the Festival of Birds so visitors and birders can watch the spring migration. The park also offers a variety of programs and classes about birds during the event. You can take a shuttle provided by the Friends of Point Pelee to the southernmost tip of mainland Canada, a prime spot to watch the migrations of birds in the spring and dragonflies, monarch butterflies and birds in the fall. The park is also home to about 12 miles of sandy beaches for swimming and sunbathing, and numerous walking trails.

  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park
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    Cape Breton Highlands National Park

    #7 in Best National Parks in Canada

    Situated on the northern tip of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Highlands National Park is often referred to by Canadians as the area "where the mountains meet the sea." The park's greatest attribute, the Cabot Trail, is the best way to take in this varied scenery. The paved road winds along towering coastal cliffs and through lush forestry that blankets the park. For an unforgettable hike, hit up the oceanfront Skyline Trail at sunset.

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