Each summer, Canadians visit national parks to see the sights and stay active. During colder months, however, these national wonders tend to be overlooked when booking a winter getaway. As a result, their unique winter magic remains untapped, and Canadians miss out. This list is meant to help spark some inspiration for Canadians to seize the activities, wildlife and enchanting visual experiences that await them. Read our list of the best Canadian National Parks to visit in winter!
Kootenay National Park
Established in 1920, this National Park has become a local gem. Set in the Rocky Mountains of southeastern British Columbia, the park spans 1,406 kilometres and is packed full of narrow chasms, forested valleys, grasslands, rivers, mineral pools, glaciers and summits. The park’s most popular attraction—especially in the winter— is the Radium Hot Springs pools. Situated at the southern end of the park, the hot spring pools are a great way to unwind and ease muscles after a rigorous hike. For visitors seeking an outdoor experience, Marble Canyon is a wonderful contender. While the hike itself is only a 1.4-kilometre excursion, the snow-covered canyon is surely a sight to see.
Kluane National Park and Reserve
This park is in the mountains of southwest Yukon and hosts a variety of ecosystems and record-breaking vistas—literally. This national treasure is home to Mount Logan, whose highest peak measures 5,959 metres, making it the highest peak in Canada. The world’s largest non-polar icefields—St. Elias Icefields—can also be found here. During an expedition to Kluane, adventurers can hike, partake in backcountry skiing, snowboarding and camping, go ice fishing, visit Kathleen Lake and raft along the Alsek River. One challenging hike in this area is the King’s Throne trail, which can be found on various trail apps.
Fundy National Park
Located on the Bay of Fundy, near the village of Alma, New Brunswick, Fundy National Park is amazing for campers that want a little extra comfort. While many classic winter attractions, such as snowshoeing, birding, and cross-country skiing are available at this park, the accommodations are what truly set it apart. An overnight stay at this park can be booked in a yurt, Ôasis pod, oTENTik tent-cabin hybrid, or a rustic cabin. For those wanting to fully immerse themselves in nature, classic camping is also an option.
Jasper National Park
Extending over 11,000 square kilometres, this National park is the largest in the Canadian Rockies. It is also part of UNESCO’s Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. Apart from the scenic hikes and captivating views of glaciers, lakes and mountains, hikers can experience the wonders of Athabasca Falls, limestone caves and Maligne Canyon. Alternately, for all the night owls and stargazers, Jasper National Park is a designated Dark Sky Preserve. In fact, it is the second largest preserve in the world. Pyramid island, Maligne lake, Old Fort Point and the toe of Athabasca Glacier are outstanding sites for dark sky viewing. For backcountry campers, Big Bend, Surprise Point in the Tonquin Valley and Jacques Lake are phenomenal sites as well.
Pacific Rim National Park
The Pacific Rim National Park is the smallest on this list, spanning over a total of 511 square kilometres. Tucked away on the west coast of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, this charming park offers a few unique experiences for the outdoor enthusiast. Here, visitors can hike a rainforest trail, visit the Broken Group Islands, go sea kayaking or spend the entire day spotting sea lions and whales.
By: Briahna McTigue
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