Photo by Barrett & MacKay via Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

Now is an excellent time to visit Canada! 2017 marks this diverse country’s 150th birthday, and as part of the celebrations, Parks Canada affords you free admission to all Parks Canada Places.

Free Discovery Pass Canada National Parks

Despite exploring several of its provinces, after 1.5 years of living in Vancouver, we still haven’t touched the surface of this vast country. As a result, since receiving our Discovery Pass (which you can order here for free), we’ve started planning trips to several Canadian national parks to satiate our endless desire for adventure and exploration… Where would you like to go?

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve

British Columbia

Haida Gwaii
Photo by Patrick Moners via Tourism Canada

What attracts us most to Haida Gwaii is its remoteness. Haida Gwaii is an archipelago on the British Columbia’s North Coast and it’s rich in Aboriginal culture and incredible, raw beauty.

The secluded National Park takes up one-third of the archipelago and includes Moresby and 137 smaller islands. It’s a paradise for kayakers, which is one of our favourite outdoor activities.

Get here by air or ferry from Vancouver

Ivvavik National Park

Yukon

Ivvavik National Park, Canada
Photo by M Berkman via Yukon Government

Photos of the sweeping Ivvavik National Park’s landscapes instantly caught our eye. Located north of the Arctic Circle, this park is one of the least visited national parks in Canada.

Apparently, more people summit Mount Everest than visitors explore this hidden gem.
One for the bucket list is this arctic camping trip. Camping in comfort, particularly in such a stunning environment, is something we’d love to sign up for.

Get here by charter flight from Inuvik

Pacific Rim National Park

British Columbia

Tofino Long Beach
Photo by Daniel Ernst via Tourism Canada

Pacific Rim has it all: soft, sandy beaches, islands, rocky shores and ancient rainforest too.

It’s the perfect playground for outdoor lovers like us, as it offers plenty of hiking trails and kayak routes. As such, a trip to Tofino – one of the area’s more well-known cities – is on the cards this year.

Get here by plane from Vancouver or take the ferry from Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay to Vancouver Island and embark on a road trip.

Wapusk National Park

Manitoba

Wapusk
Photo by Valerie via Flickr

We love viewing wildlife in their natural habitat, so visiting one of the largest polar bear denning areas in the world is high on our bucket list.

Wapusk – Cree for “white bear” – is a little trickier than other parks to visit, as there is no road access and you’re only allowed to visit the park with a guide.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tour operators, as well as many photography tours to choose from.

Get here by plane from Churchill

Torngat Mountains National Park

Newfoundland and Labrador

Torngat Mountains National Park
Photo by Barrett & MacKay via Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

With no roads, campgrounds or signs, Torngat Mountains National Park is probably one of the least accessible parks in Canada.

However, it is also one of the most spectacular parks, with rugged fjords, breath-taking peaks and wildlife, such as polar bears, caribou and wolves.

It’s also the homeland of the Inuit, who have lived here for thousands of years and know the area inside and out. Parks Canada highly recommends hiring a trained Inuit polar bear guard if you want to visit the park.

Iceberg Near Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador
Photo by Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

The region’s remoteness and spectacular mountains draw us to this park, while a cruise along the stunning fjords would be a dream come true.

Get here by chartered flight from Goose Bay to Torngat Mountains Base Camp. (To get to Goose Bay, you can fly with Air Canada from Halifax.)

Banff & Jasper National Parks

Alberta

Banff Moraine Lake
Photo by Johannes Hohn via Tourism Canada

We were fortunate to visit Banff and Lake Louise this Christmas. We skated on Lake Louise, visited the Johnston Ice Canyon and marvelled at the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

Sadly, we never made it to Jasper, and we’d love to go back and experience the parks in summertime.

Icefields Parkway
Photo via Tourism Jasper

The Icefields Parkway is a stunning road, which takes you through the heart of the Rockies, leading you from Banff to Jasper. You pass unique scenery, including the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains: Columbia Icefield.

Get here by plane to Calgary, which is a 2-hour drive from Banff, or embark on a road trip from Vancouver

Kluane National Park

Yukon

Kluane National Park
Photo by F Mueller via Yukon Government

Home to Canada’s highest peak – the 5,959-metre Mount Logan – Kluane is an excellent destination for outdoor lovers.

In October, we visited Whitehorse – which is located some two hours from the park – but we never made it to Kluane National Park.

We’d love to visit Kluane and go rafting on the Alsek River, horseback riding through the valleys or hiking one of the many trails.

If you’re looking for an excellent photography opportunity, a flight over the world’s largest non-polar ice fields should be on your itinerary!

Get here by plane to Whitehorse from Vancouver

Other free admissions

Discovery Pass Canada 150

The Discovery Pass not only gives you free admission to National Parks, but you can also visit National Historic Sites, National Urban Parks and National Marine Conservation Areas.

Below, you can also see our top 5 additional places that we’d love to visit with the Discovery Pass.

Fort Langley, British Columbia
Photo by -JvL- via Flickr

Fort Langley – British Columbia

Travel back in time at this 19th-century fur trading post.

Western-l'anse aux meadows
Photo by Barrett & MacKay Photo via Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site – Newfoundland and Labrador

The first known European settlement on North American soil. You’ll find the archaeological remains of the Viking encampment, which was built here over a 1000 years ago.

Dawson City
Photo by Yukon Government

Dawson Historical Complex – Yukon

Learn more about the Klondike Gold Rush in Dawson City.

Fathom_Five_National_Marine_Park
Photo by Martin Cígler

Fathom Five National Marine Park – Ontario

Ancient rock formations and fascinating dive sites.

Sunrise at Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site, Avalon
Photo by Barrett & MacKay Photo via Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

Cape Spear Lighthouse – Newfoundland and Labrador

Situated at the easternmost point of Canada, Cape Spear – Newfoundland’s oldest surviving lighthouse – is located on a dramatic cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

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Canadian National Parks We Would Love to Visit This Year - Non Stop Destination
Canadian National Parks We Would Love to Visit This Year - Non Stop Destination
Canadian National Parks We Would Love to Visit This Year - Non Stop Destination
Writer and photographer at |

Hi! I'm a Belgian travel blogger currently living in Vancouver, Canada after living in the UK for 7 years. I have a keen interest in responsible travel, volunteering and archaeology and I'm always on the lookout for new adventures around the world!

1 COMMENT

  1. First of all; I LOVE you blog design. Your photos are to die for!
    Getting back to the blog post, Canada has for so long been on my list so when I finally get my bum up there I’ll for sure bring out this blog post again. Thank you so much for sharing <3

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