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Einfach traumhaft, der Banff-Nationalpark in Kanada, Bild: Zhukova Valentyna / shutterstock

The most beautiful national parks in western Canada

Canada is probably one of the most beautiful destinations for nature lovers. The country, located north of the USA, is particularly impressive with its many mountains and forests that stretch across the entire area of the country. The west of Canada is mainly marked by the Rocky Mountains, which have formed some breathtaking national parks. In addition to beautiful nature, crystal-clear lakes and high mountains, there is also a variety of wildlife to be found here, which is unique to Canada and its cold climate. In this article, you can find out which national parks are most worthwhile in western Canada.

1. Banff National Park

One of the most important and also the oldest national parks in Canada is Banff National Park. It is located in the state of Alberta and is located west of the city of Calgary and east of the Canadian Rockies. As a result, the national park gives a unique view of the mountain panorama, which has a much better effect from the many lakes in the park. The most famous of these lakes is Lake Louise, which is one of the park’s most important landmarks with its emerald waters. From there, you can see the snow-capped peaks of the surrounding mountains, which are also a fantastic photo opportunity.

Banff National Park is very extensive and a must for any outdoor activity. Whether long hikes through nature, bike tours or canoe tours, there is everything to experience here. In winter it is also possible to practice winter sports. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or skiing are no problem and make the area a tourist magnet all year round.

During a hike through the more than 1500 kilometers of well-maintained hiking trails, there is of course also the opportunity to look out for animals. Many water birds gather on the lakes, while wolves, caribou and sometimes grizzly bears hide between the firs and spruces of the forest.

2. Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park in Canada
Jasper National Park, Image: gmartbox / shutterstock

Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies and can be found northwest of Calgary, north of Banff National Park. It is recommended to combine the two directly and marvel at the untouched nature from the car on the way. Jasper National Park is also a great natural spectacle and is characterized by many wild rivers and lakes that have shaped the landscape for many millennia. By the way, the park is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks.

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The Jasper National Park also offers a great variety of sporting activities. From a large network of cycling and hiking trails, to canoeing and winter sports, everything is included here. A visit in spring or autumn is certainly worthwhile, but especially worthwhile, because then you have the greatest chance of seeing some of the rare animals of the region. Jasper National Park is home to various species of wolves, moose, caribou and bears. If you pay attention, you will certainly discover one of these animals and take some great snapshots.

3. Yoho National Park

Between the two largest parks in the Canadian Rockies is Yoho National Park, the smallest national park in Canada. This is located much higher, between the mountain peaks of the mountains, and convinces with a reverent natural spectacle. “Yoho” even means “awe” and thus describes exactly the feeling that is also triggered in visitors to the national park. Rugged cliffs, turquoise blue lakes and white glaciers draw the landscape and endless waterfalls can be found in Yoho National Park.

Of course, there are also many leisure activities to be found in Yoho National Park. From boat tours over the crystal-clear Emerald Lake, to countless hiking trails and winter sports activities, there is also everything to experience here. The national park also offers some accommodation options, as well as a few culinary highlights of the region, which can be enjoyed in the local restaurants. On a trip through the Canadian Rockies, Yoho National Park should not be missed.

4. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

On the southwestern tip of Vancouver Island is the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The reserve can be reached via the two towns of Tofino or Ucluelet to the north and shows a completely different side of Canada’s west coast. There is a mixture of Kantian rocky beaches, a huge forest area and moors that stretch over the entire area. The varied terrain is worth a trip for every nature lover.

The many hiking trails of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve lead through countless small biomes that line the coast with the many archipelagos. Some narrow wooden bridges lead over an uneven floor, but as a contrast to this are leisurely walks on the beach. Water sports such as surfing or paddling are also very popular here. The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is reminiscent of a tropical island on the Canadian west coast.

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5. Wood Buffalo National Park

Far in the north of Alberta, Canada’s largest national park, Wood Buffalo National Park, can be found. It covers an area of around 45,000 km² and impressively shows the tundra and taiga of the country. As the name suggests, it is mainly forest bison that can be found here, which are protected within the park. But there are also a number of bears and wolves to discover, as well as a large number of waterfowl that have made the Peace River and Lake Claire their home.

The hiking trails of Wood Buffalo National Park lead through forests and a huge swamp area, with countless small lakes and ponds. It’s perfect for spotting wildlife. In addition to the bison, the park is also known for its whooping cranes.

Our reading tip: National Park Route Canada – A route travel guide to the most beautiful highlights

Canada National Park
Published by Conbook-Verlag, ISBN: 978-3-95889-448-8,

The National Park Route is legendary and is considered the most beautiful and impressive itinerary in all of Canada. It leads through the six most famous national parks (Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Revelstoke, Glacier and Yoho), crosses many provincial parks and offers a unique insight into the mountains of Western Canada. Along a detailed route, this travel guide takes you to all the real highlights of the national parks, to the most popular tourist cities as well as to the most interesting insider tips.

The route travel guide has established itself as a valuable local companion for over 10 years and is published in its 10th edition in its best and most elaborate form to date.

  • Fully developed route recommendation on over 2,800 kilometres of routes with 2 additional side routes and 11 attractive excursions, starting points are the metropolises of Vancouver or Calgary
  • Description of 60 Provincial Parks and 6 National Parks, including Banff, Jasper, Mount Robson, Wells Gray, Revelstoke, Glacier, Yoho, and Kootenay
  • Detailed information about the cities visited, all sights and parks
  • A selection of hiking and biking tours, sports and leisure activities
  • Recommendations for accommodation at campgrounds, hotels and motels
  • More than 200 colour illustrations, extensive orientation maps and detailed maps of the cities and most beautiful highway sections
  • Useful and important notes and tips from the authors, interesting facts on more than 40 topics from medical assistance to customs regulations