The natural world is an endless well of joyous experiences comprised of unique wonders crafted through centuries of patience and persistence. To discover some of the most awe-inspiring creations our planet produces, there is no better place to explore than Canada.
From glacially-fed lakes and streams to picture-perfect forests and seemingly infinite mountain ranges, Canada has developed naturally into a stunning tapestry of the very best our environment has to offer. Here are ten of the best places for adventures that leave travelers feeling an emotional connection to the landscape and a sense of inspirational awe.
10 Baffin Island
In the striking territory of Nunavut, Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada and fifth largest in the world. Home to every variety of wildlife including caribou, polar bears, and Arctic foxes, wolves and hares, those willing to put up with the extreme weather conditions are generously rewarded.
The island is also one of the best places in Canada to see the Northern Lights due to minimal light pollution generated on the sparsely populated island. Multiple National Parks located on the island are not to be missed as you are guaranteed to see some of the most astounding naturally formed landscapes anywhere in the world.
9 Torngat Mountains National Park
Placed on the Labrador Peninsula and nestled within the Torngat Mountains, this National Park contains the highest peaks in Mainland Canada east of the Rockies. Glacier-carved mountains rise boldly from valleys and fjords, reflecting unexpectedly varied and vivid colors across the surrounding terrain.
Hike or kayak among some of the world's oldest rocks while keeping an eye out for the protected wildlife including black bears, wolf packs, peregrine falcons, golden eagles and much more. This is nature at its best, unspoiled and honest.
8 Moraine Lake
A glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park, Moraine Lake is best visited in late June as it reaches its crest. The entire 50 hectare surface of the lake shines a distinctive and jaw-dropping natural blue that causes all other thoughts to fade from the mind.
With several hiking trails leading to and winding away from the remarkable lake and an option to take to the water aboard a self-steered canoe, visitors are able to see Moraine Lake from every angle. And somehow it still won’t be enough, such is the beauty of this stunning landscape.
7 Hubbard Glacier
This mammoth structure of dense ice is the largest tidewater glacier in North America, with the highest point of snow accumulation measured at a remarkable 11,000 feet. Climb aboard a ship destined for the glacier and be ready to have all expectations exceeded by the sheer scale of this genuine natural wonder. The dramatic scenery creates a uniquely meaningful experience that adventurers will never be able to shake from their minds.
The glacier routinely chisels off icebergs the size of a ten-story building and the ice at the foot of the structure is believed to be nearing 400 years old. Being up close to this unmatched marvel will stay with all who experience it.
6 Three Sisters Mountain Range
Stand anywhere in Canmore and chances are you will be able to see this imposing mountain range reaching determinedly for the clouds. The Three Sisters are one of the most photographed landscapes in the Rockies for good reason; no one could possibly walk away without trying to capture a memory of the awesome natural creation.
Climbing to almost 10,000 feet tall, the highest peak leaves the viewer in no doubt as to the beauty of this uniquely Canadian experience. Find your way to Policeman Creek early in the morning and gaze upon the Three Sisters as reflected on the shimmering surface for an unparalleled way to begin a day of adventure.
5 Algonquin Provincial Park
The oldest provincial park in Canada features over 2,400 lakes and 1,200 kilometers of streams and rivers moving steadily throughout. These bodies of water were created by glacial retreat amidst the last ice age, creating a magical glimpse into the past through the crystal-clear surface.
Home to a unique mixture of forest types and variety of environments, the park is able to support an uncommon diversity of plant and animal life. Don’t blink or you might miss a towering moose, graceful white-tailed deer, industrious beaver or even a (hopefully friendly) black beer. Exploring can be done in a canoe, on foot, from the saddle of a mountain bike or horseback and in the winter cross-country skiing is a popular option. For the full experience, set up a tent and let it fill with the sounds of nature as you drift off to sleep.
4 Dinosaur Provincial Park
Not content to simply be the remarkably beautiful site that it is, Dinosaur Provincial Park also contains some of the most exciting fossil discoveries ever made. Over 35 species of dinosaur have been uncovered here, with some believed to have been waiting to be uncovered for 75 million years.
A lot has happened in all those millions of years, including a complete change in the Alberta landscape the Provincial Park rests upon. Once bursting with palm trees and oversized ferns, the park’s ecosystem now consists mainly of grasslands and badlands that are begging to be explored. Those who fancy themselves a paleontologist can journey back in time in search of an overlooked fossil and just maybe make the discovery of a lifetime!
3 Smuggler’s Cove
This stunning anchorage may be small, but it is absolutely gorgeous. Accessible via a 4-kilometer hike, the area provides visitors the chance to camp, swim, hike, and kayak in some of the most gorgeous terrain in Canada.
Many come to the protected cove to explore the natural bays, rock faces, and beaches, while others are there for nature walks, bird-watching, fishing, and even scuba diving. Whatever the reason for visiting this slice of paradise in British Columbia, all who come will leave feeling refreshed and invigorated by the natural beauty of Smuggler’s Cove.
2 Hopewell Rocks
Caused by tidal erosion, the Hopewell Rocks stand up to 70 feet tall and are sometimes referred to at the Flowerpot Rocks due to the undeterred trees growing at their peaks.
Due to extreme variance in tidal activity within the Bay of Fundy, the base of the unusual formations are engulfed by water twice daily. Visitors are able to experience the highest tides in the world every day, and it has to be seen to be believed. The Hopewell Rocks tell a captivating tale that weaves together time, tides and the perseverance of nature to create something truly remarkable.
1 Della Falls
These remote falls are tricky to reach, but with the journey culminating in the sight of water powering down a 440-meter drop flanked by distinctly Canadian pine trees, the energy expended is more than worth it. The full-day hike required to reach the falls is suitable for average level hikers and follows an old logging railway that is an experience in itself.
Best enjoyed in mid-July due to the glacial runoff at its peak, the Falls also welcome visitors in the middle of summer when they can take the plunge into Love Lake for an inspiring soak in the fresh water.