Banff National Park, established in 1885, is the oldest national park in Canada. When should you visit Banff National Park? Any time! It’s open year-round. Summer provides hiking, biking, and climbing opportunities while winter is prime for downhill and cross-country skiing, due to Banff’s multitude of mountains. The ski season runs from November through May, one of the longest seasons in North America. In fact, three major downhill ski resorts operate within the park: Lake Louise Ski Resort, Sunshine Village, and Mount Norquay.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is comprised of three separate regions: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. The Reserve is open from mid-March to mid-October giving you seven months to take advantage of the many opportunities here. Long Beach is the most accessible region (the only of the three accessible by car) and offers everything from rainforest hikes to surf lessons. The best way to explore the Broken Group Islands is by boat. And finally, the West Coast Trail is a 75-kilometer hike.
Jasper National Park has it all, from glaciers to waterfalls, hot springs, and mountains. Not only that, it is open year-round! Popular activities at Jasper include alpine hikes during the summer and skiing the beautifully groomed trails during the winter months. One of the most popular attractions is the Glacier Skywalk where a glass floor is all that is separating you from a nearly thousand foot drop. Thrillist.com adds that the park is recognized as a Dark-Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, which means it’s literally one of the best places IN THE WORLD to go stargazing.
The word “yoho” translates to awe and wonder in the Cree language. Once you visit Yoho National Park, you will have no doubt in your mind how this park acquired its name. According to Lonely Planet, “Yoho is a diamond in the (very) rough. This wilderness is the real deal; it’s some of the continent’s least tarnished.” Although open year-round, the most popular activities at Yoho occur in the summer months. Visitors can be found golfing, hiking, fishing or whitewater rafting.
If you have read “Anne of Green Gables,” you know more than you think about Prince Edward National Park. The lush greens provided the inspiration for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel written in 1908. When should you visit these beautiful beaches and sand dunes? According to National Geographic, during the winter, many trails are kept open and maintained. A pair of skis or snowshoes is all you will need to disappear into a unique wonderland. Although access to facilities such as washrooms and visitor services may be limited outside the summer season.
America’s National Parks have gained popularity in recent years, leading to more and more tourists to contend with on your visit. Canada’s National Parks have enormous untapped potential that is just waiting for you to unveil.