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The 11 Best Road Trips In Canada

We all do have bucket lists. Some have it written in a small diary, while some store it in their minds. The most similar thing on everyone’s bucket list is a road trip with their friends or family. Road trips are always fun. Any time in our life, we have planned on going on a road trip. But, most of the time, the plans were left unexecuted.

Canada is known for its mind-blowing landscape and natural beauty. Now, imagine going on road trips in Canada. Isn’t it the dream for many of us? These are some places you should try if you are planning a road trip in Canada. To make it easier to plan, a list based on the different zones of Canada. So, Let’s take a look, shall we?

Road Trip in canada
By TimOve/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Northern Canada Road Trips

The Northern Part of Canada is where the mysteries and wonders of Canada are hidden. Northern Canada is where you can find polar bears, northern lights, igloos, icebergs, seals, etc. It is fascinating. But as we are focused on the road trip in Canada, I think someplace in Yukon and Northwest Territories are the best location for a memorable road trip in Canada.

A) Yukon

1) The Dempster Highway

The Dempster Highway is a 740km long road that connects the Yukon to Inuvik. The Dempster highway has recently become the public favourite and is a must-do road trip in Canada. This road trip starts from Dawson City and extends to Inuvik or Tuktoyaktuk, the most northern point in Canada. Although this particular road trip is not very comfortable, the remote scenic beauty compensates for it all. You can enjoy this road trip with your family or friends. Have a great time admiring the sideway landscapes and the beautiful road.

The Dempster Highway
By Teo Romera/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

While driving through Richardson Mountain, you can also stop at a few beautiful spots like Tombstone Mountain, Ogilvie-peel viewpoint, Nitainlaii Territorial park, etc. Do not forget to click a picture of yourself in the Arctic Circle. Being on the Arctic Circle is a one-time experience. Enjoy every second of this road trip because dempster highway is too good to be missed.

Best Time to Visit

Dempster Highway is open almost all year except for 3-4 weeks before and after Winter because of the snow-covered roads that make it difficult for cars to travel. The best time to visit Dempster highway is during the summer months between May and October and winter between December and March.

During the fall season, you can see the green tundras getting transformed into bright red, yellow, and orange and back to green again during the summer season. You can also spot various wildlife like Grizzly bears, Black bears, Foxes, Wolves, and Rabbits.

B) Northwest Territories

2) Nahanni To Dehcho

The route to Canada from Nahanni to Dehcho is a 634 km long road. The entire journey of this road trip makes it more pleasing because of the small spots that come by during the journey. While driving, stop by the Nahanni National Park Reserve, a UNESCO world heritage site, and experience the Kraus hot springs. The Nahanni and Dehcho is a perfect road trip to immerse in the culture, adventure, and beauty of the North.

Virginia Falls Nahanni
By Mike Beauregard/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

The Nahanni to Dehcho road trips has many roadside sightseeings. Some of the places are Ford Liard, Jean Marie River, Kalkaska. Do not forget to take a glimpse of the Virginia Falls in Nahanni. Virginia fall is the most storied spot in northern Canada. It is a wonder to the eyes. If you are on this road trip, make sure you make the most of it. The awe-inspiring scenery of this route is second to none. This road trip in Canada is unique and epic in all ways.

Best Time to Visit

Nahanni to Dehcho is a long drive. The unconcerned condition of the car is necessary. Due to rain, it becomes impossible to drive on an Ice-covered road or a slippery road. Therefore, the best time to visit this route is between June to September. The mountains, trees, lakes, and culture enriches the beauty of this route at any time of the year.

3) The Ingraham Trail

The Ingraham Trail is famous for its scenic beauty. The trip is full of adventure and culture. The Ingraham trail road trip begins from Yellowknife. Along the route through Yellowknife, you can come across Yellowknife River Territorial Park, which is an amazing break from the tiring journey. You are welcome to enjoy some outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, swimming, boating, bird watching, etc.

Aurora Borealis
By Alex Slaven Photography/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

The Ingraham trail has many detours options available if you are willing to explore. The most preferred one is a short canoeing trip to some of the beautiful lakes in Ingraham like Hidden lake, Tibbitt lake, Reid lake, etc. The aurora borealis above Tibbitt lake is a can’t miss the view. The Ingraham Trail is a memorable road trip if done right.

Best Time to Visit

The Ingraham Trail is open all year. But due to the ice roads, the winter season is suggested to be ignored. The period between mid-August to mid-May is the best time to visit the Ingraham trail for a better view of the aurora borealis. The Aurora Borealis is clear and bright during that period of the year.

Eastern Canada Road Trips

If you head south to Hudson Bay and east of Manitoba, it welcomes you into the lands of Eastern Canada. These are the provinces in the eastern part of Canada: Quebec, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Ontario, Nova scotia, etc. Eastern Canada has some well-known cities such as Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, etc. Some of these provinces have road trips that might surprise you.

A) Ontario

4) Bruce Peninsula

The route of this journey starts from the chaotic city of Toronto and extends to Tobermory. Leaving behind the smoggy city and continuing towards the remote beauty. Tobermory is a part of the Bruce peninsula. On the way to the Bruce Peninsula, you can find lush green trees on both road sides.

Flowerpot island, bruce peninsula
By Timothy Neesam/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Ontario is the land of one of the world-famous waterfalls, Niagara falls, and has a great diversity of landscapes. On your way to the Bruce Peninsula, check out the following spots for a better and more memorable experience: Five Fathom National Park, Cape Chin, Wiarton, Flowerpot Island etc. After reaching, stop at the Bruce Peninsula National Park Lookout Tower. Take the stairs and climb up to the top. I guarantee you will not complain. The breathtaking vistas of the sandy beaches and the bluish-green water are a pleasure. The Bruce Peninsula is a beautiful place to take a drive. Road trips like these make you feel like the calmness and the scenic beauty of the spot are speaking to you.

Best Time to Visit

The Bruce Peninsula is open in Summer, Spring, Fall, and Winter. The Summer months are not very pleasing, especially July and August. The Bruce Peninsula gets crowded by a swarm of people during July and August. So, to enjoy, you should visit this place during the Fall or Spring.

B) Quebec

5) Montreal to Gaspésie

The road trip from Montreal to Gaspésie is a 900km stretch alongside the St Lawrence River. It is probably one of the longest on this list of road trips in Canada. The route starts from Montreal. On the way comes the old and big town famously known as Québec city. This place is rich in architecture and culture and has many historical sites. Quebec city is present in the list alongside other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The St Lawrence river adds brownie points to this road trip.

Perce rock
By abdallahh/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Tadoussac in Quebec is perfect for whale-watching. It is an incredible experience. You can always take detours to some great places like Forillon, Perce, Chaleur Bay, etc. You can also sign up for adventurous activities like skiing, fat biking on snow hills, snorkelling, and swimming. Gaspésie is a must-visit picturesque destination in Canada. It is one of the finest road trips in Canada.

Best Time to Visit

The route is open all around the year. The preferable time to visit is in June-July. During this time, the climate is in its best conditions. The scenic drive, the sporting activities, and the natural wonders make it one of the best Canada road trips.

C) Newfoundland

6) Gros Morne National Park

The Gros Morne national park is a different road trip than the others mentioned in this list. It is a road trip planned around the Gros Morne national park to explore the different parts of this park. This park is a work of art by nature that took millions of years to form. The stunning scenery from the spot can easily beat any bustling city or charming town’s views. You can also go for a hike or go on kayaking in Summer. It is indeed the most highlighted road trip in Canada.

Fjord on Western Brook pond
By Emmanuel Milou/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

You should stop by some of the spots in the national park like Western Brook Pond, Tablelands, and Shallow Bay Beach and explore the Viking trail. The Gros Morne National Park is a beautiful place surrounded by pristine mountains and beaches. On Gros Morne national park, take the Central coastal drive to Prince Edward Island. Prince Edward island being small, has a little adventure to offer. You can have a thorough look at the stretch from any peaks.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit is between mid-May to mid-October. Although July-August is the best time to spot the whales, the temperature and weather in June are more pleasing. You can spot icebergs in June too. The national park is open all year. So, you can visit anytime. This park is a spot where you would want to sit down for a minute and take a deep breath to calm your soul.

D) New Brunswick

7) Fundy Coast

This road trip in Canada is a dream for many nature lovers. The untouched beauty of the coastline, the sound of the low tide and high tide rushing in and out twice a day, and the delicious seafood, especially the lobster roll. The Fundy Coast also allows you to unleash your adventurous side and go on island hopping, kayaking, and a tour of Atlantic wildlife. The scenic drive through the fishing village along the coastline is one hell of a sight. The trip begins from Nova Scotia and is a 460 km drive along the Bay of Fundy Coastline, New Brunswick.

Cape d'Or Cliffs
By Dennis Jarvis/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

The tides that occur twice a day in a tidal range of 15 meters unveil the natural wonders buried under the sea. While on your snack packed, loud music of your shortlisted road trips song, take a halt at the Fundy National Park. Hike the Fundy trail to the eroded cliffs for a better coastline view. Hopewell Rocks, St martins sea caves, and Campobello Island are some of the great places to explore during this trip. This road trip usually takes a week. This roller coaster-filled trip is worth all the journey.

Best Time to Visit

Depending on your preference, you can plan your trip around your daily schedule and take a break in these heart soothing spots. The weather supports great country adventure, picnics, camping, and glamping between June and September. There is no best time to visit a place as beautiful as this.

Western Canada Road Trips

Western Canada, known as the West, is home to four well-known provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Alberta and Saskatchewan share similar cultures and histories. Yet each of these provinces has different experiences to offer. Alberta and British Columbia have multiple rocky mountains called the “Mountain Province.” So, Alberta and British Columbia have great trails for some of the best Canadian road trip experiences.

A) Alberta

8) Banff National park & Jasper National park

It is 300 km long and a 6-7 days long trip. It is ample time to explore the national parks and absorb the Canadian Rockies atmosphere. The Banff is located alongside the Trans Canada highway. The Trans Canada highway is a smooth and perfect meander road through the Rockies. Driving on the trans Canada highway with open windows and loud busting music is a total vibe. Banff and Jasper’s national park is full of colourful flowers, pristine landscapes, and turquoise waters.

Bow lake
By Chris Parker/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Jasper National park is almost 288 km from Banff national park. Both the parks have many lakes that are beautiful in their way. Lakes such as Lake Louise, Lake Minnewaska, and Lake Moraine are worth mentioning. Do take a Gondola ride on Lake Louise. On the way to Jasper national park, stop by the sulphur mountain. It is an iconic spot on this trip.

Jasper National park offers relaxation and joy around the gigantic mountains. The route from Banff to Jasper is a uber scenic mountain road called the Icefields parkway. Icefields Parkway is one of the most scenery-specific roads in the world. While enjoying the Icefields parkway, take some detours to Peyto Lake and Bow Lake. Do not miss the waterfalls and glaciers on your way if it means stopping ten times.

Best Time to Visit

Hit the Trans Canada highway any time of the year. You will feel charged by its beauty. Summer in this place is full of colourful flowers such as daisies. On the other hand, Winter is all about the calming weather, the snow-covered mountains, and some glaciers. These road trips are what make us feel alive. It is undoubtedly the best out of all the road trips in Canada.

9) The Cowboy trail

The cowboy trail is a perfect trip if you are craving wild adventures. It is a 7-8 days trip and a great getaway from the usual routine. The route generally begins from Calgary. On the way, the first stop is the Bar U Ranch, a National Historic Site. It is one of the most popular and largest ranches in Canada. Bar U Ranch is a perfect place for a fantastic ranch experience. You will also come across a fishing village that enhances the beauty of the trail.

Hoodoos Of Drumheller
By Kurt Kirchmeier/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

Waterton national park is the next spot where the landscape blows your mind off. As the name suggests, in The Cowboy Trail, you couldn’t leave this place without horseback riding with those cowboy hats on. That’s a classic. Pincher Creek, Dinosaur Provincial Park, and Vulcan are the other spots that you should check out. The Hoodoos of Drumheller is a must-visit. These sandstone formations are something you won’t believe if you haven’t seen them with your own eyes. It looks like someone is reaching out to the sky with a hat on their head. It is surreal.

Best Time to Visit

The Cowboy Trail is the best place to be in the Summers. The feeling of being on a ranch during the Summer is like being back as a child. It reminds me of those sunny days on a big ranch in my grandparents’ house. You can take a trip to the cowboy trail any day. Whether in the Summer, Winter, Spring, or Fall.

B) British Columbia

10) Sea to Sky Highway

The Sea to Sky highway route, commonly known as Highway 99, is a trip to Whistler from Vancouver. The Sea is Vancouver, and The sky is the Whistler. The sight of glorious forest on one side and the seducing turquoise waters is to die for. It is a 127 km long trip and 3-4 days is enough to explore such a beautiful place.

Porteau Cove Provincial Park
By Kyla Duhamel/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

The first stop is at Horseshoe Bay, a perfect resting area after a long drive. If you are a person who loves scuba diving, then Porteau Cove Provincial Park is a place for you, which is the next stop. This road trip in Canada does not end here because what waits after this is incredible. For all those adventures junky, Squamish is where you can hit the hiking trails or the biking trails or even go out on a rafting tour. Road trips like these make your heart pound.

Best Time to Visit

Sea to sky highway is a trip straight out of a dream. The suggested time to visit this highway is during July and August. It is when the road is in perfect shape to provide a memorable and safe journey. Any time of the year is fine until the snow hasn’t blocked the path during the winters.

11) Vancouver Island to Tofino

The journey begins from Nanaimo and is a 127 km trip. It takes 3 hours of nonstop driving to reach Tofino. As you are on this trip to enjoy and make the most out of it, you should explore every spot to Tofino. The first spot is Cameron lake. It is a very calming lake that has an admirable touch of beauty.

Tofino beach
By Kristina D.C. Hoeppner/ Flickr. Copyright 2022

The trip continues to Mcmillan Provincial Park. The park has a picturesque spot, the Cathedral Grove – an excellent place to click some good photos.

But, you know what an even better and unique place is?

It’s The Hole In The Wall. This place is unreal. The perfect photo stop among all these road trip in Canada. Heading north to Tofino, You should take a small stroll at Cox Bay and recharge your mind and body after a long road trip.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this place is between March to May and September to November. Vancouver island is mainly wet and windy. But it makes it a good place to relax at a mild temperature. But you need to choose the time carefully to experience a completely comfortable trip.

What Else Canada?

Well, Canada has a lot of other places too that are waiting to be explored other than these 11 road trips in Canada. Canada has so much more to offer. Every spot in Canada has a beauty hidden. You need an adventurous heart to keep looking for those hidden gems while on a journey. I have come across various trips all around different countries in the world, but nothing is Canada’s equivalent. Road trips in Canada have a great feel to them. 

You need to have a wild side yours to keep up with the road trip in Canada. These road trip in Canada brings out the best in you. All the spots mentioned above feel like straight out of a bucket list. Every place has a different vibe to offer and is filled with different diversities. Want to explore more? Check out this article to know what you need before beginning the road trip to Canada.

Check out this other IcyCanada article to know some of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada. Comment down below if you have travelled to any of these places or plan to hit these roads. Also, let me know if you have any other great road trips in your mind. I would love to hear your suggestions too.

Suggested Read: Guide To Fundy National Park: Seven Best Things To Do

Suggested Read: Parks in Canada: Top 10 Alluring National Parks Of Canada

Last Updated on by Shubham95c


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