News report | | 19/03/2021 | ±5 minutes reading time

After approval of your eTA Canada, you can continue planning your trip to Canada. Canada is particularly popular with travellers because of its unspoilt nature. Due to its enormous nature reserves and national parks, the country has many wild animal species. This article describes three of the most beautiful national parks in Canada.

Canadian nature

Canada has no less than 39 national parks, which are managed by Parks Canada. More parks may be added in the coming years, as there are eight areas in the country which are managed by Parks Canada, but are currently still called natural landscapes or Park Reserves as they are not officially recognised as national parks. Together, the 47 nature reserves cover approximately 328,000 square kilometres. Although most national parks are located in western Canada, every province in the other parts of the country has at least one. The national parks have different landscapes, ranging from mountains and plains to forests, lakes and glaciers, and protect wildlife and ecosystems. A dozen national parks are on UNESCOʼs World Heritage List.

1. Wood Buffalo

The national parks in Canada, like the country itself, are very large. In the middle of the country lies the Wood Buffalo National Park. Covering an area of 44,800 square kilometres, it is the largest park in all of Canada and the second largest in the world. The park was established in 1922 with the aim of protecting the last herds of bison. The park is named after the Wood Buffalo. The total number of wild bison in the park is currently estimated at 5,000. In addition, the national park boasts the last natural nesting place of the trumpeter crane, a rare and endangered species. The national park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, not only because of the wild bison population, but also because of the Peace-Athabasca delta, the largest freshwater delta in North Americaʼs interior. The delta, where the Peace and Athabasca rivers meet in the Slave River and Lake Athabasca, covers some 321,200 hectares. If you travel between October and April, you also have a realistic chance of seeing the Northern Lights in this national park.

2. Jasper

Jasper National Park should not be missing from the list of impressive national parks. The park, located in the Rocky Mountains, is 10,878 square kilometres in size and is mainly known for the many wild animals that live there. The mountain peaks can be reached on foot or, in the case of Whistler Mountain, with the Jasper Tramway. The view from the top is definitely worthwhile. From Jasper, you can drive to Banff via the Icefields Parkway. This road through the Rocky Mountains is 230 kilometres long and is a tourist attraction in itself because of the beautiful views.

3. Banff

Covering an area of 6,641 square kilometres, Banff National Park is certainly not the largest national park in Canada, but it is the most popular among tourists. Banff National Park has also been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The park has something for everyone. In the winter, it is the perfect place for a winter sports holiday, while in the summer, beautiful walks can be made in the pristine nature. Beautiful photos can be taken throughout the park, but the best ones are taken at the azure Moraine Lake that lies between the glaciers. The national park is also of historical significance. It was not only the first national park in Canada, but also the first national park in which a town was established, thanks to the naturally occurring hot springs.

Besides Wood Buffalo, Jasper en Banff, there are also smaller Canadian national parks included in the World Heritage List. These include Gros Morne (± 1.800 km²), Kootenay (± 1.406 km²), Yoho (± 1.313 km²) and Waterton Lakes (± 505 km²). It may also be of interest to some to know that the national park that attracts the fewest visitors each year is Tuktut Nogait (± 18.800 km²), though this is largely due to its location 170 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. The park is named after the caribou, but is also home to many other species of wildlife.

Moraine LakeMoraine Lake in Banff National Park

3. Parks Canada Discovery Pass

If you know in advance that you will be visiting several national parks in Canada, it is possible to purchase a so-called Parks Canada Discovery Pass at a discounted rate. This pass gives you a yearʼs worth of unlimited access to Canadaʼs various monuments and national parks that normally charge a daily admission fee. The pass costs CAD 70 (roughly £40) per person or CAD 136,40 (roughly £79) for a family of up to seven and can be purchased at the entrance to each park.

eTA of Canada visa

To experience the natural beauty of Canada, you need a visa or eTA Canada. An eTA is not a physical document but an electronic travel authorization. There is no need to visit a consulate or embassy to apply for an eTA: the application can be submitted easily and quickly online. When you check in for your flight, your passport number will be used to check whether you have a valid eTA. Before applying for the travel authorisation, carefully read the requirements of the eTA Canada. For example, you do not qualify for an eTA if you plan to stay in Canada longer than six months. In that case, you must apply for a visa.