Have you ever visited a national park? Which one did you visit most recently? At the moment, the LEO team is gearing up for spring break (and summer!). Some of us love visiting national parks, and we decided to compile a list of our favourites in Canada and the United States for our members who are also lovers of the great outdoors!
For Canadian LEO members, we’re also running a Bet Your Chances contest where you could win 1 of 2 Parks Canada Discovery Passes, which are good for the whole year! Learn more about the Bet Your Chances and special contests we’re running this month here.
Do you disagree, or are our suggestions too far away for you?
Away we go!
Canadian National Park Recommendations
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site (British Columbia)
Located on the Queen Charlotte Islands, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts freshwater lakes, a marine conservation area, rainforests, mountains and more. Keep an eye out for the Haida Gwaii Watchmen, who “welcome visitors and act as guardians,”1 and don’t forget to stop at Windy Bay.
While we know Albertans often debate whether they like Banff National Park or Jasper National Park more, we love Banff for its pristine beauty, wide variety of activities and proximity to other beautiful spots like Lake Louise. If you have a tight budget for your trip, Calgary is a great place to stay for cheaper accommodations (or you could rough it and go camping!).
Thousand Islands (Ontario)
This beautiful national park, situated in southern Ontario, offers the opportunity to camp or go kayaking by the riverside. It is also a beautiful spot for stargazing, birdwatching and hiking (for those who aren’t the biggest fans of the water. Many historic sites can also be found nearby!
La Mauricie (Quebec)
This park is a great choice for both seasoned trail users and those who are less experienced. Its trails offer many opportunities for running, hiking, mountain biking and gravel biking. In addition, the park is home to 150 lakes.
Fundy (New Brunswick)
Did you know you can find the world’s largest tides at Fundy National Park? It is a beautiful place to visit for those who love water sports, but also those who love sightseeing. Camp in a yurt, hike to a waterfall, or explore the mud flats: the choice is yours!
American National Park Recommendations
Mount Rainier (Washington)
A two-hour drive from Seattle in good traffic, Mount Rainier National features both glaciers and volcanoes! Rich with wildlife (and weather that can change quickly due to high altitude), Mount Rainier is also the fifth oldest national park in the United States and is close to many historic sites, making it a great choice for history lovers as well.
Death Valley (California and Nevada)
Although its name may be a bit off-putting, you can find many different types of flora and fauna in Death Valley National Park. Many runners flock there looking for a challenging run, while other visitors prefer venturing outdoors after the sun has set to watch the stars in the night sky. Don’t forget to leave no trace when you explore your choice of 3 million acres!
Grand Canyon (Arizona)
A geological masterpiece, this park is widely known for its gorgeous panoramas. Visit the South and North Rim, go rafting nearby, or take a day trip to visit Horseshoe Bend or Antelope Canyon (located off-site). Hikers and lovers of the outdoors are sure to enjoy themselves here!
Yellowstone (Idaho, Montana and Wyoming)
Did you know that Yellowstone National Park became America’s first national park in 1872? Depending on the time of year, you may see a wide variety of animals, including bison, bighorn sheep, elk, eagles, bears, wolves and more (keep your distance!). Some key attractions within the park include the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, the Old Faithful Geyser and Yellowstone Lake.
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (West Virginia)
While Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in the United States, New River Gorge is the newest! The park is located in a gorge and features a beautiful whitewater canyon, among other gorgeous sights, and whitewater rafting is a popular activity. You can also camp in the gorge, or run, bike or hike during your next adventure.
WHICH NATIONAL PARK ARE YOU HOPING TO VISIT NEXT? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
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