Canada is a breathtaking country with many beautiful trails to explore; we share the best hikes in Canada so you can plan the perfect trip.
Canada is well-known for its incredible and awe-inspiring landscapes. Words aren’t enough to capture what your eyes can see—pristine azure lakes, magnificent snow-capped mountains, enchanting rivers, lush evergreen forests, and fascinating wildlife.
Although many of Canada’s majestic spots are accessible by car, many of its best places can only be reached by foot. But with so many national parks and hiking trails to explore, you’re probably wondering where to start.
Don’t worry because this post has got you covered! Discover some of the best bucket-list hikes to explore in Canada and what to bring for the best, safest experience.
First off, here’s what you must have.
What To Bring When Hiking
Before embarking on a hiking adventure, it’s crucial to be prepared with the right gear and essentials. Here are seven key items you should bring when hiking:
- Proper footwear: Invest in a sturdy, snug pair of hiking boots or shoes that provide excellent traction and ankle support. Ill-fitting or inadequate footwear will lead to discomfort, blisters, or even injuries during the hike.
- Hydration system: Staying hydrated is vital while hiking. Carry a water bottle or a hydration bladder with enough capacity to meet your hydration needs. Consider the duration of the hike and access to clean water sources along the trail.
- Navigation tools: Ensure you have the necessary navigation tools to find your way on the trail. A map, compass, or GPS device can help you stay on track and avoid getting lost. Also, familiarize yourself with the route before the hike.
- Weather-appropriate clothing: Dress in layers and wear weather-appropriate clothing. Moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof outer layer will help you adapt to changing weather conditions. Don’t forget to pack a hat and sunglasses for sun protection.
- Snacks and meals: Pack lightweight, high-energy snacks and meals that can sustain you during the hike. Granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, and energy gels are excellent options. Base how much you pack on how long the hike may be, with extra for emergencies.
- First aid kit: It’s crucial to carry a compact first aid kit containing bandages, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and necessary personal medications. Be prepared for minor injuries, blisters, or other ailments that may occur during the hike.
- Pocket knife: A pocket knife can be a versatile and handy tool that assists you in various situations. You can use it to sharpen sticks for cooking, make kindling for a fire, prepare food, cut through ropes or cords, and create makeshift splints.
These seven items aren’t everything. But they provide a solid foundation for a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.
Always remember to research the specific trail and conditions you’ll encounter to tailor your packing list accordingly. Safety should be a top priority, so consider additional gear based on the hike’s difficulty, duration, and remoteness.
Best hikes in Canada
Canada is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and vast wilderness, offering incredible hiking opportunities. Here are ten of the best hikes in Canada, each showcasing unique natural wonders and unforgettable experiences:
1. West Coast Trail, British Columbia
As one of the best places to visit in Canada, Vancouver has plenty to offer visitors. Located on Vancouver Island, the West Coast Trail is a legendary 75-kilometer coastal hike. It traverses through ancient rainforests and sandy beaches and offers stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean. Also, it’s known as one of the go-to hike trails in Canada.
For the best experience, visit the West Coast Trail between July and August. Ensure you reserve early to guarantee your access.
2. Skyline Trail, Alberta
Situated in Jasper National Park, the Skyline Trail provides breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies. This multi-day hike takes you through alpine meadows and past glaciers and offers panoramic vistas of peaks and valleys.
Aside from breathtaking scenery, you get to see wildlife up close—but make sure not to get personal for your safety. Whilst in Alberta, make sure to head over to Calgary, one of the best cities in Canada but also spend time exploring the many national parks in the region.
3. Fundy Footpath, New Brunswick
Located in Fundy National Park, the Fundy Footpath offers an unforgettable coastal hiking experience along the Bay of Fundy. This challenging 41-kilometer trail winds through rugged cliffs and dense forests and offers stunning views of the highest tides in the world.
4. Berg Lake Trail, British Columbia
Located in Mount Robson Provincial Park, the Berg Lake Trail offers stunning views of glaciers, waterfalls, and the iconic Berg Lake. This challenging 23-kilometer trail is a favorite among experienced hikers.
5. Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland and Labrador
For wilderness enthusiasts, the Long Range Traverse in Gros Morne National Park is a must-visit. This remote and challenging multi-day hike crosses the rugged and untouched wilderness of the Long Range Mountains.
6. La Cloche Silhouette Trail, Ontario
If you’re looking for majestic mountains to explore in Ontario, make sure you add this place to your list, this is one of the most beautiful and best things to do in Ontario.
Located in Killarney Provincial Park, the La Cloche Silhouette Trail is a 78-kilometer loop that showcases the park’s pristine lakes, white quartzite ridges, and breathtaking vistas. It’s a favorite among backpackers and nature lovers.
Aside from these sights, you can also see a lot of wildlife in the area, including porcupines, beavers, and moose.
7. Tonquin Valley, Alberta
Nestled in Jasper National Park, the Tonquin Valley offers a picturesque alpine adventure. Hikers can explore this stunning valley, surrounded by towering peaks, glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes while encountering abundant fauna.
8. The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
While primarily a scenic drive, the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island also offers excellent hiking opportunities. It provides sweeping views of the rugged coastline and the chance to spot whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
9. Gros Morne Mountain, Newfoundland and Labrador
Gros Morne Mountain, part of Gros Morne National Park, offers a challenging yet rewarding hike. The climb to the summit rewards hikers with breathtaking views of fjords, dense forests, and the vast wilderness of this nature reserve.
Ready To Take The Trails?
These hikes in Canada provide a taste of the country’s natural beauty and diverse landscapes. Each trail offers unique charms and challenges, ensuring unforgettable experiences for hikers of varying skill levels.
Remember to research and prepare adequately, respecting local regulations and ensuring you have the necessary equipment and safety precautions before embarking on any hike.