Scenic drives at Parks Canada
Go for a scenic drive on the most beautiful roads in Canada! Explore Parks Canada from the comfort of your vehicle and discover the beauty of the open road.
Stay alert and drive safely. Remember to follow the regular rules of the road and do not drive while distracted. Be mindful of where you stop to take pictures and follow road signs. Make sure to follow our 10 tips to respect wildlife and stay safe.
Prince Edward Island
Visit the Gulf Shore Parkway, a striking road stretching from Cavendish to North Rustico beach. This road trip offers unmatched views of striking red sandstone cliffs, rolling dunes and salt marshes. Roll the windows down, relax, and take in the charm of Prince Edward Island!
The Cabot Trail offers some of the most spectacular views in all of Atlantic Canada. This vehicle adventure will take you through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, sharing many beautiful lookoffs along the way. You’ll want to stop by the MacKenzie Mountain and North Mountain lookoffs to fully absorb the panoramic views Nova Scotia has to offer. Soak in the soaring sights of the Gulf of St. Lawrence amidst highland plateaus, the mystical Beaulach Ban Falls, and the Aspy Fault, a neat inland made from fractures in the earth’s crust.
Head from Aulac to Moncton and then south on Route 114 along the Petitcodiac River, affectionately known as Chocolate River. You may even have the chance to watch the tidal bore rush along these muddy waters. Continue cruising along the Bay of Fundy amidst gentle hills and breathtaking ocean views into Fundy National Park, home to the world’s highest tides. After exploring Fundy, drive from seawater to seaside cliff as you ascend into the lush, Caledonia Highlands. For a taste of Acadian history, follow Route 1 West and stop into Carlton Martello Tower and then dip down to St. Andrews to stop by St. Andrews Blockhouse, built for the War of 1812.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Explore the Viking Trail, a 490-km scenic road that snakes along the northern peninsula coast of Newfoundland. Starting at Deer Lake, running through Gros Morne, and ending in L’Anse aux Meadows, the only authenticated Viking site in North America. This Atlantic beauty takes you through stunning coastlines, historical sites, and scenic communities like St. Anthony, a town where 10,000-year-old icebergs float by. Whether you love nature, culture, wildlife, or simply a scenic drive, the Viking Trail is one for the bucket list.
Drive down the Whale Route, a road stretching all the way from Tadoussac to Blanc-Sablon along the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec. This road passes by Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, a place recognized as one of the best in the world for whale watching. See if you can spot one of the 13 species of whales that reside there from one of the many lookouts!
Venture through the Thousand Islands Parkway and discover 39-km of gorgeous views! Located between Brockville and Gananoque, Ontario, you’ll cruise past stunning vistas, the serene St. Lawrence River and of course the surrounding islands. They cover an 80-km wide extension of granite hilltops joining the Canadian Shield of Northern Ontario with the Adirondack Mountains.
Discover the magic of the prairies from the comfort of your vehicle as you embark on a scenic drive along Highway 10, 19 or Lake Audy Road. Keep an eye out for bison as you pass the Lake Audy Bison Enclosure, a protected habitat for the once endangered plains bison! Roll the windows down, crank up the music and admire the endless Manitoba skies that stretch as far as the eye can see. Make sure to stop along one of the many trails located on the major routes like the Arrowhead or Boreal Island trail.
Drive down the historic River Road Heritage Parkway near Winnipeg for a fun afternoon! This road is well-known for its stunning views of the Red River, and many historic landmarks along the way. Make a pit stop at St. Andrew’s Rectory National Historic Site and admire the historic stone architecture. Then, visit Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, the only restored stone fur trading post in North America.
Find out what makes Grasslands National Park so special when you try the Ecotour Scenic Drive! This self-guided road trip in Saskatchewan takes you through the stunning Frenchman River Valley, providing about 2 hours of peaceful prairie landscapes. Keep an eye out for wildlife amongst the rolling hills on this 80-km round-trip to Val Marie.
Visit the Badlands Parkway, a road carefully designed to feature remarkable vistas while simultaneously protecting the very things that characterize this badlands landscape; unique habitats, wildlife, and a timeless horizon. This Saskatchewan road trip rises and falls along an 11-km historic trail featuring six unique viewpoints which overlook the grasslands and badlands of Rock Creek.
Take a scenic drive through Prince Albert National Park and enjoy the magnificent landscapes of Saskatchewan. For a 24-km journey along the southern shoreline of Waskesiu Lake, with ample opportunity to see wildlife, checkout Narrows Road! For a 32.5-km drive encompassing both the northern shore of Waskesiu Lake, and a road hugged by tall spruce, you’ll want to take a cruise down Kingsmere road. For a serene trip with views of lush forest cruise down Highway #263 and admire the panoramic views of Spruce River Valley. You are spoiled for choice!
For an unforgettable road trip, head to the world-famous Icefields Parkway in Alberta. This scenic drive flows through valley bottoms, turquoise lakes, and alpine peaks. The Icefields Parkway offers 280-km of breathtaking scenery and passes by Weeping Wall, Lake Louise and Athabasca Glacier, so you’ll want to take a full day to travel one-way!
Located between Banff and Lake Louise, the 48-km Bow Valley Parkway is a scenic drive you won’t want to miss. The road winds down to the valley bottom and provides up close views of wildlife and the richest eco-zone in all of Banff National park. You’ll want to roll the windows down as you cruise though this alpine beauty to truly take in all of the breathtaking mountain peaks.
Just outside the town of Banff, you’ll find the majestic Lake Minnewanka Loop in Alberta. This 24-km drive brings stunning views of the teal waters of Lake Minnewanka, the second longest glacial lake in all of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. This scenic road offers prime wildlife viewing, magical mountain meadows, and family-friendly lakeside strolls.
For a beautiful road surrounded by snow-capped mountains, go for a scenic drive down Maligne Lake Road in Alberta. This 46-km drive winds through glacier valley, mountain ranges and the peaceful Medicine Lake and Athabasca River. You’ll pass by the turquoise waters of Maligne Lake with its iconic Spirit Island, one of the most photographed locations in Canada. Come and see for yourself why this is one of the most popular attractions in Jasper National Park!
For the chance to see spectacular wildlife, go for a scenic drive through the Elk Island Parkway. You might even get stuck in a bison traffic jam as you tour the park! Find out what makes Elk Island National Park so magnificent as you view the shimmering shores of Astotin Lake, and admire the wildlife that resides here.
Explore Yoho Valley Road, a breathtaking 14-km drive that will take you through winding roads and exciting switchbacks in the Yoho Valley. This scenic drive is not one to be rushed! Make sure to stop at the many alpine hikes along the way such as Twin Falls, Laughing Falls and the Iceline. Then finish your adventure at the magnificent Takakkaw Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in Canada.
Takakkaw Falls is only accessible to cars and small RVs due to very tight switchbacks.
For a riveting adventure, travel through the breathtaking Trans-Canada Highway. Starting from Revelstoke or Golden, B.C., you’ll venture through a narrow part of the highway and find a wide variety of landscapes, from steep rugged mountains and glaciers, to rainforests and lush alpine meadows. This 148-km drive takes you through the heart of many Parks Canada attractions: Glacier National Park, Rogers Pass Discover Center, and Mount Revelstoke National Park.
Take the scenic route as you drive up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway. This paved, 26-km road will take you to the peak of Mount Revelstoke! On your way up, take advantage of the lookouts to admire the lush forests, the magnificent mountains and even a spectacular carpet of wildflowers, if you visit in August.
The parkway is narrow and has tight switchbacks. Vehicles over 7.9 metres in length are not permitted.
Go for a drive down the Banff-Windermere highway, a 94-km road in British Columbia that takes you through the diverse landscapes of Kootenay National Park, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year! Visit Kootenay’s top attractions such as the Continental Divide, a place where water flows through both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Make sure to stop and admire Marble Canyon, Sinclair Canyon, and of course, the Kootenay Valley viewpoint!
Top up your tank and drive through the aptly named, Top of the World Highway! More commonly known as The Alaska Highway, this road stretches from British Columbia, through the Yukon, and goes all the way to Alaska! This 2,000-km road enters the Yukon and passes through Whitehorse, offering stunning views of turquoise waters and rugged mountains along the way. Kluane National Park, home to the highest peak and largest ice field in Canada, is a must-see as you cruise along.
- The complete guide to visiting Parks Canada
- Ten tips to make the most of your visit
- Less busy alternatives to the most popular national parks
- Magical beaches to explore
- Golfing at Parks Canada places
- Pet-friendly places to stay overnight
- Camping in a Dark-Sky Preserve
- Incredible hikes for an overnight stay in the backcountry
- Which type of overnight adventure is for you?
- Hidden gems to discover
- Stay overnight in a hidden gem
- Animals you might see
- Winter activities to discover
- Best destinations for winter camping
- Best ski adventure destinations
- Celebrate your love story in a place with a story of its own
- Five photo tips with #ParksLife
- Escape rooms at Parks Canada
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