To have the best time possible during your next visit, here are 10 tips to make the most of Parks Canada places.

1. Plan ahead

A mother and daughter look at a map with a Parks Canada employee.
Start planning your next trip to a Parks Canada place now!

With 47 national parks, 171 national historic sites and 4 national marine conservation areas there is a lot to discover from coast, to coast, to coast. For more information on Parks Canada places and experiences, check out our Plan your visit section. Here you can also find electronic versions of six regional Visitor Guides to assist you in planning for a fantastic trip!

2. Go somewhere new

A male hiker on a shoreline leaps from one rock to another.
Take a leap and try something new!

Certain national parks, trails, lookouts and parking lots are always very popular. Here are Ten alternatives to Canada’s most popular national parks. Try out a different trail in one of the less busy national parks or national historic sites! Look here for 10 hidden gems to discover for some really off the beaten path travel ideas.

3. Travel in the shoulder seasons

Two cyclists bike through autumn leaves.
There is nothing like the sound of crisp autumn leaves underfoot!

Spring and fall are both exciting and beautiful seasons to explore Canada’s national parks. Also they are times when it’s easier to find accommodation. Watch life come to bloom or change colours right before your eyes.

4. Have a winter adventure

Three female visitors make a snowman in the mountains.
Be cool not cold - get outside and immerse yourself in winter fun!

For a true Canadian experience, there are many kinds of winter activities available in Parks Canada places. From cozy horse-drawn sleigh rides to skating on the world’s longest skating rink, you won’t even notice the cold as you warm up to winter.

5. Travel midweek

A female takes in the forest scenery.
To truly experience nature, travel midweek!

Avoid the weekend rush, especially long weekends, and travel during the week when the crowds are quieter. Enjoy a picnic around a scenic lake and listen to the natural world around you.

6. Reserve your spot

Four campers sit around a campfire in front of an oTENTik accommodation.
Use the Parks Canada reservation service so you can sit back and relax a little longer!

You can reserve a campsite or a variety of other accommodation options as early as January 3rd. Use the Parks Canada reservation service to ensure that there is space available – and then you can rest easy knowing you have a cozy spot waiting for you.

7. Go on a special tour

A young boy and girl look through old fashioned view-masters inside a national historic site.
Get up close to history during special behind-the-scene tours!

To get a more exclusive experience, take in a special program such as a guided tour and listen to thrilling stories. Families and young adults alike will find something that will surely surprise and delight them. Treat yourself to something special.

8. Be an early bird

A woman does yoga on a beach at sunrise.
Take in a deep breath of morning air and start your day off right!

Once you’ve settled in your destination, get up and out early in the day. The birds are most active and the lighting makes for fabulous photos. It can feel like you have the whole place to yourself.

9. Explore at twilight

Two photographers take wildlife photos by a lake.
Wildlife viewing is better as the day moves into night.

Many animals avoid the midday sun and can be seen travelling at dusk. There is a greater chance of seeing beavers, bears and moose at these times. Please remember to give all wildlife plenty of room to travel freely; Canada’s national parks are their homes.

10. Be a night owl

Two cabins lie underneath a starry night sky.
Look up and travel to another world!

Many Parks Canada places are designated as Dark-Sky Preserves. Enjoy the night skies at any time of year. Don’t forget to make a wish under those brilliant stars.