Ten tips to make the most of your visit

We've compiled 10 tips to help you have the best possible Parks Canada experience. Put these planning and booking tips to action and figure out how to avoid the crowds, choose the best time to visit, and decide what destination is best for you.

1. Plan ahead

A mother and daughter look at a map with a Parks Canada employee.

With over 220 destinations across Canada, there is so much to discover. Explore national parks, historic sites, marine conservation areas and a national urban park from coast, to coast, to coast. Visit our Plan your visit section for travel tips, ideas, and an overview of the experiences you can have at Parks Canada.

2. Go somewhere new

A male hiker on a shoreline leaps from one rock to another.

Certain national parks, trails, lookouts and parking lots are very popular. Check out our suggestions for less busy alternatives to the most popular national parks and avoid the crowds, or discover these hidden gems for some unique, off the beaten path travel ideas.

3. Travel in the off-season

Two cyclists bike through autumn leaves.

Watch first hand as nature blooms in spring or gaze in awe at the spectacle of colours autumn brings. Spring and fall are the perfect seasons to explore national parks. Not only are places quieter in these times, but you will also be able to book accommodations easier than during peak seasons!

4. Have a winter adventure

Three female visitors make a snowman in the mountains.

Experience the magic of winter by trying one of the many snowy activities offered at Parks Canada. Enjoy this frozen season in endless ways by trying snowshoeing, tobogganing, skiing, fat biking, skating, ice fishing and more! Get inspired with these winter activities to discover.

5. Travel midweek

A female takes in the forest scenery.

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 to reserve a campsite or any of our various accommodation options. Check out our camping tips and tricks and take advantage of our advice on how to have the best camping experience possible. Then, 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.

Treat yourself to a unique experience and learn about indigenous experiences, go stargazing, enjoy food and drink, visit a haunted location, learn how to fire a canon and so much more! Young or old, there is an activity just waiting for you to come explore.

8. Be an early bird

A woman does yoga on a beach at sunrise.

Once you’ve settled in your destination, get up and at it early in the day. The birds are most active at this time, and the beautiful natural lighting makes for fabulous photos. Plus, it will feel like you have the whole place to yourself.

9. Explore at twilight

Two photographers take wildlife photos by a lake.

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 keep your distance and give all wildlife plenty of room to travel freely—Canada’s national parks are their homes. Check out our tips for respecting wildlife and staying safe.

10. Be a night owl

Two cabins lie underneath a starry night sky.

Enjoy the celestial landscape in one of Parks Canada's Dark-Sky Preserves. Check out our Dark-Sky Page for tips on how to have the best stargazing experience. Don’t forget to make a wish on a shooting star!

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