From ocean vistas on three coasts to the vast expanses of the prairies, there’s something beautiful to look at no matter where you travel in Canada. But nothing quite compares—or is as dramatic—as the country’s mountains. And if you head to one of the regions below, the views are sure to take your breath away.
Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia
If you’re in a road-tripping mood but still want to see spectacular views, travel the 134-kilometre stretch of Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay (just north of Vancouver) to Pemberton, BC. You’ll hug the coast of the Pacific all the way to Howe Sound before turning inland. Highlights of the route include regular lookout points—so you can take pictures without driving off the road—and some provincial parks, in case you want to stretch your legs and explore the region on foot.
Icefields Parkway, Alberta
Stretching 234 kilometres from Banff to Jasper, the Icefields Parkway lets you take in many of Alberta’s most spectacular mountain vistas, including Lake Louise, Peyto Lake, and the Columbia Icefields. More than 100 ancient glaciers as well as waterfalls and emerald lakes are around every curve—just watch out for herds of bighorn sheep.
Moraine Lake, Alberta
A potential stop if you’re travelling along the Icefields Parkway, Moraine Lake in Banff National Park is in a class by itself. This glacially fed lake gets its startling bright blue colour from silt deposits in the glacial melt. You can walk around the lake on a hiking trail, or explore it further by canoe. You can see fantastic views if you scramble to the top of the rock pile.
Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario
Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park is in the heart of the sparkling white quartzite La Cloche Mountain range. Those familiar with the Group of Seven, especially the paintings of Franklin Carmichael, will recognize Killarney’s sweeping hills and white rock outcroppings. There are several day hikes available, including hiking the Granite Ridge Trail or The Crack, but for the full Killarney experience (and the best views), take a week and backpack along the 78-kilometre La Cloche Silhouette Trail.
Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia
The Rockies’ highest mountain, Mount Robson, is also a World Heritage Site. Take the Berg Lake Trail if you want to see the peaks on foot, or canoe in Moose, Yellowhead, or Whitney Lake. The truly adventurous can catch glimpses of the peaks while they’re rafting on the Fraser River. For the intrepid, consider tackling the summit itself.
Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba
Okay, so it’s not a mountain that’s on par with the Rockies, but given that this is Manitoba, any elevation seems mountainous by comparison to the surrounding prairies. The lush greenery and sweeping views of the surrounding flatlands make Riding Mountain seem more like Costa Rica than Canada.
Gros Morne Mountain, Newfoundland
The second-highest peak on the island of Newfoundland, Gros Morne Mountain is often shrouded in clouds and fog. According to Parks Canada, Gros Morne Mountain is actually Arctic tundra, just a little further south than you’d usually find an Arctic ecosystem. You can hike to the top of the mountain in six to seven hours, but be warned: the mountain is prone to unpredictable weather and can be cold and wet all year-round.
Mont Tremblant National Park, Quebec
Known for its skiing during the winter, in the summer Mont Tremblant is no less interesting—especially if you choose to explore the mountain using its “Via Ferrata,” or iron road. No climbing experience is required to traverse the Vache Noire rock wall, which uses a steel cable as well as built-in handles, steps, beams, and bridges to take you high above the trees. All climbing equipment is provided, but make sure you book early—spots fill up fast.
Kluane National Park, Yukon
Travel to Kluane National Park to catch a glimpse of Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak, which, at 5,959 metres, is taller than Mount Kilimanjaro. While tackling the summit is best reserved for experienced mountaineers, you can get a taste of the northern mountains by hiking the King’s Throne trail—it’s difficult, but it’s worth it for the incredible views.
Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
Mountains and ocean? It doesn’t get much better than that. Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail is drivable, but you really get the chance to take in the island’s fantastic views from the hiking trails that wind through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Pick the Skyline Trail for expansive, easily accessible vistas, or the Broad Cove Mountain trail for a more rugged experience.