Canada is a nation of epic proportions, ranking as the world’s second biggest and having coastlines on all three major oceans. It also has the highest percentage of freshwater lakes in the world.
It has vibrant, diverse cities like Toronto and Vancouver and some big-hitter names like the Canadian Rockies, Banff, and even Niagara Falls. It is unquestionably a wonderful place for every kind of tourist!
Nature, however, comes out on top. It is an extraordinarily wild paradise with glaciers, temperate rainforests, towering mountains, and jagged coasts! Naturally, trekking is the best way to take it all in. Whether you’re unfamiliar with hiking in Canada or have never done it before, we’re here to assist you and present the 8 best hiking trails Canada has to offer.
I’ve put up this great guide that includes everything you’ll need to know for a fantastic vacation. Find information about the best hiking trails in Canada, how to remain safe on the route.
8 Absolute Best Hiking Trails Canada Has To Offer
1. West Coast Trail
The West Coast Trail, a major endeavor, is one of Canada’s most difficult strolls.
The trial is situated on Vancouver Island’s west coast and winds through difficult terrain of old-growth woods, rocky beaches, and high cliffs. All of the breathtaking natural landscapes! The track is well-marked and well-maintained, but you must be physically and emotionally prepared to face its obstacles.
The walk may take up to two weeks, and you must carry all your equipment and food. Consider how much you would need. And how exhausting this may be.
During the trip, you may encounter hazardous creatures like bears, cougars, and wolves, so be mindful of your surroundings and take measures. The hike also involves various difficulties, such as ladders, cable cars, and suspension bridges that require high fitness and agility.
West Coast Trail Features:
- Renowned hiking trail along Vancouver Island’s coastline
- Stunning vistas of beaches, forests, and cliffs
- Challenging terrain for experienced hikers
- Abundance of wildlife and rich cultural history
- Limited permits for an exclusive wilderness experience
West Coast Trail Tips:
- Get in shape: Prepare physically for the challenging hike.
- Pack light: Carry only essential items in your backpack.
- Know the tides: Plan your hike around low tides to avoid obstacles.
- Wear sturdy footwear: Protect your feet with durable hiking shoes.
- Be prepared: Bring emergency supplies and inform someone about your plans.
2. Sunshine To Mount Assiniboine Trail
The Sunshine to Mount Assiniboine Trail connects two of Canada’s most well-known provincial parks, Banff and Mount Assiniboine. The trail is 54 kilometers (34 miles) long and takes around 4-5 days to complete.
The track starts near Banff at Sunshine Village Ski Resort and winds through subalpine woods, alpine meadows, and steep mountain terrain. Hikers will see breathtaking views of glaciers, mountain peaks, and crystal-clear lakes throughout the trail.
Reaching the majestic Mount Assiniboine, which rises at 3,618 meters (11,870 feet), is one of the trail’s attractions. Hikers may explore the area surrounding the mountain, including the lovely Lake Magog and the historic Assiniboine Lodge, which has been operating since 1928.
This hike is rated as difficult, requiring high physical fitness and sufficient wilderness hiking experience. There are few services along the trail, so hikers should bring their own food and camping supplies. Additionally, hikers must get a backcountry permit to trek and camp along the path.
Overall, the Sunshine to Mount Assiniboine Trail is a wonderful hiking voyage that provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy the spectacular majesty of the Canadian Rockies. Hikers may interact with nature and enjoy the rough environment of Banff and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Parks on the trail.
Sunshine To Mount Assiniboine Trail Features:
- Stunning Canadian Rockies trail: Sunshine to Mount Assiniboine.
- Breathtaking alpine scenery with panoramic views.
- Diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife.
- Iconic landmark: Mount Assiniboine.
- Moderate to challenging hike, requiring planning and fitness.
- Plan ahead: Research, permits, and weather.
- Pack light: Bring essential gear.
- Stay hydrated: Carry water and purifiers.
- Navigate wisely: Use trail navigation tools.
- Be safe: Follow bear safety protocols and inform someone about your plans.
3. Berg Lake Trail
Backpackers go to Mount Robson Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada, to explore the Berg Lake Trail. The hike is about 23 kilometers (14 miles) one way and takes around 2-3 days to finish.
The Berg Lake Trailhead is near the Mount Robson Visitor Centre, where hikers may start their journey. From there, it gradually ascends through deep woods until emerging into alpine meadows. Hikers will pass by numerous beautiful waterfalls along the journey, including the spectacular Emperor Falls.
Berg Lake, a crystal-clear lake surrounded by glaciers and towering hills, is the trail’s centerpiece. Heinrich Berg, a German adventurer, and climber was the first to climb Mount Robson in 1909.
Along the path are various backcountry campgrounds featuring Kinney Lake, Emperor Falls, and Berg Lake. The campgrounds provide food lockers, pit toilets, and tent pads. Hikers may only spend the night in the woods if they have a valid backcountry camping permit.
The Berg Lake Trail, besides hiking, provides chances for animal observation, fishing, and climbing. This trek is not for people with weak hearts; it needs adequate fitness and expertise in wilderness hiking.
Overall, the Berg Lake Trail is a must-do trip for anybody visiting British Columbia who enjoys the outdoors. It’s an amazing experience because of the breathtaking environment and isolated landscape.
Berg Lake Trail Features:
- Renowned BC hiking trail: Berg Lake Trail.
- Stunning views of Canadian Rockies and Mount Robson.
- Diverse landscapes: glaciers, waterfalls, meadows, and lakes.
- Moderate to challenging hike, perfect for experienced hikers.
- Highlight: Berg Lake, with turquoise waters and breathtaking scenery.
- Plan ahead: Research, permits, and reservations.
- Pack smart: Essential gear and bear spray.
- Stay hydrated: Carry water.
- Pace yourself: Take breaks, enjoy the scenery.
- Leave no trace: Respect nature, pack out trash.
4. Plain Of Six Glaciers Trail
This trail is a famous tourist attraction on the coastlines of Lake Louise. According to when you visit and how far down the trail you walk, it is categorized as a moderate trek. The out-and-back version is 14.6km long and has magnificent views. Along the trip, look for several animal species that may be seen, such as chipmunks, mountain goats, and grizzly bears.
The modest, classic Swiss-built ‘Plain of Six Glaciers’ Tea House, which is the ideal site to visit throughout your trekking trip, is a significant attraction for this walk.
This adorable tea house provides tea, coffee, sandwiches, scones, and soups, so if you’re looking for some lunch or simply a pleasant break from your trek, stop by. Remember that the huts are customer-only during peak seasons and visitation hours, and bring your own food just in case it becomes crowded.
Temperature variations throughout the path are known to be rather drastic, so dress properly and carry extra clothes with you. Avalanche training and snow gear are needed to utilize the trail in winter.
Warm clothes and strong hiking boots are recommended. Be ready for changing weather conditions. The trail might become crowded during high season, so visit early to avoid congestion.
Plain Of Six Glaciers Trail Features:
- Scenic trail in Banff National Park: Plain of Six Glaciers.
- Breathtaking views of six glaciers in the Canadian Rockies.
- Alpine meadows, turquoise lakes, and mountain landscapes.
- Chance to spot wildlife like mountain goats and marmots.
- Teahouse at trail end with stunning glacier views.
- Start early to beat the crowds.
- Dress in layers for changing weather.
- Carry water and snacks for energy.
- Wear sturdy footwear for the terrain.
- Bring a camera to capture the views.
5. Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
The Juan de Fuca Marine trail is a 47-kilometer (29-mile) hiking path situated on Vancouver Island’s west coast in British Columbia, Canada. The trail is named after Juan de Fuca, a 16th-century Spanish explorer who discovered the region.
The walk goes through old-growth rainforests, rocky headlands, sandy beaches, and tidal pools in Washington State, USA, providing breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains. The trail is separated into five parts, each with its own set of obstacles and topography.
Along the walk, hikers may expect to observe various species, including bald eagles, seals, otters, and whales. The trail also travels through various First Nations villages, providing an opportunity to learn about the region’s rich cultural legacy.
Alongside the trail, hikers may find a number of backcountry campsites that are only accessible at low tide and provide a true taste of the great outdoors. It is vital to remember that to camp nightly along the trail, hikers must first get a backcountry permit.
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is rated as intermediate to hard, with some portions requiring hikers to negotiate steep slopes, slippery rocks, and ladders. Hikers should also be mindful of shifting tides and weather patterns since the trail may become dangerous during heavy winds and storms.
Overall, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a tough and rewarding hiking trip that provides a unique chance to discover Vancouver Island’s west coast’s rugged nature.
Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Features:
- Scenic coastal trail: Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.
- Stunning views of coastline, beaches, and cliffs.
- Chance to spot marine wildlife and explore tidal pools.
- Challenging sections for adventurous hikers.
- Camping options available for multi-day exploration.
- Check tides for safe hiking.
- Pack light for comfort.
- Wear sturdy footwear.
- Bring rain gear for unpredictable weather.
- Carry enough water or a filtration system.
6. Crypt Lake Trail
The Crypt Lake trail is a difficult hiking trail in Alberta, Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park. Around 6-7 hours are needed to finish the trail’s 17-kilometer (10.5 mile) round trip distance.
The trail starts with a short boat journey across Waterton Lake to the trailhead, where hikers begin ascending a steep sequence of switchbacks to the tree line. Hikers will be greeted with spectacular vistas of the neighboring mountains and valleys along the trail. Crypt Lake, a crystal-clear alpine lake set in a rocky amphitheater, is reached through a steep descent.
The trail’s centerpiece is the cable traverse, a small cliffside road that brings hikers up a steep rock face above Crypt Lake. Hikers must use a harness and a clip to travel the trail securely since the cable is attached to the rock. The cable traverse is the most difficult stretch of the trial. But it provides stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Hikers may continue exploring the region surrounding Crypt Lake after crossing the cable traverse, including the 60-meter (200-foot) high Crypt Falls and the natural tunnel that connects to the nearby lake, Andrew Lake.
The Crypt Lake Trail is a tricky excursion that requires high physical fitness and extensive wilderness hiking experience. Hikers should bring adequate boots, clothes, and equipment since the terrain is steep and treacherous in spots. To explore the trail, hikers must also get a backcountry permit.
Overall, the Crypt Lake Trail is a one-of-a-kind and demanding hiking excursion with gorgeous alpine scenery and a feeling of adventure.
Crypt Lake Trail Features:
- Thrilling trail: Crypt Lake Trail in Waterton Lakes National Park.
- Breathtaking cliffs, waterfalls, and turquoise waters.
- Boat ride to trailhead adds to the adventure.
- Exciting elements: tunnel, ladder, and cable sections.
- Crypt Lake: Hidden gem with stunning beauty.
- Plan boat ride and arrive early.
- Pack essentials: gear, water, snacks.
- Prepare for challenging terrain.
- Respect wildlife and nature.
- Check weather and trail conditions.
7. Skyline Trail
If you’re searching for a multi-day trek in Canada, the Skyline Trail is one to consider. It winds its way through the breathtaking Jasper National Park.
The park, with its stunning glaciers, ice fields, and mountains, is a must-see when in Canada. And the Skyline Trail is an excellent way to enjoy it! Also, be warned: it is not an easy task. We suggest bypassing this one if you’re a newbie hiker.
This multi-day hike in Jasper National Park is the longest and most well-known of all in the park. Because of its elevation, you can view much of the park. You’ll spend most of your trip in an exposed position above the tree line, where you’ll be at the mercy of bad weather.
Hikers often begin at Maligne Lake and travel the first 12 kilometers to Snowbowl Campground. The next day is an 18-kilometer journey up to Tekarra Campground, followed by an additional 14-kilometer trek down to the starting point.
There are three major passes to tackle, one of which is the park’s highest piece of track.
The trail offers breathtaking views the whole way and is an ideal opportunity to get up close and personal with a distinctive environment. The better the weather, the slower you can go and truly soak in all the hues.
Skyline Trail Features:
- Renowned trail: Skyline Trail in Jasper National Park.
- Panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies.
- Abundance of wildlife, including elk and mountain goats.
- Challenging multi-day hike.
- Iconic Tekarra Campground with stunning vistas.
- Plan and book ahead.
- Pack essential gear.
- Prepare for changing weather.
- Leave no trace.
- Stay hydrated.
8. East Coast Trail
Canada’s Newfoundland. The trail goes along the rough coastline, providing breathtaking views of the North Atlantic Ocean, hidden bays, and antique lighthouses.
The trail is separated into 26 parts, each with its own distinct personality and degree of difficulty. Depending on their time and ability, hikers can attempt one or more portions of the trail. The trail is open all year, although the ideal months to trek are May through October.
The East Coast Trail provides many experiences, ranging from pleasant strolls along beaches and cliffs to difficult treks up steep inclines. The Cape Spear Path brings hikers to the easternmost point of North America, while the North Head Trail gives breathtaking views of the Avalon Peninsula’s cliffs and sea stacks.
It also travels through numerous old fishing towns, giving visitors a taste of the region’s rich cultural legacy. Hikers may visit nearby settlements, museums, and art galleries and experience the local cuisine, including fresh seafood and traditional Newfoundland and Labrador delicious foods.
The East Coast trail is well-kept and includes wilderness campsites and amenities like boardwalks, staircases, and footbridges. To conserve the region’s natural beauty, hikers must acquire a trail permit and adhere to the Leave No Trace guidelines.
Overall, the East Coast Trail is a one-of-a-kind and satisfying hiking journey that combines natural beauty, cultural legacy, and outdoor excitement.
East Coast Trail Features:
- Scenic coastal trail: East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Diverse landscapes: cliffs, beaches, fishing villages, and coastal views.
- Geological formations: sea stacks, arches, and caves.
- Wildlife sightings: whales, seabirds, and puffins.
- Accessible to all levels: day trips to multi-day adventures.
- Plan your route: Research and plan your desired sections of the East Coast Trail in advance.
- Check the weather: Be aware of weather conditions and pack appropriate clothing and gear.
- Carry essentials: Pack water, snacks, a map or GPS device, and proper hiking equipment.
- Inform someone: Let someone know about your hiking plans and estimated return time for safety purposes.
- Follow trail markers: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to stay on the designated path and avoid getting lost.
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Hiking is an essential exercise that has many physical and mental health advantages. It lets people connect with nature, enhance their cardiovascular health, boost strength and endurance, decrease stress and anxiety, and improve their general well-being.
Hiking also allows people to discover new locations, push themselves physically and psychologically, and get greater respect for the natural world.
Hiking trails in Canada range from gentle nature walks to demanding wilderness hikes catering to hikers of all ability levels.
Canada has a hiking route for everyone, whether you want to experience British Columbia’s rocky coastline, the Canadian Rockies, or Newfoundland and Labrador’s culture. So, pack your luggage, tie on your hiking boots, and enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Canada’s hiking trails! Be Safe and Have Fun.!