The top 10 scenic drives in Canada are stunning. There are so many spectacular scenic drives in Canada to explore so our choice was difficult to make.
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Top 10 scenic drives in Canada
Before you head off to explore some of the top scenic drives in Canada, check each area carefully for the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
Top Scenic Drive in the Yukon
There are seven scenic routes to choose from in the Yukon’s vast wilderness. Discover more about these iconic Yukon road trips here https://lifesincrediblejourney.com/most-scenic-yukon-roads/
1. South Klondike Highway
Drive the South Klondike Highway from Whitehorse, Yukon to Skagway, Alaska. Discover the breathtaking scenery of Yukon’s wilderness. Before driving to Alaska please check the latest COVID-19 travel restrictions here.
Along the route:
- Experience a dog sled ride at Caribou Crossing Trading Post.
- See the Carcross desert, once considered the world’s smallest desert.
- Learn more about the history of the gold rush and try gold panning.
- Make a photo stop at Emerald Lake to view its stunning turquoise coloured water and you may even see wildlife crossing the lake.
Skagway is the gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush Trail of ’98. It is also home to the world famous White Pass and Yukon railway, a designated International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
The White Pass and Yukon railway is also one of the most scenic rail routes in North America.
Explore the railway excursions for 2021. Check here for the latest operational updates.
Top scenic drives in Canada – South Klondike Highway photo stop at Emerald Lake to view its stunning turquoise coloured water. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
Top scenic drives in Canada. View of Bove Island on Tagish Lake. This view is at KM 95 of the South Klondike Highway between Skagway, Alaska and Carcross, Yukon. Discover the breathtaking scenery of the Yukon wilderness.
Top scenic drives in British Columbia
2. Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler
Follow the Sea-to-Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler for dramatic sweeping views of fjords, mountains and dormant volcanoes along the Pacific Rim of Fire. Admire breathtaking waterfalls on route.
Must see stops include Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls and Nairn Falls.
In Whistler, see it all from the Top of the World Cloudraker Skybridge or take in the panoramic vista on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, the world’s highest lift of its kind. If you are daring enough, ride the longest zipline in Canada.
The drive to Whistler from Vancouver will take about 1 hr and 52 min without stops. Take your time driving this beautiful but winding highway.
Read more about the top things to do on the Sea-to-Sky Highway, one of the most scenic drives in Canada.
Discover 15 of the best waterfalls in BC
The Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, BC is one of the top 10 scenic drives in Canada.
3. Okanagan Valley on Highway 97
The scenic drive along Highway 97 though the Okanagan Valley boasts stunning views of the Okanagan Lake, sandy beaches, gentle rolling mountains, vineyards, and orchards.
The Okanagan Valley is a popular recreation destination in the summer with more than 30 beaches in the area with lots of water activities.
In the fall it is harvest time where you will find the freshest bounty. In the winter there are many ski resorts.
The entire Okanagan region stretches over 250 kms and has more than 180 wineries to visit. This area has 84% of BC’s vineyard acreage covering four official sub-regions.
Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, Okanagan Falls, Naramata, Keremeos, Oliver, and Osoyoos are popular Okanagan destinations year-round.
One of the most scenic drives in Canada follows the route heading north from Penticton to Vernon.
Find out more about what to see and do in the Okanagan Valley.
View of Okanagan Lake at sunset as you drive into the valley from the Coquihalla Highway. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
Most scenic drives in Canada. Drive through the incredible Okanagan wine country. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
Visit the beautiful Okanagan in BC. Here is the view of the Okanagan Lake from Hwy 97. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
Top Scenic Drive in Alberta
4. Banff Jasper Parkway
The drive through the breathtaking Canadian Rockies from Jasper to Banff, along the Columbian Icefields Parkway, is one of the most scenic drives in the world.
The distance between Jasper and Lake Louise is 233 kms. It will take 2 hrs and 56 mins to drive without stops.
Don’t rush through this spectacular area and allow at least one full day to explore it. Take advantage of viewpoints and other stops along the way. In our opinion, it is much more scenic driving from the north to south.
One of the top scenic drives in Canada, the Icefields Parkway, Rocky Mountains, and Canadian Rockies in Alberta. Photo Credit: Tourism Jasper
32 kms outside Jasper, stop at the powerful Athabasca Falls. Take the short 1 km easy return hike to the falls. Do not go beyond marked safety boundaries.
Take time to see the Columbian Icefields. It is an adventure of a lifetime.
Experience walking on the ancient Athabasca Glacier then go out on the glass bottomed Skywalk for incredible views.
Do not cross barriers on the glacier. They are there for your protection. People have lost their lives falling into deep hidden crevasses. Be sure to make a reservation at this attraction. Find out more.
Read more about the top things to do in Banff and Jasper.
One of the top 10 things to do in Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise area is to explore the Columbia Icefields. Photo Credit: Mike Seehagel
Banff National Park
Banff National Park is the oldest and the first National Park in Canada. It is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks.
Stop at the Banff Visitors Centre to pick up maps, brochures and up-to-date information.
Top Scenic Drive in Ontario
5. Lake Superior Scenic Drive from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay
The Lake Superior scenic drive in northeastern Ontario provides access to some of the most stunning natural wonders of the area.
Explore the vast wilderness of forests, lakes, rivers, valleys, canyons and waterfalls along this route.
The Algoma region is noted for its incredible explosion of vivid fall colours in the last few weeks of September and the first two weeks of October.
This breathtaking scenery inspired the famed Canadian Group of Seven artists, to develop their own unique Canadian style of painting not found anywhere else in the world. See a photo gallery of the spectacular scenery of the area.
This scenic route skirts Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area and third largest by volume. It is also 10 per cent of the world’s supply of fresh water by surface.
There are plenty of spots to canoe following historic routes once navigated by Voyageurs. Learn more about the life of a voyageur.
The shores of Lake Superior as viewed from one of the most scenic drives in Canada. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
Sault Ste. Marie
Discover the beautiful waterfront of Sault Ste. Marie and why the famous Canadian landscape painters, the Group of Seven, were enchanted with the area. Learn about the rich history of First Nations and exploring voyageurs.
- Learn about the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site, which once were longest locks in the world.
- Enjoy the stroll along the St. Marys River Boardwalk.
- Ride the rails of the Agawa Canyon Tour Train through Northern Ontario’s pristine wilderness in the Algoma region. It is one of Canada’s most scenic train trips.
- Tour the Heritage Discovery Centre and two of the oldest stone buildings, located northwest of Toronto.
- See an impressive collection of about 24 bushplanes at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.
The top scenic drive in Ontario provides access to the stunning fall colours of Algoma. Photo Credit: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership
Lake Superior Provincial Park
Explore the rugged wilderness of Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario’s largest provincial park. Discover lakes, rivers, beaches and more. See 35 red ochre Agawa Rock pictographs, if you don’t mind navigating the rocky shore to reach them.
Picnic at Chippewa Falls, located at the halfway mark of the Trans-Canada Highway’s 7,821-km-long highway.
Chippewa Falls is located on one of the top scenic drives in Ontario. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
Pukaskwa National Park
Experience the raw wilderness of Pukaskwa National Park. There are numerous hiking trails in the park, including the challenging 60-km Coastal Hiking Trail which is part of the Trans Canada Trail.
If you are ambitious, take the 18-km day hike to the White River Suspension Bridge. The bridge sways 23-metres above Chigamiwinigum Falls.
In the summer, take the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Anishinaabe (Ojibway) First Nations.
Don’t forget a bug hat or bring along another bug deterrent if you visit from May through August.
Pukashwa National Park bridge on Pukaskwa Coastal Hiking Trail on one of Ontario’s most scenic routes near Thunder Bay. Photo: Darren McCristie, Ontario Tourism
Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area
The Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area provides incredible views of the lake that will soon be the largest protected fresh water lake in the world.
In the spring, during migration, the shores of Black Bay is a favourite spot for birdwatchers to see thousands of birds from hundreds of species as they made their way north.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
There are more than 100 kms of trails to choose from in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
There are all types of trails available from easy, short hikes to more difficult and challenging ones.
See the rugged shoreline of the area from the Thunder Bay Lookout Road, or hike the difficult Top of the Giant Trail to take in spectacular views from the top of one of Ontario’s highest cliffs. This trail is 6.6 km round-trip.
View from Sleeping Giant Provincial Park near Thunder Bay on one of the most scenic road trips around Lake Superior in Ontario. Photo: Darren McChristie, Ontario Tourism
View of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park near Thunder Bay on one of the most scenic road trips around Lake Superior in Ontario. Photo: Darren McChristie, Ontario Tourism
- Visit Fort William Historical Park is the world’s largest fur trade post. Relive the history of the North West Company and fur trading. The park sits on 250 acres and has 57 structures to tour.
- Explore Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park. The 40-metre falls are the second highest in Ontario. Take advantage of the easy to reach platforms to view the falls.
- Find out more about Thunder Bay.
Kakabeka Falls is the second highest falls in Ontario and can be found on one of the most scenic routes in Canada. Photo: Joey Panetta, Tourism Ontario
Top Scenic Drive in Quebec
6. Gaspé Peninsula scenic route 132 from Quebec City
The stunning Gaspé Peninsula route takes you on a complete loop from Quebec City. The views are breathtaking.
This top scenic drive in Quebec is almost 1,700 kms long and can take 7 to 10 days to tour at a leisurely pace.
Tour the Gaspé Peninsula on Route 132, one of Quebec’s most scenic drives. Photo: Roger St-Laurent/Tourisme Gaspésie
Discover the wilderness areas of the many provincial and national parks. Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites and access Quebec’s oldest lighthouse and Canada’s tallest lighthouse.
Learn about the rich diverse cultures of English Loyalists, Acadians, the Basque, the Irish, Jersey Islanders, and First Nations people.
Marvel at the dramatic landscape features like Percé Rock and the red rock shores.
There is plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, water activities, and wildlife viewing including birdwatching and whale-watching.
Sample unique culinary delights and shop for handcrafted wears from the many artisans along the way.
The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park
From May through October view a variety of whales and other migratory marine species along the St. Lawrence Marine Park.
There are many at-risk species found in the waters here. The Blue Whale, the world’s largest whale species, is one of them.
The Beluga Whale gives birth in several areas of the marine park. Find out more about the park.
Forillon National Park
Impressive seascape and mountain views can be found in Forillon, Quebec’s first National Park. Explore a number of heritage sites as well as the Cape Gaspé Lighthouse.
Find out more about Forillon National Park.
Stunning sunset views from Forillon National Park. Photo: Parks Canada
Miguasha National Park an UNESCO World Heritage Site
Twenty-one different types of fish have been discovered in the rich fossil beds at Miguasha National Park.
It is hard to image that more than 360 million years ago this entire area had a tropical climate with warm waters.
The fossils found at this location are from the last two million years. This Devonian period “Age of Fishes” fossil site is the only one designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This site is significant scientific find showing proof of major steps in evolution. Evidence indicates some fish here evolved into four-limbed animals.
Northern shore of the Gaspé Peninsula found on one of the most scenic drives in Quebec. Photo: Michel Laverdière, Tourism Quebec
Red rock shores of the Gaspé Peninsula on one of the most scenic drives in Quebec. Photo: Tourism Quebec
Route 132, one of the most scenic roads in Quebec, along the north shore of Gaspé Peninsula. Photo Mathieu Dupuis Gaspésie Tourism
The incredible natural environment of Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher‑Percé features:
- The impressive Percé Rock found at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula.
- Île Bonaventure (Bonaventure Island), home to the largest migratory bird sanctuary in North America. It has 11 different species of more than 200,000 breeding birds. Here you can see North America’s largest colony of 110,000 Northern Gannet.
Find out more about the park and download the Discovery Guide.
Admire the breathtaking views of Percé Rock from the Percé UNESCO Global Geopark’s suspended glass platform. The platform is perched 200 metres-high on the edge of a cliff.
Discover more about this region’s national parks and other natural sites.
View of Percé Rock on one of Quebec’s most scenic drives travelling around the Gaspe Peninsula. Credit: By François Rivard,Tourism Quebec
Top Scenic Drive in Prince Edward Island
7. Green Gables Shore and Red Sands Shore Scenic Drive
Do a scenic round-trip drive from Prince Edward Island’s capital city of Charlottetown. The Red Sands Shore and Green Gables Shore combination is one of the many scenic drives on P.E.I.
This route is a total of 153 kms.
Green Gables Shore Route
The scenic PEI Green Gable Shore drive gives you access to stunning Cavendish seascape views of red sandstone cliffs and pristine white sandy beaches.
Travel through the stunning countryside to the charming seaside fishing village of North Rustico to eat lobster.
The charming seaside town of North Rustico, near Cavendish, is on the scenic PEI Green Gables Shore driving route. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
The lighthouse at North Rustico has helped many ships and fisherman since 1876.
The historic lighthouse still continues to give off light but it has been deemed surplus by the Canadian Coast Guard. The community is trying to preserve it for tourists, educational purposes, and historic significance.
This lighthouse is one of only a few left on PEI with living space.
Find out more about North Rustico.
The historic lighthouse in North Rustico, PEI. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
Cavendish seascape views of red sandstone cliffs and pristine white sandy beaches. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr
Green Gables Heritage Place
Green Gables stunning countryside setting is located in Prince Edward Island National Park in Cavendish.
Cavendish and the Green Gables 19th century farm, Haunted Woods, and Lover’s Lane were made famous by author Lucy Maud Montgomery with her stories about “Anne of Green Gables”.
Don’t miss Green Gables a popular tourist destination on the scenic drive known as Green Gable Shore. Photo Credit: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
Red Sands Shore Scenic Drive
The Red Sand Shore route takes you on red clay roads winding through the countryside of farmlands, rolling hills, woodlands, red sandstone cliffs and red sand beaches.
Fort Amherst National Historic Site
Take in the stunning coastal views from Fort Amherst National Historic Site.
The park located at Rocky Point provides an overlook to Charlottetown harbour and the Blockhouse Point Lighthouse (1876) pictured below. The lighthouse is not open but you are welcome to explore the grounds.
Walk along various trails within the park to explore 19th-century British farmlands and a recently opened 18th-century Arcadian settlement. Download a trail map.
View Blockhouse Point Lighthouse from Fort Amherst National Historic site Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©
Top Scenic Drive New Brunswick
Check COVID-19 travel restrictions for New Brunswick here.
8. Bay of Fundy Coast Drive
The Bay of Fundy Coastal Drive is one of the top scenic drives in New Brunswick. It is about 250 kms in length.
This scenic drive features many world wonders. The roadway hugs the southern coast offering gorgeous views of beaches and bays, as well as quaint coastal towns.
World-famous Fundy Tides
Experience the world-famous Fundy Tides, an incredible natural phenomenon. Here you will find the world’s highest tides.
There are two high tides and two low tides a day. Be sure to check the 7-day tidal chart predictions here for the best time to visit.
Explore the ocean floor during low tide and discover all sorts of sea life by strolling the mudflats out to the coastal islands.
Hike or bike along some of the 100 km of trails in the Fundy National Park.
Whale-watching along the coast is best between between mid-June to October.
See Hopewell Rocks at low tide along Fundy Bay scenic route. It is one of the top scenic drives in Canada. Photo: Destination Canada
See Hopewell Rocks at high tide along Fundy Bay scenic route. It is one of the top scenic drives in Canada. Photo: Destination Canada
Fundy UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
Fundy UNESCO Biosphere Reserve stretches along the Bay of Fundy coast from Sackville all the way to St. Martins and inland up to Moncton.
The reserve is an area of unique natural beauty, geological wonders, marine ecosystems, and the significantly important shorebird migration habitat of the Bay of Fund Mudflats.
There are numerous hiking trails to explore in the natural reserve.
Find out more about the Fundy UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Hiking in Fundy National Park near Alma, New Brunswick, Canada.
St. Martins Sea Caves
Stop at St. Martins to explore the giant sea caves, sea stacks, caverns, and arches.
View of St. Martins sea caves and sea stacks. Photo Credit: Pixaby
St Martins sea caves one of the top things to do in New Brunswick. Photo: St. Martins Chamber of Commerce
Reversing Falls Rapids in Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark
Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark is a significant geological world wonder.
The land here formed over the last billion years when the continents collided as earth experienced the movement of earthquakes, ice ages, volcanic eruptions, and ocean waters.
Learn more about how the continents collided.
There are 12 accessible sites within the Stonehammer UNESCO Global Park.
See the Reversing Falls Rapids from the Saint John SkyWalk.
Peak times to witness the whirlpool action is at low tide. At high tide the rapids reverse. See the tide schedule here.
About one billion tons of water flow through the Bay of Fundy twice a day. That is the entire volume of the world’s rivers.
Reversing Falls Rapids one of the top things to see in New Brunswick. Photo: Pixaby
Top Scenic Drive Nova Scotia
9. Cabot Trail, Skyline Trail
World-famous Cabot Trail is one of North America’s most spectacular scenic drives. The highway offers breathtaking ocean views along the coast as it twists and turns through picturesque fishing villages and Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
The Cabot Trail scenic highway is 298 km (185 miles) in length.
Top 10 scenic drives in Canada. What to see and do on the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. It is one of the most scenic drives in Canada. Photo Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia / Photographer: Hecktic Travels
Cape Breton Highlands National Park offers spectacular scenery of rugged coastlines with incredible ocean vistas, rolling highlands and canyons. The Cabot Trail scenic highway winds through this beautiful national park.
Explore some of the 26 hiking trails in the park.
Friends take a selfie as the sun sets at an interpretive look-off on the Vieux Chemin du Cap Rouge, Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Photo Credit: Parks Canada / Scott Munn©
A park interpreter plays the fiddle and shares tunes to visitors participating in a Learn-to-Lobster Boil program at La Bloc, in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Photo Credit: Parks Canada / Dale Wilson©
Top Scenic Drive Newfoundland
10. The Viking Trail
One of the best scenic drives in Canada travels up the rugged western coastline of Newfoundland.
There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the 526 km Viking Trail, Gros Morne National Park, and L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site.
The top scenic drive in Newfoundland is the Viking Trail. Photo Credit: Finn Beals
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park offers incredible views of majestic fjords, mountains, bogs, barren cliffs, beaches, and forests.
The ancient land is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the best places to see plate tectonics examples of earth’s movement where the continental drift has moved over time.
Most scenic places to see in Newfoundland. Backcountry hiking view from Western Brook Pond Fjord in Gros Morne National Park, UNESCO SIte. Photo: Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism
L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
This incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site is where you can see the world-renowned archaeological remains of a complete 11th-century Viking village.
The L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site is the only known Norse settlement in North America. It is more than 1,000 years old and is the earliest European occupation on the continent.
Wander through the reconstructed sod buildings to learn about the Viking way of life and their Norse myths from costumed Viking interpreters. Learn more about the tours.
Similar ruins have been found on Iceland and Greenland.
Most scenic roads in Canada. The Viking Trail in Newfoundland takes you to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. Photo: Dru Kennedy
Travel the most scenic drives in Canada, The Viking Trail in Newfoundland takes your through Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo: Barrett and MacKay
If you have a favourite scenic drive please comment below or list any others that should not be missed. There are so many scenic drives in Canada to explore.
We are working on producing other guides for travel across Canada. We are happy to add your favourites. Remember to subscribe so you won’t miss the next article. Get the latest travel tips and learn about destinations from near and far or ask a question. If you have a photo you have taken on your favourite road trip please send it to me along with details through email to:
Life’s Incredible Journey
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