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Canada! 8 national parks that give this beautiful nation reason to boast

Fun fact: Because the blue-green waters of Banff's Moraine Lake are fed by glacial melt, the water levels don't reach their peak crest until late June.Photo: Jack Nevitt/Shutterstock

For many Americans, it’s easy to gloss over their Canadian neighbors to the north. As one of the most powerful countries on Earth, the U.S. does a great job at squeezing itself into the spotlight and overshadowing everyone else. In the case of Canada, this even happens with the two countries’ national holidays, which happen to fall just a few days apart. While the U.S. Independence Day on July 4 is known for being a spectacularly raucous affair with fireworks, cookouts and lots and lots of drinking, Canada Day on July 1 tends to be a much more subdued observance.

Although Canadians aren’t ones to brag, ignoring the natural beauty of this country would be a grave mistake when considering the vast swath of lands covered in rugged mountains, crystal clear lakes, massive glaciers, desolate tundra and lush, temperate rain forests. To celebrate Canada’s birthday, MNN brings you this breathtaking glimpse into the variation of landscape and geography found within 17 of the country’s most amazing national parks.

To kick things off, let’s spotlight Canada’s oldest and most visited national park!

Banff National Park (above)

  • Location: Alberta
  • Park size: 2,564 square miles
  • Established: 1885
  • Fun fact: Because the blue-green waters of Banff’s Moraine Lake are fed by glacial melt, the water levels don’t reach their peak crest until late June.

 

 Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada, is located in Kluane.Photo: Christopher Kolaczan/Shutterstock

Kluane National Park and Reserve

  • Location: Yukon Territory
  • Park size: 8,499 square miles
  • Established: 1976
  • Fun fact: Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada, is located in Kluane.

Prince Edward Island National Park. Due to human impact, this small stretch of shore is considered the most endangered park in Canada's system.Photo: Ryan Tir/Flickr

Prince Edward Island National Park

  • Location: Prince Edward Island
  • Park size: 8.5 square miles
  • Established: 1937
  • Fun fact: Due to human impact, this small stretch of shore is considered the most endangered park in Canada’s system.

* * *

Vuntut National Park.  Just across the border from Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, this park is so undeveloped that it doesn't even have roads or trails.

Vuntut National Park

  • Location: Yukon Territory
  • Park size: 1,678 square miles
  • Established: 1995
  • Fun fact: Just across the border from Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, this park is so undeveloped that it doesn’t even have roads or trails.

Located within Canada's newest territory, Quttinirpaaq means "top of the world" in the Inuktitut language, which makes sense considering it is the second most northerly park on Earth after Northeast Greenland National Park.

Quttinirpaaq National Park

  • Location: Nunavut Territory
  • Park size: 14,585 square miles
  • Established: 1988
  • Fun fact: Located within Canada’s newest territory, Quttinirpaaq means “top of the world” in the Inuktitut language, which makes sense considering it is the second most northerly park on Earth after Northeast Greenland National Park.
  • Yoho is a part of Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site — a contiguously protected area that also includes Banff, Jasper and Kootenay National Parks.

Yoho National Park

  • Location: British Columbia
  • Park size: 507 square miles
  • Established: 1886
  • Fun fact: Yoho is a part of Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site — a contiguously protected area that also includes Banff, Jasper and Kootenay National Parks.

Glaciers Auyuittuq National Park. Situated on the fjords, glaciers and ice fields of Baffin Island's east coast, this park's name means "the land that never melts" in the Inuktitut language.

 

Auyuittuq National Park

  • Location: Nunavut Territory
  • Park size: 7,370 square miles
  • Established: 1976
  • Fun fact: Situated on the fjords, glaciers and ice fields of Baffin Island’s east coast, this park’s name means “the land that never melts” in the Inuktitut language.

Mount Revelstoke National Park. Flush with old-growth Western Redcedar and Western Hemlock, Mount Revelstoke is home to the only temperate inland rain forest in the world.

Mount Revelstoke National Park

  • Location: British Columbia
  • Park size: 100 square miles
  • Established: 1914
  • Fun fact: Flush with old-growth Western Redcedar and Western Hemlock, Mount Revelstoke is home to the only temperate inland rain forest in the world.

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