If you’ve been to any of the most popular Canada national parks on a summer weekend, you’ve probably noticed a problem: crowds. The parking lot at Banff National Park’s Moraine Lake can fill up by 7:00 AM, and traffic jams, shuttle lines, and relentless crowds don’t exactly spell summer fun. So instead of fighting to get into Banff, why not dedicate the coming year to some of the lesser-known Canada national parks — the ones that have plenty of crowd-free spots?
Especially in western Canada, many of the national parks look like stock desktop wallpaper, practically offensive to the rest of the planet with their outrageous beauty. And much like your average screensaver, there’s no people in the photo.
The below Canada national parks and provincial parks (the latter of which are free to visit) are all in British Columbia or Alberta, concentrating on the Canadian Rockies. Each of them has a fraction of the visitors you’d find at Banff or Yellowstone or Yosemite, for that matter. Even if you can’t get here soon, here’s where to point your dreaming.