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Explore These 15 Magical National Parks Near Vancouver That’ll Make You Quit Hibernating

Best National Parks Near Vancouver
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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…but wait! Before you channel your inner Elsa and completely shut yourself off from the world this winter, hear me out! 

Vancouver may be beautiful in the colder months, but a whole world of snowy adventures is waiting to be explored beyond the city limits. This article is your guide to unlocking the magic of national parks, which are all perfect for a winter wonderland escape.  

So, bundle up in your warmest gear and explore the beauty of winter in these incredible national parks. Trust me, it will be an experience you won’t forget!

1. Kootenay National Park


Address: British Columbia, Canada

Contact details: +12503479505

Kootenay National Park is a majestic tapestry of towering mountains, deep canyons, rushing rivers, and emerald forests. Encompassing over 543 square kilometers of the Canadian Rockies, it boasts a diverse, dramatic, and beautiful landscape. 

Another aspect that sets Kootenay National Park apart is the presence of the Burgess Shale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fossil-bearing rock formation is home to some of the most exquisitely preserved fossils from the Cambrian period.

2. La Mauricie National Park


Address: Chem. de Saint-Jean-des-Piles, Shawinigan, QC G0X 2V0, Canada

Contact details: +18887738888

Established in 1970, La Mauricie National Park boasts over 536 square kilometers of stunning scenery, including 150 lakes and countless ponds.  

The Canadian Shield landscape includes rolling hills and rocky outcrops, all covered in a beautiful boreal forest. Wildlife watching is popular here, and moose, deer, beaver, and black bears call the park home.

3. Kouchibouguac National Park


Address: National 186, NB-117, Kouchibouguac, NB E4X 1V2, Canada

Contact details: +15068762443

Operating hours: 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM

Kouchibouguac National Park encompasses various ecosystems, including sandy beaches, barrier islands, salt marshes, forests, and lagoons. It’s home to myriad wildlife, including the second-largest tern colony in North America.

The park is a designated Dark Sky Preserve, meaning it has little light pollution and is an excellent place for stargazing. It’s also located on unceded Mi’gmaq territory, and its history and culture are essential to the park’s story.

4. Riding Mountain National Park


Address: 135 Wasagaming Dr, Onanole, MB R0J 1N0, Canada

Contact details: +12048487275

Operating hours: 24/7

Riding Mountain National Park is an island of wilderness surrounded by prairies, protecting over 2,900 square kilometers of diverse ecosystems. Lush forests meet windswept grasslands, while sparkling lakes and wetlands provide habitat for wildlife. 

One of the most special things about Riding Mountain National Park is the charming resort town of Wasagaming, nestled along the shores of Clear Lake. In the winter, the lake transforms into a wonderland for ice skating and cross-country skiing.

5. Kluane National Park and Reserve


Address: Haines Junction, YT Y0B 1L0, Canada

Contact details: +18676347207

Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Encompassing over 22,000 square kilometers, Kluane National Park and Reserve boasts the highest concentration of non-polar icefields worldwide. Towering mountains pierce the sky, with Mount Logan, the second-highest peak in North America.

Hikers can choose from various trails, including the scenic King’s Throne, which has breathtaking views of Kathleen Lake. The glacier-fed Alsek River carves a path through the park, offering opportunities for multi-day rafting expeditions amidst stunning scenery.

6. Pacific Rim National Park


Address: British Columbia, Canada

Contact details: +12507263500

Operating hours: 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve transforms into a dramatic wonderland during the winter, showcasing the untamed power of the Pacific Ocean. The park is a mosaic of three distinct regions: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. 

Long Beach boasts endless stretches of sandy shores, perfect for long walks or dramatic storm-watching. The Broken Group Islands offer a secluded escape. Finally, the West Coast Trail is a challenging 75-km backpacking adventure.

7. Glacier National Park


Address: Columbia-Shuswap, BC V0X 1R0, Canada

Contact details: +12508377500

Glacier National Park, a crown jewel of the Rocky Mountains, boasts dramatic scenery carved by glaciers. Over a thousand species of plants and animals thrive in the park, including iconic fauna like grizzly bears and mountain goats.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road, a scenic route traversing the park, offers incredible vistas without sweat. History buffs will love the charming historic lodges and chalets throughout the park.

8. Stanley Park


Address: Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada

Contact details: +16046816728

Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Spanning over 400 hectares, Stanley Park has towering trees, beautiful beaches, and scenic walking trails. Its forested trails wind through a remnant of coastal rainforest, with towering cedars, firs, and hemlocks creating a canopy overhead.  

The Brockton Point Lighthouse, built in 1878, is the oldest standing building in Vancouver. Scattered throughout the park are impressive First Nations totem poles, which share stories and the history of the indigenous people.

9. Gulf Islands National Park Reserve


Address: 195-203 Narvaez Bay Rd, Saturna, BC V0N 2Y0, Canada

Contact details: +18669441744

Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve protects a chain of 16 islands and over 30 islets, reefs, and surrounding waters. The park covers only 36 square kilometers, making it the sixth-smallest national park in Canada.

One of the things that makes the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve special is its Mediterranean-like climate. Sheltered by the mountains of Vancouver Island, the park enjoys dry, sunny summers and mild, wet winters. 

10. Pacific Spirit Regional Park


Address: 5495 Chancellor Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1E4, Canada

Contact details: +16042245739

Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Spanning over 874 hectares, Pacific Spirit boasts a diverse landscape with towering Douglas firs, serene beaches, and several creeks. The park’s rich ecosystem provides a habitat for various flora and fauna, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. 

Over 75 kilometers of trails wind through the park, offering options for all levels of hikers and cyclists. Several entrances scattered around the perimeter make public transportation or car access easy. 

11. Queen Elizabeth Park


Address: 4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2Z1, Canada

Contact details: +16048737000

Operating hours: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Queen Elizabeth Park is a 130-acre park on Little Mountain, Vancouver’s highest point. From the park, you can enjoy spectacular views of the city, the North Shore mountains, and the ocean.

The park is a horticultural jewel featuring a variety of stunning flower gardens, including the Rose Garden with over 3,000 roses, the Rhododendron Garden, and the seasonally changing display gardens. There’s also a quarry garden set in a former basalt quarry.

12. Lighthouse Park


Address: 4902 Beacon Ln, West Vancouver, BC V7W 1K5, Canada

Contact details: +16049257275

Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Lighthouse Park boasts the largest uncut rainforest remaining in the Lower Mainland—towering Douglas firs and Western Red Cedars carpet the 75-hectare park, creating a magical atmosphere.  

The show’s star is the Point Atkinson Lighthouse, a National Historic Site of Canada. Built in 1912, this white lighthouse with its red roof stands proudly at the park’s southern tip, guiding ships through the Burrard Inlet.

13. Deer Lake Park


Address: 5435 Sperling Ave, Burnaby, BC V5E 2L8, Canada

Contact details: +16042947450

The centerpiece of the park is Deer Lake, a 67-hectare lake that provides a scenic backdrop for walks, jogs, and bike rides. A walking path circles the entire lake, offering stunning views of the water and the surrounding forest.

The park is home to various plant and animal life, including ducks, geese, turtles, and even the occasional coyote or eagle. The wetlands around the lake provide nesting grounds for many birds, making it an excellent place for birdwatching.

14. Green Timbers Urban Forest


Address: 14600 Block of 100 Ave, Surrey, BC V3V 7Z2, Canada

Contact details: +16045015050

Green Timbers Urban Forest is known as the “Birthplace of Reforestation in British Columbia.” The park was once a towering forest covering 5,000 acres. 

Today, the Green Timbers Urban Forest encompasses over 452 acres of wetlands, glassy lakes, meadows, and nature trails, offering a second-growth forest teeming with life.

15. Kanaka Creek Regional Park


Address: 11484 256 St, Maple Ridge, BC V2W 1H1, Canada

Contact details: +16045304983

Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Kanaka Creek Park offers a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, even during winter. The park also provides crucial habitat for wildlife, including birds like eagles and owls, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts.

One of the highlights of Kanaka Creek Park in winter is the chance to witness the captivating Cliff Falls. Cascading down moss-covered rocks, the falls are even more dramatic with the added flow of winter rains. 

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