Waterton Lakes National Park
#5 in Best National Parks in Canada
Though it’s the smallest national park in the Canadian Rockies, Waterton Lakes National Park manages to pack a lot of impressive sights within its nearly 124,800 acres. Situated in an unassuming corner of southwestern Alberta, Waterton Lakes borders Montana’s Glacier National Park and offers visitors jaw-dropping views of waterfalls, mountains, wildflowers and wildlife. Can’t-miss sights include the Chief Mountain lookout (where the park’s mountains seamlessly transition into the prairie), the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the paved Red Rock Parkway (which promises outstanding views of the park’s highest peak, Mount Blakiston).
Kootenay National Park
#6 in Best National Parks in Canada
If you want to experience the Canadian Rockies without the crowds, skip Banff and head just south to British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park. Radium Hot Springs is a draw for visitors keen on relaxing, while the Stanley Glacier appeals to those interested in seeing the Burgess Shale fossils. You’ll also find plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching, scenic drives and winter sports. No matter what you choose to do, be sure to save time for trekking the Marble Canyon Trail, which sits atop a limestone and dolomite canyon.