7 Concepts for a Memorable Highway Journey in Canada


Highway journeys are particular—they might not be for each sort of traveller, however being out on the open highway virtually all the time ensures a memorable expertise, particularly in Canada. Whether or not you’re on the highway for only a day or driving from coast to coast, there’s all the time a solution to create a highway journey itinerary that can fit your time and finances. All you really want to take with you’re a few necessities: a car, a map or GPS (non-obligatory for the courageous), a highway journey survival package, some fuel cash, a unfastened plan for meals and lodging, and naturally, travel insurance.

Naturally, Canada rewards highway trippers with unobstructed sights of landscapes that most individuals solely get to see in travel magazines and different media. It’s a type of distinctive locations on the earth whereby the journey simply turns into the vacation spot. So if you happen to’ve by no means step foot in Canada, or have solely ever flown round from airport to airport, there’s doubtless no higher introduction to the nation’s magnificent surroundings and breathtaking expanse than occurring a tour whereas within the driver’s (or passenger’s) seat. Time to hit the highway!

From far and extensive, O Canada

Like we proudly sing in our nationwide anthem, Canada is a rustic with huge longitudinal attain. Bordering not one, however three oceans, whereas spanning a complete space of over 9.9 million km2, the second-largest nation on the earth yields loads of room for folks to discover—no matter it’s they’re hoping to search out right here. Be it metropolitan Canada or backcountry Canada (or one thing in between), every of the ten provinces and three territories invite explorers with their wealth of tradition and pure magnificence. 

Tip: With 2017 marking Canada’s 150th anniversary, you’ll be able to simply refill your itinerary with many occasions throughout the nation that commemorate the sesquicentennial. Parks Canada, for one, is making a gift of free Discovery Passes for admission into nationwide parks all 12 months spherical.

Furthermore, Canada’s geography is analogously as various as its folks—it’s a concord of pure landforms that embrace boreal forests, mountains and cordilleras, valleys and lowlands, prairies and plains, glaciers and ice fields, islands and peninsulas, rivers and lakes, and lots of others. A drive or stroll amongst these will definitely depart you with a lingering sense of awe. Should you’re a customer, listed below are some nice ideas for outside lovers to plan round Canada’s landscapes and uncover them all through the seasons.

Canadian outdoors National Park
Having fun with the good open air, in areas akin to Nationwide Parks, is an enormous a part of Canadian tradition

Home travel inside Canada can show to be somewhat little bit of a problem, even for locals. Relying on the time of the 12 months, a direct flight from Vancouver to Halifax, and even Toronto, can price travellers as a lot as a long-haul flight abroad. Possibly that’s why it’s surprisingly frequent to satisfy Canadians overseas who’ve by no means even seen different components of their very own nation!

Planning your nice Canadian highway journey

So then there’s the highway: a seemingly limitless community of routes and potentialities that can take you to your required vacation spot. Maybe essentially the most well-known of those is the Trans-Canada Freeway: operating west to east from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, NL, the freeway is 7,821km lengthy, making it one of many longest steady roadways on the earth. This raises apparent however legitimate questions like, wright here do I even begin? Nevertheless it’s precisely this extensive set of selections that makes a highway journey throughout Canada so interesting to many.

Tip: Figuring out logistics like timeframe, various routes, mode of transportation (reserving a automotive rental vs renting an RV can prevent cash, relying in your travel wants) are all a part of the method—simply don’t neglect about rental automotive protection insurance!

Planning a highway journey in Canada, very similar to wherever else that includes some further mileage, takes a little bit of effort and time. However earlier than that, it is best to first resolve on the place you wish to go and what you’d prefer to see and expertise. Loads of literal and proverbial roads in Canada will lead you to nice issues like nationwide and provincial parks, marine conservation areas, nationwide historic landmarks, cultural websites, native points of interest and numerous hidden gems alongside the way in which.

road map road trip planning
Planning the logistics of a highway journey has all the time been a part of the enjoyable; nowadays there are many apps and instruments on-line that may add to your expertise

And similar to driving again residence in your city or metropolis, something can occur whereas getting from level A to level B. You may be essentially the most law-abiding defensive driver on the highway, however you’ll be able to’t all the time account for different highway customers, unpredictable climate patterns or shock wildlife encounters (in lots of components of Canada, this can be a critical concern). So whether or not you’re a Canadian travelling out of your private home province or a customer to Canada, having travel insurance can actually pave a easy highway in the direction of your personal peace of thoughts.

Enjoyable highway journey concepts in Canada

Whereas scenic coastal drives alongside the Pacific or alpine excursions via the Canadian Rockies might instantly come to thoughts, you can be lacking out on different equally-grand adventures if you happen to don’t discover your choices! The 7 highway journey concepts beneath are under no circumstances an exhaustive checklist, however merely an introduction to what’s in retailer for the highway traveller.

Tip: The most effective time to go highway tripping in Canada is from Could to October. That’s a six-month window to plan your journey inside—it’s a great way to get pleasure from summer time climate and possibly catch some autumn foliage, but additionally a sensible solution to keep away from harsh winter driving circumstances in lots of components of the nation.

Gold Rush Path, BC

gold rush trail bc route
Current-day Barkerville Historic City & Park has over 107 preserved heritage buildings and spans over 1,130 acres of land, with greater than sufficient campsites to accommodate the 50,000+ travellers that come by yearly.

It will take you again in time to an period marked by gold fever, essentially the most celebrated of which was the Cariboo Gold Rush within the 1860s. Beginning in New Westminster, you’ll be able to cease at over a dozen heritage cities as you make your method up north to the city of Barkerville, which was as soon as the epicentre of the BC gold rush and these days preserved as a Nationwide Historic Website.

Icefields Parkway, AB

Usually considered one of many prime scenic drives on the earth, this high-altitude, 232km-long drive meanders via the pure majesty of each Banff and Jasper Nationwide Parks, whereas Columbia Icefield—some of the accessible for its measurement in North America—borders the 2 common parks.

rockies road trip icefields parkway
A chicken’s eye view of the Columbia Icefields Centre and Athabasca Glacier, one of many Canadian Rockies’ largest points of interest. The tounge of the Athabasca Glacier drops down from the Colubmia Icefield, located over the continental divide.

Though sometimes busy within the wintertime, the great thing about the Banff-Jasper area may also be captured throughout fall foliage season (from late September to October), when the leaves dramatically change from one vivid color to the following.

Magdalen Islands (Îles de la Madeleine), QC

Though the province is understood for its historic districts and townships, this distant gem (it is nearer to the Maritime provinces than mainland Quebec, in any case) is well worth the go to. A five-hour ferry experience from Souris, PEI will take you to this pristine peninsula, the place you’ll discover its distinct rust-red sandstone cliffs shaped over thousands and thousands of years. You may take a leisurely drive on the 85km-long highway that connects the six largest islands of the archipelago.

iles de la madeleine east coast road trip
A light-weight mist travels inland from the Magdalen Islands’ distinct pink sandstone shores.

Nonetheless, if you happen to’re solely planning to cross via the Quebec mainland, be sure you try these 4 season-specific points of interest in Quebec Metropolis, a spot proudly full of tradition and character.

Fundy Coastal Drive, NB

: Travellers visit the famous Hopewell Rocks during low tide, on the shores of the Bay of Fundy near Moncton, NB.
: Travellers go to the well-known Hopewell Rocks throughout low tide, on the shores of the Bay of Fundy close to Moncton, NB.

This route mixes heritage with coastal surroundings, the spotlight of which takes you alongside the Bay of Fundy, which is legendary for having the biggest tidal vary on the earth. This implies the distinction between excessive and low tides can exceed 50ft (15m) inside the span of half a day! It’s additionally a spot to find pre-historic fossils, gems and minerals hidden amongst caves and rock formations.

Cabot Path, NS

Named after the explorer John Cabot, who landed in Atlantic Canada greater than 500 years in the past, this ever-popular drive takes you on a 300km loop round most of Cape Breton Island. Probably the most breathtaking views will be loved on the northern portion of the loop, as you end up winding via Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park. And like Icefields Parkway, a go to in the course of the fall months will show to be a vibrant feast for the eyes.

road trip cape breton national park
The Skyline Path on the western fringe of Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park provides hikers elevated views of the Atlantic horizon.

It is best to take just a few days to completely soak in Nova Scotia’s go-to vacation spot, however if you happen to’re actually pressed for time, see how one can discover Cape Breton Island in a single day!

Gros Morne Nationwide Park, NL

Famend for its geological wonders like dramatic fjords, barren plateaus, steep highlands and glacial lakes, the park is an out of doors adventurist’s playground. However a easy highway tour via this UNESCO World Heritage Website may also be a rewarding deal with, even if you happen to’re not planning to camp or hike via it.

gros morne road trip
The Pissing Mare Falls stand at 350 metres excessive and empty out into Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne Nationwide Park.

After Gros Morne, pay a go to to a Viking website at L’Anse aux Meadows or rejoice Christmas in July or interact in different issues to do in Newfoundland.

Dempster Freeway, YK & NWT

As the one all-season freeway to cross the Arctic Circle, this highway connects Yukon and the Northwest Territories. On the Yukon finish you’ll discover Dawson Metropolis, as soon as the epicentre of the world-famous Klondike Gold Rush, and on the opposite, you’ll discover the city of Inuvik. And in between? About 740km of rugged gravel highway (which helps to guard the permafrost) and open-air views of unspoiled northern magnificence!

dempster highway road trip
The gravel roads of the Dempster Freeway are designed to face up to the extraordinary bodily circumstances the climate and different pure and artifical parts carry forth.

Yukon has so much to supply by way of journey and even a little bit of rest—you simply should know the place to look. Discover issues to do in Canada’s Wild North.

Tip: To this point, there are 18 UNESCO World Heritage Websites in Canada, a few of that are total parks that span thousands and thousands of acres whereas others are man-made, culturally-significant institutions. With the nation’s infrastructure being probably the greatest on the earth, many of those are simply accessible to travellers.

The ‘great Canadian road trip’, although not as typically referenced in common tradition as its American counterpart, will be as epic as you need it to be. Travelling in Canada by automotive affords you perks that industrial air or rail travel merely can’t, specifically, the liberty to resolve your route and your tempo, at your personal whim. The perks of navigating the twists and turns of your journey can’t be overstated, both—in any case, the facility to make an unplanned detour and be met with nice, sudden discoveries whereas on the highway fittingly rests within the traveller’s palms (normally within the type of a steering wheel).

Have you ever been on a Canadian highway journey? What was your expertise like? Share your tales and suggestions beneath!

Benefit from the highway forward,