With majestic forests, towering mountains, infinite lakes and friendly culture, Canada meets the perfect criteria for road trips. However, with so much land to cover it is next to impossible to see it all in a reasonable time. So with a little of other’s recommendations, here are the best Canadian road trips to start you off in the right direction.
Cabot Trail – Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Starting our list off on a high note, the Cabot Trail is one of North America’s most toured roads. Linking ocean front views with dense forest all along a windy two-lane coastal highway. Travellers can comfortably complete this route in 5 days, leaving enough time to explore restaurants, BnB’s, trails and more. Popular activities along the route include kayaking/canoeing, whale watching, fishing, and plenty of festivals that run year round! The Cape Breton Island favourite will leave you breathless and wanting to return year after year.
Trans-Canada Highway – Canadian Provinces
Pick and choose where your road trip will take you, as this monstrous stretch of pavement extends some 7800 km (4860 mi). Passing through all of Canada’s 10 provinces, the Trans-Canada Highway is one of the longest routes of its type in the world. Officially opened in 1962, this road is able to get you all the way from Vancouver to St. John’s. As well, visiting TransCanadaHighway.com can yield several pre-plotted destinations, a customized trip planner and weekend trip schedules. This is the easiest way to see what Canada has to offer.
The Sea to Sky Highway – Squamish and Whistler, British Columbia
Another one of Canada’s most talked about spans of road – the Sea to Sky Highway is the backbone of many summer adventures in BC. Starting in Vancouver, the one to three day trip twists through incredible forests and mountains to line you up in Squamish. Optionally, travellers can continue through to Whistler, which is one of Canada’s top rated resort cities; and for good reason! With mountain biking, kayaking and skiing all available within this route, you should ensure you’re extra rested before travelling. For one of the best planned routes, we recommend HelloBC.com’s pre-planned road trip. Complete with detailed times and distances.
Chatham – Kent Corridor – Chatham – Kent, Ontario
This quaint Southern Ontario stretch has been on the upcoming for quite some time, with Reader’s Digest stating that they’re “gunning hard to become a top motorcycle-touring destination”. Full of historical and engaging sites, you will want to give yourself a couple of days to experience it all. For any travellers looking for suggested routes, the Chatham-Kent municipal website can help! Although their routes are created for motorcycle touring, classic car and daily drivers can still take advantage of the amazing scenery and unforgettable destinations.
Dempster Highway – Yukon and Northwest Territories
Starting about 40 km South of Dawson City, Yukon – the Dempster Highway is one of the true northern destinations on this list. Full of wildlife and breath-taking scenery, this trip is a true isolated experience. With little other travellers on these roads, drivers will be one with nature, potentially only sharing the road with a few rabbits and squirrels. However, drivers should be aware of the rapidly changing conditions and bring vehicles suited with all-wheel drive. To reduce issues, it is the safest to travel during the summer months (June to July). Nonetheless, drivers should expect flat tires, chipped windshields, and sunken sections of the highway. Given this, it is important to pack extra spare tires, as well as extra fuel. The Dempster Highway only has three gasoline stops across the 736 km stretch. While this road trip might not be for beginners, it certainly makes up for it with its exclusive landscapes that can only be seen in the Arctic Circle. Those looking for travel tips can find more information in this 52 page travelogue from the Yukon government.
Ice Fields – Alberta
The 232 km path of double-lane highway travels along the Continental Divide, providing tourists with jaw-dropping mountain peaks and depth-defying valleys. Another Canadian favourite, the Icefield parkway brings you close to over 100 glaciers, while opening up opportunities for visits to both Banff and Jasper National Park. But if you’re a person who likes to work on the go, note that the Icefield Parkway offers little to no cell reception. So just turn off and tune out your troubles while experiencing some of the most unique biomes of the country. For those looking for information on what to see and experience along this slice of heaven can read more at IcefieldsParkway.com.
Viking Trail – Newfoundland & Labrador
One of the most scenic drives in Canada, the Viking trail follows Newfoundland’s western coastline crossing a multitude of historical pit stops. This 526 km trip gives you a chance to visit Western Brook Pond, a breath-taking environmentally carved fjord with 2,000 feet high sides; take steps at L’Anse Aux Meadows, the first European settlement of North America; and grace Gros Morne National park, where geologists found trilobite fossils that helped prove the continental drift theory. Pair these unforgettable locations with the stellar cuisine of the East coast, and you have yourself a life changing road trip. If you want more tips on where to stop, visit Newfoundland & Labrador’s website for a peak of destinations along the Viking Trail.
So there you have it; some of the best road trips Canada has to offer. Let us know if there are any favourites that we missed, as we’re always excited to see something new! And as with any long distance travelling for vehicles, make sure that you are safe with flares, matches, blankets, simple tools, and the right insurance for wherever the road takes you.