Dear International Travelers, there’s more to Canada than the Rocky Mountains

by voyageurtripper

I can completely understand why everyone loves the Rocky Mountains. They’re incredible. I jump at every opportunity I have to cross the country and visit them myself. But I find it crazy when international travelers (or even Canadians themselves) check Canada off their bucket list after only visiting the Rocky Mountains. Canada is a huge country – its land mass is about equivalent to ALL OF EUROPE.

I’ve already seen and experienced a lot of Canada myself, but there are still so many destinations on my bucket list! So for both the international travelers and Canadians reading this, here are some Canada trip ideas that aren’t the Rocky Mountains.

I get it, okay? The Rocky Mountains are objectively beautiful. I’m just saying there are other beautiful areas in Canada as well!


Do a Canoe Trip in Ontario

If you know me at all, you knew I was going to list canoeing in Ontario as my first trip recommendation. Ontario get’s a pretty bad reputation (likely because it’s synonymous with the Greater Toronto Area which is a place you probably don’t want to visit). But just a few hours north is the Canadian Shield with its network of lakes and windswept pines and granite hill tops.

If you want to experience a taste of wilderness, come to Canada for a week long canoe trip in either Algonquin Provincial Park or Killarney Provincial Park. Both of these destinations are a reasonable driving distance from Toronto Pearson Airport and have services and outfitters to get you set up with all the equipment you’ll need. If you need help or advice for planning your first canoe trip, please send me a message and I’ll help you get started!

Need more inspiration? Read on:

Where to hike, camp and paddle in Central Ontario

Beginner’s Guide to Canoe Tripping

A canoe trip is a classic Canadian activity and not to be missed!

The beautiful Thunderhouse Falls is only accessible by canoe.

Take a Road Trip to the Yukon

You can actually drive to the Yukon from Calgary or Vancouver. It’ll take you a long time, but you can do it and I hear it’s a beautiful drive. Alternatively, you can fly into the Yukon and start your road trip from there. Once you’re in the Yukon, there are places to paddle, opportunities for hiking and you may even see the northern lights.

I unfortunately have not made it out to Yukon myself, however my friends at Off Track Travel have and they absolutely loved their adventure there. Check out their photos below.

Need more inspiration? Read on:

The Greatest Canada Road Trip: Rockies to the Yukon

7 Reasons You Must Road Trip in Yukon

Many opportunities for wildlife spotting in the Yukon. Taken by Off Track Travel. Click on the photo to read more about their trip.

There’s also tons of hiking in the Yukon. Taken by Off Track Travel. Click on the photo to read more about their trip.

Join an Arctic Safari in Nunavut

Nunavut is the largest and most underrated area in Canada. There are a few ways to best experience the territory. If you have a smaller budget, plan a trip to the capital city, Iqaluit. Among many other activities, you can go kayaking amidst icebergs, snow mobile on the frozen arctic ocean, and hike on the tundra. If you have a larger budget, I’d recommend joining a remote arctic safari with an outfitter like Arctic Kingdom or Weber Arctic. Follow the caribou migration, witness polar bear cubs on the sea ice, kayak near beluga, heli-ski on a glacier – the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Need more inspiration? Read on:

The reality of arctic tourism, as explained by the youngest explorer to the North Pole

North of the Arctic Circle: A look inside a remote Arctic Basecamp

5 Reasons to Visit Canada’s Most Underrated Territory (and how to do it affordably)

This photo is by Weber Arctic, taken at their eco-lodge Arctic Haven. Click on the photo for more information about spotting caribou in autumn!

Kayaking with icebergs in Nunavut – one of the coolest experiences of my life!

Canoe Expedition in the Northwest Territories

Some of Canada’s most incredible rivers are in the Northwest Territories, and you can join a guided canoe expedition even if you don’t have a lot (or any!) paddling experience. Black Feather and Canoe North Adventures both offer guided trips on some of the best paddling rivers in Canada, like the Nahanni and the Coppermine. While I can’t speak to this experience first hand (mainly because they are super expensive), I’ll hopefully be able to in the near future as my dad and I are planning on paddling the Nahanni River next summer – it’s at the very top of his Bucket List!

Need more inspiration? Read on:

Guided canoe expeditions with Canoe North Adventures

There’s is world class paddling in the Northwest Territories for all skill levels. Photo by Canoe North Adventures. Click the photo for more information about their trips.

Many rivers take you through stunning mountain scenery. Photo by Canoe North Adventures. Click the photo for more information about their trips.

Road Trip through the Dramatic Landscapes of Newfoundland & The Maritimes

When I was young, my family and I did a road trip through the Northeastern United States and the Maritime Provinces and it was absolutely stunning. The Maritime Provinces include Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Here you’ll find colourful wooded houses, kayaking with the highest tides in the world, fantastic hiking, icebergs and more. To illustrate just how beautiful these provinces are, I’ve borrowed a few photos from one of my all time favourite photographers, Zach Baranowski.

Need more inspiration?

The Greatest Canada Road Trip – Quebec and Atlantic Canada

Visiting Newfoundland and Labrador

Icebergs break off of Greenland and make their way south, passing by Newfoundland on the way. Taken by Zach Baranowski. Click the photo to see more of his work.

Colourful houses are the norm on the East Coast! Taken by Zach Baranowski. Click the photo to see more of his work.

Adventures on the West Coast

When I talk to people about visiting British Columbia, a lot of people circle back to the Rocky Mountains. While British Columbia does have the Rocky Mountains, it also has the Coastal Mountains (home to Whistler), Vancouver Island (amazing surf) and Haida Gwaii (magical island of coastal rainforest). And, of far as cities go, Vancouver itself is an amazing place to be. You can’t really go wrong with a visit to the West Coast!

Need more inspiration?

The Greatest Canada Road Trip – The Rockies to the BC Coast

Go Haida Gwaii (official tourism site)

4-day Vancouver Island Road Trip

There are many opportunities for spotting wildlife in Haida Gwaii. Photo from Go Haida Gwaii. Click on the photo for more information.

Tofino is a beautiful destination on Vancouver Island. Photo taken from In A Faraway Land. Click on the image for more information.

So what are you waiting for?

Feeling inspired yet? There are so many incredible places to visit in Canada – do not limit yourself to the Rocky Mountains. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know. I’d be happy to help you in your trip planning process!

Oh hello there! It’s me, just spending some time in beautiful British Columbia!

Note: This post contains a lot of outbound links to other guiding companies. I have not been compensated to write about them or link to their websites. These are companies/organizations either I have experienced myself or my friends have experience with.

Note: Cover image taken by the talented Zach Baranowski.

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