Canada's National Park Bucket List

In Summer 2011, The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and Parks Canada asked Canadians to share their dream experiences in the country’s national parks. Here are 100 of the dreams submitted by over 1,000 Canadians, in celebration of Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary.

Liste d’expériences à vivre dans les parcs nationaux du Canada

À l’été 2011, pour célébrer le 100e anniversaire de Parcs Canada, la SNAP et Parcs Canada ont fait appel aux Canadiens pour qu’ils partagent leurs expériences de rêve à vivre dans les parcs nationaux du pays. Voici les 100 rêves choisis parmi les 1000 rêves partagés.

I dream of waking up in a land where ringtones are replaced by singing birds, howling wolves, and powerful waterfalls; where traffic jams are replaced by a lone canoe on a serene river; and where the only business I have to attend is finding logs for an open, peaceful fire.

Brock Smith

I was blessed as a child with parents who knew the importance of children spending time in nature. I have the fondest memories of crossing Canada, camping in provincial and national parks. I’d love to offer this to my son.

Laurette McCormick

Airy. Énorme. Frais. Open. Magique. Tantalising. Tranquille. Endless. Plaisant. Rousing. Brumeux. Still. Authentique. Integrity. Cleansing. Pure. Soothing. Relaxant. Eternal. Indispensable. Relentless. Époustouflant. Captivating. Venteux. Magnificient. Sain. Playful. Holistic. Irréplacable. Canadian. Eh.

Damien Côté

My camera and I have clocked in countless kilometres on the road and on the trail. My goal is to one day extensively photograph all of the National Parks north of 60.

Brandon Pike

I want to reconnect with wilderness and the natural spaces that we are blessed with in Canada. We all need an occasional escape from the chaos of our daily lives. National parks provide us with the opportunity to reconnect with nature.

Brodie Thompson


To see Muskoxen, the remote arctic terrain, experience the midnight sun, follow in the footsteps of the early pioneers, walk the land where our northern people walk and truly understand and embrace the northern lifestyle & culture would not only change my life but enrich me, literally, forever.

Jennifer Luckay

Nothing matches mushing a team of dogs under the springtime sun on the Arctic Tundra. Traveling by dog team allows one to become part of the natural environment. My “Park Dream” is to mush the length of the Thompson River in Aulavik Park on Banks Island in April.

Anna-Sofia Johansson


No one but some furtive arctic hares, no sound but the happy trickle of water and the clump of our boots on the tundra. Huge granite peaks loom above, silhouetted against the blue sky and reflected in the still lake. We hike in the sunshine at 3am, perfectly happy.

Marlene Perrett

Hike through the remote Auyuittuq National Park, from Pangnirtung Ford at Cumberland Sound over Akshayuk Pass to Pangnitrung Ford at Davis Strait. While camping, exploring, and climbing granite peaks flanked by remote tundra, alpine flowers, glacial carved valleys, towering granite walls, and glorious scenery. All this during the migration season!

Shauna Morey


My dream involves stepping into images of Mt. Assiniboine and area I’ve seen in countless calendars, books, and reveries over the years. To actually walk those trails, breathe that air, majesty and awe a few hiking pole lengths away, the world a picture postcard for a few precious, forever hours.

Ben Murray

I dream of cycling the amazing Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper National Parks, enjoying the eye-popping scenery and fresh mountain air along the way.

Tim Landon

I have always dreamt about being that guy paddling across Lake Louise, the one we all see in the magazine pictures. Perfectly calm blue waters, breathtaking backdrop of snow covered mountains. I can only imagine his thoughts, with each one of his effortless strokes... A Proud Canadian!

Kevin Early

Bruce Peninsula

Snapping a Snapper, braving the Bruce, peeking at a Pileated, spotting a Spotted, surveying a Cerulean, gracing the Grotto, mesmerized by the Massasauga

Natalie Gray

I dream of the Bruce Peninsula; of hiking its trail end to end. Get lost in the abundance of caves; immerse myself under one of many water falls; smell the orchids growing alongside; spot an endangered Massasauga Rattle Snake. Viewing Tobermory’s harbour at sunset means it has come true!

Kelly Mercer

Cape Breton Highlands

I recall ambling our way around the Cabot Trail, taking in sunrises and sunsets, whale watching, and breathtaking scenery. I dream of taking my young son back to this amazing park, and having him experience the beauty and wonders that his parents witnessed, and still marvel at today!

Danielle Conrad

Exploring the Cape Breton Highlands and hiking the historic Cabot Trail would be the perfect start to my first ever exposure to Eastern Canada. To walk in the steps of those early explorers and experience the magnificent vistas as they once saw them is my dream mational park vacation.

D Stanyer

Elk Island

I would like to paddle and back pack Elk Island National Park, to view the Bison...

Roy Hoskins


We are so lucky to be able to see the forces of nature. I would love to see the power of the tides at Fundy.

Georgina Stone

Georgian Bay Islands

Sunny day, canoeing in Georgian Bay—finding a deserted island with some firewood, protection from the wind and a glorious campsite. A swim to cool off and a guiet, star filled night sleeping under the stars!

James Caven

I would like to visit the parks and landscapes that inspired the Group of Seven. They continue to inspire me and ignited my love for Canadian History. I would like to help my son appreciate bio/geodiversity & Canadian history just as my parents instilled in me.

Nicole Hornett


My dream is to hike in Glacier National Park surrounded by the mountains that make BC my ultimate favourite place. I want to sleep underneath the shadow of Illecillewaet Glacier and get lost in the views from places like the Mount Sir Donald trail. This is where peace is found.

Kathryn Smith


I dream of visiting Grasslands National Park. I’ll explore the park by horseback during the day, taking in the rich cultural history, the big sky and the abundant wildlife. At night, I’ll settle down under the dark sky watching shooting stars and breathing in the crisp prairie air.

Theresa Piorkowski

Heading out into the windswept Two Tree Trail at Grasslands, the trail meandered out over the vast waving grasses. Heaven. Coming across mule deers hoping off in the underbrush along the Frenchman’s River as the birds scream at as overhead. Solitude.

Cecile Mutton

Gros Morne

Backcountry camping in Gros Morne. Human vacancy. Moose on my mind. Awake at dawn to hike the Long Range Traverse. Afternoon nap on rock outcrops atop GM Mtn. Smell of pine and

salty air. Essentials: camera & journal. Non-essentials: watch & wallet. Double rainbow.

Rich Caccamo

Ever since I began my geology education, I have dreamed of travelling kilometers down into the crust to see the earth’s mantle. At Gros Morne I could actually stand on the Moho! I would relish the opportunity to travel to Newfoundland and experience the geology and stunning landscape first hand.

Melanie Regehr

Gulf Islands

Cruising the myriad islands of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in a kayak and pulling up beside an awe-inspiring pod of orcas. Paddling, camping and discovering a marine wonderland for 7 straight days. That would be a dream come true!

Monica Tanaka

Enjoying the waves and all of nature as I paddle through the Gulf Islands with my closest friends. The peace and solitude will bring us closer to each other and the world around us.

Stefan Farrow

Gwaii Haanas

Set up camp on a rocky beach bordered by water, forest, and cliffs. Wake up from the water slowly rolling in and out. Pack up the campsite into kayaks and set off. Paddle out towards the first rays of the day; revealing a beautiful sunrise as we round the cliff.


My dream as an artist is to be able to travel through the Gwaii Hannas as Emily Carr did, painting, sketching, and photographing the remnants of the magnificent Haida villages and to see the incredible landscape firsthand. Hopefully one day this dream will be a reality.

Anna Ripmeester

I dream of kayaking with orcas in Gwaii Haanas National Park. As someone born in beautiful BC, I have not yet had the chance to explore Haida Gwaii and discover another majestic part of our province and country, so rich in natural beauty and true Canadian culture.

Rebecca Abernethy


I long to stand and watch a herd of caribou making their way across the tundra. The birthing ground of the Porcupine caribou herd is also the home to a wonderful river, the Firth; a place I long to visit. I hope to one day wander in Ivvavik National Park.

Marilyn Kelly-McArthur

Razorbills and puffins diving into the Atlantic off Terra Nova. Hiking among towering Sitka Spruce along Pacific Rim’s West Coast Trail. The great migration of Ivvavik’s Porcupine Caribou Herd, and bowhead whales swimming in the Beaufort Sea. To see the full expanse of Canada, from sea, to sea, to sea.

Tom Habib


I would like to experience the beauty of the Rockies in the fall with the changing colours, abundant wildlife, emerald water, numerous waterfalls, and crisp clear air. My dream is to hike and just enjoy the beauty of this country.

David Richardson

The sounds of the tent zipper opening. Overlooking the lake that is as calm as a sheet of glass. Hearing that one Loon calling through the light morning fog along the water. Feeling like the the only person in the world. That is my little bit of peace and solitude.

Kathy Perrier


Recipe: My two daughters, a river, a canoe, a kayak and a week without insects. It would be a blast to slowly/quickly, slowly/quickly make our way down the river, taking the time to enjoy our surroundings, the food and the company.

David Wilson

To know the sound of a loon and the feel of my canoe on the Kejimkujik waters. Appreciating that I follow the paddle strokes of the first peoples, and hoping I precede many more. Feeling infinitely Canadian.

Samantha Jackson


My park dream is to experience the earth and water in Kluane Park by spending 8 – 10 days backpacking the Donjek Route and then spending 3 – 4 days rafting the Alsek River to the Lowell Glacier—experiencing both the high country and the spectacular Alsek River :)

Ron Davidson

“An arduous backpacking journey on the Cottonwood Trail through the wilds of Kluane. The chance to eavesdrop on the lives of wild creatures and celebrate them with my Nikon. Chilly mornings, blissfully exhausting days, and crisp evenings under a sky afire with northern lights and an explosion of stars. “

Jody McMurray

Watching the northern lights in all their splendour, and all the shimmering colours of the living sky.

Imran Hayat


Une randonnée en été dans le parc Kootenay. Quelques nuages moutonnent dans le ciel et les montagnes en panorama. Ma copine et moi nous avons fait une halte au bord de la rivière avec les pieds dans l’eau et la douce brise nous apporte les odeurs de conifères.

Jerome Savoie

Sometimes, while working in the office cubicle, I close my eyes and dream of climbing up a volcano somewhere in BC. I wish I could feel a link there to my home planet and see such a magnificent view, which I was only been able to see on photos before.

Artem Starikov

It’s about emerging from the tent at dawn and catching the first rays of golden sunlight that silhouette the Rockies as they breach the peak or the misty blues that swirl through Marble Canyon or the vibrant mosaic of wildflowers that breathe life to the lowlands. This true wilderness inspires.

Tyler Plante

My park dream is to have enough courage to slide down a waterfall.

Alyssa Soledad


The oars dip in to glass like water, as our canoe meanders the ancient waterway. An occasional breeze of salty ocean air tickles the back of sun warmed necks as the sky above us darkens and our Kouchibouguac lodestar pierces the dusk and guides us to shore.

Arne Fulton

Kouchibouguac, wearing my swimsuit, shades, sunscreen and sweat. Walking boardwalk, dreaming, picnic, chairs, parasols. The beach... covered in jellies, no place to walk! My sister, “Pick it up.” Over the sand dune. The sea. Hit the surf, build amazing sand-castle... Leave the lagoon for the jellyfish.

Jennifer Van Horne

La Mauricie

Sur la rivière, je vois le reflet des montagnes. Juste au-dessus de ma tête, un aigle pêcheur. Il plonge juste devant mon kayak et ressort triomphant d’une superbe truite grise. Privilégiée que je suis.

Vicky Montour

Deux petits humains bien protégés dans leur veste de sauvetage qui naviguerons sur notre canot. Nous pagayerons vers un campement primitif sur le lac Edouard. Ils pourront entendre le chant des huards. Un petit rêve tout simple pour que mes enfants ressentent la nature de leur pays.

Clémence Trilling

Mingan Archipelago

Beaucoup de route pour arriver aux Îles Mingan, un endroit de rêve. Au menu : une randonnée de kayak, mangé du fucus, vu des baleines, des macareux et nous avons aussi réussi à perdre les clés du camion! Visiter l’Île Nue nous a fait revivre plein de moments du film.

Annie-Pier Rondeau

Visiting the limestone islands of the Mingan Archipelago and spending time amongst monoliths and cliffs, witness fossils from the time life first began, while enjoying the wildlife that currently resides there (including puffins!), would be something I would never forget!

leanne heisler

My dream would be to kayak the 24-mile-long western portion of the Mingan Archipelago, from Longue-Point-de-Mingan to Havre-Saint-Pierre. To see an Atlantic puffin and the beautiful [limestone] landforms and hoodoos. I’ve never seen the [Gulf of St.Lawrence]. This would be a dream come true.

Kaya Downs

Mount Revelstoke

I dream of standing on the edge of a mountain with the world spread out below me. Nothing but blue water, fantastic rocky vistas and lush greenery. To be up there on the Edge of the World would feel like looking down from heaven.

Carly Green

Snow capped peaks in July. Waking to the smell of pine in the tent. Coffee with 80 million year old companions. Grizzly eyes locked on my own, offering the gift to appreciate life fully. Blisters deciding when the hike is over. Dinner with heavenly bodies overhead.

Mark Maguire


My valley is Ottawa’s Rideau Canal, traffic is my music. I long to travel the four canyons at Nahanni, to be lulled to sleep by the melodies of Virginia Falls, sharing the land with the flora and the fauna in whose roofless home I sojourn, for a brief while.

Lai Tan U

To paddle the Nahanni River in my red canoe; to feel its currents wash over the hull and lap my paddle; to feel on my face the mists of roaring cataracts; to tent by the water’s side; and to dream under Nahanni skies by the serenade of the water’s song.

James Carruthers

Looking up at the sheer and aesthetically wonderful walls of the Cirque of the Unclimables on the NWT-Yukon border has always been a special dream of mine.

Laura Coleman

Dropped into Nahanni by floatplane, I would... visit the tufa mounds at RabbitKettle Hotsprings. I would watch for the Northern Lights and listen for the thunder of Virginia Falls and if I’m lucky, the ghosts of Willie and Frank McLeod just might make an appearance.

Tim Music

I would love to experience the thrill of white water rafting down the South Nahanni River with my husband. I can picture us bundled up in our life jackets, the spray of the white water in the air, paddles splashing into the waves as we navigate the rapids.

Hillary Sharpe

As kids, my dad would tell us about his adventures in the Nahanni Valley in the 1950’s when he was just 18 years old, including the night he saw the ghost in the Headless Valley. He died without my kids knowing him - my gift to them: exploring Nahanni.

Terry Pratt

Pacific Rim

Watching whales and seals from the Rainforest beaches of Pacific Rim National Park. Sitting on cedar driftwood to watch the tides go out and the shore birds come in to feed.

Emily Rondel

Trekking along the Pacific Rim... watching the waves crash on the rock formed centuries ago, and watching for seals while meandering in and out of the magical rainforest, while keeping an eye out for bears feasting on the island’s copious berry populations.

Taryn Scammell

Point Pelee

Dans ce parc je pourrai réaliser une de mes rêves les plus chers: observer de nouveaux oiseaux.Selon mes amis ornithologues cette région est un endroit unique en Amérique du Nord pour l’observation de nos amis aîlés car il est une halte migratoire. importante pour les oiseaux migrateurs.

martine dufour

I imagine myself laying on soft beach sand soaking up the sun after a long but experiential day of birding and biking. I would love to see a Pronthonatary Warbler or Blue Racer and ofcourse I would have to sample some Merlot from the local wineries!

Judy Marsh

Prince Albert

I dream about the hike to Grey Owl’s Cabin on Ajawaan Lake in Prince Alberta National Park. This quiet hike to the home of a pioneer of the Canadian conservation movement, is walking into the heart of a forest to understand the heart of a movement.

Maggie McBride

The day starts off at 6AM. I take in some early morning fishing at Waskesiu lake. Later in the day I hike up to Grey Owls cabin. Evening arrives and I sit back at Beaver Glen Campground and enjoy a few beers and watch the stars at dark before bed.

Cory Krip

Prince Edward Island

In my dream i’m standing on PEI’s red sandstone cliffs. To have the wind blowing my hair, the ocean blowing me kisses, and having the sun smile down at me. It’s wonderful to have dreams..even more wonderful to live it.

Thuy Nguyen

I’d love to see the dunes in PEI—fragile, red and unique. My dream day would be spent breathing the fresh Ocean air and walking down one of the park’s boardwalk hikes. I would cozy up by the fire as I watch the stars on the Eastern coast until sunrise.

Anna Loza


My Park Dream is to hike the Coastal Trail in Pukaskwa National Park.The scenery is stunning, so wild. Mighty Lake Superior , the landlocked ocean , looms larger than any mountain. Thundering waves, aboriginal history and howling wolves... that’s for me !!!

Mackie Care

The 60km Coastal Hiking Trail in Pukaskwa NP has been a dream for a number of years. With new suspension bridges in place, it’s time to make it a reality by conquering the longest trail in Ontario’s only national wilderness park.

Dave Hunt


Exploring the vast snows and glaciers in “the land that never melts” while reconnecting with wildlife still free of human influence. To experience the history of our native people on the top of the world - present in the ground, water, ice and shimmering auroras—is truly a dream.

Rahul Mehta

Visiting Ellesmere Island’s Quttinirpaaq National Park would be the trip of a lifetime: trekking river valleys around Tanquary Fjord; viewing glaciated vistas from the summit of Barbeau Peak; standing on Ward Hut Island with nothing but ocean between me and the north pole. It would be an amazing northern experience!

Ben Parsons

Simply put, my dream is to sit on top of the world and watch the sun circle me without ever setting while I gaze into the vast beauty that is Canada’s far north. A place where material possessions have no relevance whatsoever.

Corey Kanzig

Riding Mountain

All our family would get together again for a hike on the Gorge Trail in Riding Mountain. Would we get as wet and muddy like we did as kids..sliding down the shale to the creek?


Leslie Ternowetsky

A midnight hike to the campsite. A daytime hike to the lake. Surprise snow on the trail. Whiskey Jacks, Marmots, bear tracks, and wolf packs. A weekend that hit the head on the nail.

Ronald Singzon

Untouched prairies, woodland forests, streams, lakes, marshes, bison, elk, moose, deer, birds, wolves, bears, beaver. Spending a year living in the park and learning about the rich and diverse habitat and animals that make Riding Mountain national Park their home would equal bliss. That would be my dream Park Vacation.

Jenna Alexander


Looking into the eye of a polar bear under the blazing aurora borealis in Sirmilik National Park.


St. Lawrence Islands

Le ciel y est toujours bleu, tout comme l’eau. Car mon parc de rêve est marin. Les bélugas s’y dorent la couenne et les saumons y sont sauvages. Les enfants plongent dans ses vagues, sous le regard doux de leurs parents. Mon parc marin vogue, vague et vit pour toujours.

Sophie Paradis

Terra Nova

2km portage through the woods to get to a calm river. The calm lasted 500m to to the first drop of many. Finally finishing at the ocean.

Clifton Pratt

The Earth is hot and I can smell the pine needles baking in the sun. Sky and Earth lose distinction in the discourse of senses. Holding eternity in a moment. Endless peace.



My dream is to follow the ghost winds of Torngat, across cold, deep blue fjords, hands reaching out to my friend, the minke whale, racing up Mt. Caubvick, searching, for not the caribou, but a hope, through barren rock, a hope, a yellow poppy smiling out at me, whispering, “Paradise”.

Stephanie Law

Admiratrice des montagnes et de la faune nordique, je serai comblée que lorsque j’aurai vécu une randonnée dans les monts Torngat... Terre printanière d’un troupeau de caribou des plus fascinants... et où se trouve le plus haut sommet du Labrador, le mont Caubvik.

Solène Tremblay-Gendron

Imaginez passer une semaine en ski hors piste. Je rêve d’une belle nuit de pleine lune, sans vent pour profiter du reflet de la lune sur la neige et avancer tranquillement sans lumière artificielle et même atteindre un sommet juste à temps pour le lever du soleil.

Amélie Richard


Je rêve de voir, sous le soleil de notre dernière journée de trekking qui s’endort, la mise à bas d’une des grandes hardes de caribous, sur les terres sauvages et reculées de Tuktut Nogait.

Jérémie Bourdages

Being woken by the vibrations made by a herd of caribou passing by my tent, followed by a hot cup of cowboy coffee and a smile from my sweetheart who just experienced the same thing (and then made the coffee).

Amber Cowie

Above the tree line
Explore our northern beauty
By paddle or foot
See ancient tent rings
Follow the oldest paths
Back through history
Float down a river
Act as witness to its course
Through the rustic north
Past rough cut rock heads
Empty into the arctic
Pristine esthetic

Blair Trelinski


I would love to stay in a cabin with my partner in this northern park and enjoy the beautiful country.

David Roy

I want to spend a late July afternoon, reclining on the tundra,out of the brisk barrens wind, watching three polar bears swim across Wager Bay and reflect on Farley Mowat and a bleached caribou skull.

Duane West


I have wanted to visit Vuntut National Park for a while now as it is a relatively new National Park that remains fairly untouched. Though I have not been there, the beauty of the Yukon has captured me and Vuntut has got to be one of Canada’s hidden gems.

Travis Kelter

I have always wanted to travel to Old Crow Flats in northern Yukon. Where my mother’s family traveled and lived way befor i was born. i would like my children to learn where their family was and what they did way out there in the wilderness.”

ruth wright


Paddling down the Owl River in Wapusk National Park with amazing scenery transitioning from boreal forest to subarctic tundra, all without having to do a single portage!

Ron Bazin

My Parks Canada dream is to visit Wapusk National Park in February and watch polar bear moms and cubs exit their winter dens. With the planet changing and the arctic changing fastest of all, this experience may never be more than a dream to future inhabitants of our planet...

Rosie Smith

Waterton Lakes

Je rêve de retourner dans les Rocheuses et d’explorer de nouvelles randonnées, notamment Waterton Lakes National Park où nous n’avons pu nous rendre faute de temps. Belles Rocheuses !!!

Chantale Belhumeur

My dream trip of a 5 day horse pack trip on the continental divide came true. The cliffs looking down into Waterton Lakes National Park, traveling through Honeymoon Gulch with meters of snow and then riding the switchbacks down from Sage Pass to Twin Lakes and out via Avion Ridge.

Wendy Ryan

Kayaking the length of Waterton lake in my mind Canada’s most beautiful park, and least crowded for all the mountain parks. Returning to supper on the shore of the lake.

Steve Rice

Wood Buffalo

My park dream would be to visit the Bisons with my fiancée!

Axel Schulz

My favourite summers growing up were those spent canoe camping. I am now a veterinarian doing graduate studies, and finding the time and money for long canoe trips is challenging. My dream is to visit my favourite wildlife species, the wood bison, by canoe!

Taya Forde


To hike the Yuckness Trail with my own kids and look down hundreds of feet to the emerald waters of Lake O’Hara. I have a vivid memory of hiking there with my amazing parents, wearing old sneakers and yellow vinyl raincoats...

Ami Haworth

Vagabonder entre des montagnes au passé grandiose, trébucher joyeusement entre les variations de bleu infini, emplir mes poumons de l’air purifiée par la beauté de ces arbres matures...

Isabelle Leclerc

Ever since reading Stephen Jay Gould’s Wonderful Life I’ve wanted to hike to the fossil beds of the Burgess Shale. I’ve always been fascinated with living natural history and it would be fantastic to be able to hike to this very special place.

Dave Ingram

CPAWS is Canada’s voice for wilderness. Since 1963 we’ve led in creating over two-thirds of Canada’s protected areas. That amounts to about half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory! Our vision is that Canada will protect at least half of our public land and water. As a national charity with 13 chapters, 40,000 supporters and hundreds of volunteers, CPAWS works collaboratively with governments, local communities, industry and indigenous peoples to protect our country’s amazing natural places. We’re also on guard to ensure that our parks are managed to protect the nature within them. Learn more at

La SNAP est la plus importante organisation à but non lucratif de protection de la nature en territoire public au Canada. Depuis notre fondation en 1963, nous avons joué un rôle capital dans la protection de plus de 45 million d'hectares de nos précieux espaces sauvages au pays - une superficie atteignant presque sept fois l'envergure de la Nouvelle-Écosse! Notre organisation compte 13 sections régionales à travers le pays et un bureau national à Ottawa, avec des centaines de bénévoles passionnés et préoccupés par la conservation du territoire public. De plus, nous agissons comme chef de file au niveau national et provincial/territorial dans l'établissement d'aires protégées pour la conservation de la nature. Pour plus d'information visitez