When it comes to national parks, Canada is truly spoiled — we have 38 national parks, nine national park reserves and one national urban park (which is still developing and expanding in an effort to conserve urban wildlife.) Each Canadian national park is unique in its own way, with some encouraging millions of visitors each season while others are kept as inaccessible as possible — some parks even require permission from Parks Canada before they can be entered. The common goal across all national parks is to preserve and protect the flora, fauna and actual land the park is situated on. Whether it's polar bears or monarch butterflies, Canada's parks are home to a robust selection of wildlife, and with a combined area of 328,198 square kilometres it's clear that these sites are an integral part of the country's environmental and cultural identity.
In 2017, Parks Canada issued a free Discovery Pass to millions of Canadians to celebrate and commemorate Canada's 150th birthday. The Discovery Pass gave Canadian individuals and families free admission to any of Canada's national parks — all you had to do was sign up on the Parks Canada website. If you took advantage of this amazing offer, you may have had the opportunity to see some of the incredible sights these parks have to offer. Based on the images provided — and some contextual clues to help you out — we want to see if you can recognize some of the awe-inspiring sites that can be found in national parks across the entire country.
Parks Canada via Youtube
Which national park is known for being a polar desert?
If you want to visit Aulavik National Park you'll need to go to the Northwest Territories — specifically the northern section of Banks Island. Home to the world's largest herd of musk oxen and the endangered Peary caribou, the treeless park is classified as a polar desert.
Parks Canada via Youtube
This national park reserve in the Maritimes is famous for its glacially rounded mountains. What is it called?
Located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Akami-Uapishku-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve is well-known for its glacially rounded mountains, boreal forest (including coniferous trees such as pines and spruces) as well its small, sandy beaches which curve around the Labrador Sea.
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Located in Nunavut, this national park is one of Canada's largest. Do you know the name of this Arctic park?
Auyuittuq National Park is situated on Baffin Island's Cumberland Peninsula in Nunavut and is one the largest parks in Canada. Originally called Baffin Island National Park, the name was later changed to reflect the cultural context of the people who call the area home.
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This Ontario national park might be smaller than others, but it's the perfect home for an endangered reptile. What is the name of this park?
Massasauga rattlesnakes abound in Bruce Peninsula National Park — as do black bears, porcupines and white-tailed deer. The Bruce Trail runs through the park which makes it a popular spot for hikers, campers and divers (the water in the surrounding Georgian Bay is world-famous for its clear blue appearance.)
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The oldest national park in Atlantic Canada is found in Nova Scotia. Can you guess what it's called?
If you guessed Cape Breton Highlands National Park, you're correct! Established in 1936, the park is home to the Canada lynx and western moose — the latter was introduced to the park in the late 1940s after the eastern moose came close to extinction.
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Which Alberta-based national park is a well-known site for animal conservation?
Founded in 1913, Elk Island National Park was originally created as a wildlife sanctuary for elk. Today the park contains the densest population of hoofed mammals in Canada — scientifically classified as ungulates — including bison, two types of deer, elk and moose,
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If you want to visit the oldest national park in Canada, where should you go?
Banff National Park was founded in 1885, making it Canada's oldest national park. Sprawling through the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, the park is home to Lake Louise, the Wapta and Waputik Icefields, the Valley of the Ten Peaks as well as three world-class ski resorts.
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Located in the province of Quebec, this national park used to be the hunting and fishing grounds of the Iroquois and Mi'kmaq — until they were forcibly removed by the Canadian government. Which park is the question referring to?
Founded in 1970, Forillon National Park opened its gates after 225 Indigenous families were expropriated from the land. The Canadian government issued a formal apology to the families of those who were forcibly removed — but not until 2011.
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Famous for its cave systems — one of Canada's largest! — this national park can be found in British Columbia. Do you know what its name is?
Glacier National Park was founded in 1886, making it one of the oldest national parks in the country. The park is home to the Rogers Pass National Historic Site — an abandoned track of Canada Pacific Railway known for its cross-country skiing and hiking.
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Which national park should you visit if you want to see the highest tides in the entire world?
Fundy National Park, which is located in the province of New Brunswick, is right beside the Bay of Fundy. The ocean floor that is visible during low tide is eventually covered by 16 metres of water at high tide. Visitors to the park can enjoy camping, hiking and swimming (They can also check out the diverse sea-life when the tide is low.)
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Can you name the park and World Heritage Site shown in the image above?
Established in 1973 and located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Gros Morne National Park is considered a a World Heritage Site due to the fact that its landscape includes exposed crust and mantle, showcasing the natural phenomenon of plate tectonics.
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What is the name of the Saskatchewan national park that is renowned for its dinosaur fossils?
Sharing a border with the state of Montana, Grasslands National Park boasts an untouched prairie ecosystem and a large area of badlands (where the fossils of a Tyrannosaurus and a Triceratops dinosaur were first discovered.)
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This Ontario national park is made up of 63 small islands. What is it called?
Made up of 63 small islands (and parts of islands), Georgian Bay Islands National Park is only accessible by boat. If you're looking for camping facilities, you'll have to visit Beausoleil Island (the largest island in the park) where there are a small number of campsites available for use.
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Which British Columbia national park reserve was established in the southernmost Haida Gwaii islands?
The Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve is, along with the National Marine Conservation Area and Haida Heritage Site, collectively known as Gwaii Haanas. The site conserves an archipelago which is made up of 138 islands which are home to the Haida people, who have lived on Haida Gwaii for over 14,000 years.
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This sprawling national park in Alberta is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site — what is the name of the park?
Covering an impressive 11,228 square kilometres, Jasper National Park shares a boundary with Banff National Park. Established in 1907, the park is home to notable natural sites such as the Columbia Icefield, Sunwapta Falls, Maligne Lake and the municipality of Jasper.
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You'll need to have a strong knowledge of wilderness survival and permission to enter before visiting this national park in the Yukon. Which Canadian park is being described?
Ivvavik National Park gets its name from the Inuvialuktun word for "birthplace" or "nursery" due to the fact that the park protects the area where caribou give birth to their calves. The land is also home to grizzly bears, wolverines, black bears, Yukon wolves and other apex predators.
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One of seven national parks in British Columbia, this park reserve covers only 36 square kilometres. What is the name of this tiny park?
The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve includes 16 small islands and over 30 islets and reefs. The park reserve encapsulates the climate of the Strait of Georgia Lowlands — in other words, it's the only location in Canada that has a Mediterranean climate (dry summers and rainy, mild winters.)
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Which British Columbia national park contains sections of both the Park and Kootenay mountain ranges?
British Columbia's Kootenay National Park — formerly called Kootenay Dominion Park — is part of the Canadian Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, stretching 1,406 square kilometres throughout the Canadian Rockies.
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If you're trying to get to Kelly's Beach in New Brunswick, which park should you visit?
Kouchibouguac National Park is a popular destination for swimmers, hikers and cyclists — and fisher martens! In recent years there have been reported sightings of the rare small carnivorous animals in the area, making the park one of the only natural habitats for the marten in New Brunswick.
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Although this national park is relatively small, it contains 150 lakes — what is the name of this park located in the province of Quebec?
A favourite location for kayaking and hiking, La Mauricie National Park (or, Parc national de la Mauricie as it's called in Quebec) covers 536 square kilometres and contains 150 lakes (in addition to numerous ponds and bogs.)
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A well-known wilderness protection area in Nova Scotia, this national park is named after a large lake. What is the name shared by the park and the lake?
A popular destination for campers and hikers, Kejimkujik National Park is a wilderness conservation site as well as a dark-sky preserve (the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has also deemed the park an area which eliminates or restricts light pollution.)
One of the four first World Heritage Sites to ever be established, this national park reserve is located in the Northwest Territories. What is its name?
In 1978, Nahanni National Park Reserve was one of the first locations in the world to become a World Heritage Site. In 1987 the South Nahanni River, which runs through the park reserve, was given Canadian Heritage River status.
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Once a world-class skiing destination, this national park in British Columbia is now celebrated for its hiking trails. Can you identify which of the following options is correct?
A century ago, Mount Revelstoke was one of the first popular skiing locations in North America, especially for those with a passion for ski jumping. In 1933, the ski jump was even tailored to Olympic specifications and it was the longest natural ski jump in the country until 1971, when the ski resort was remade into a system of hiking trails.
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Which national park reserve should you visit if you want to see the largest group of limestone monoliths in the country?
The Mingan Archipelago (which consists of about 40 small islands) makes up the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve in Quebec. A popular destination for tourists, the large group of limestone monoliths were formed by waves over a very long period of time
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Amateur (and established) lepidopterists will have no problem ID'ing this small national park in Ontario. Can you guess the name of this national park?
For fans of monarch butterflies there's no better place to visit than Pelee Island National Park! The park, which was the first national park to officially be designated a conservation area, is fairly warm, which makes it an ideal migratory stop for monarch butterflies and seabirds.
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If you're looking for stunning views of Lake Superior and Ontario's boreal forests, then you should definitely visit the national park pictured above. Can you figure out its name?
Pukaskwa National Park protects a huge span of coastline along Lake Superior that has remained safe from the mining and logging industries. The only road access into the park is via Highway 627 — this method of entry is generally used by campers travelling to the Hattie Cove Campground.
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Out of Saskatchewan's two national parks, which one was once the permanent home to British conservationist Grey Owl?
Prince Albert National Park was once the home of Grey Owl, a British conservationist who claimed to be Indigenous his entire life (his actual background wasn't publicly revealed until after his death.) His cabin is still intact on the shores of Ajawaan Lake and can be visited via a 20-kilometre hike or a 16-kilometre canoe trip.
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This teeny-tiny park contains one of Canada's most important literary inspirations. As a lover of maritime fiction, do you know the name of this park?
At only 27 square kilometres, Prince Edward Island National Park is a small park compared to its peers. However, the national park contains Green Gables, a heritage site that is said to be the inspiration for the Anne of Green Gables series of novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
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The national park reserve shown in the image above is located in British Columbia and is made up of three distinct regions. Do you know what the name of this park reserve is?
Established in 1970, the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is made up of the West Coast Trail, the Broken Group Islands and Long Beach (which is a popular destination for surfers.) It is not uncommon to spot humpback whales — especially for sea kayakers and scuba divers.
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The islands that make up this small national park are mountain tops that have been worn down over an extremely long period of time. Can you think of the name of this Ontario park?
Thousand Islands National Park, which used to be called St. Lawrence Islands National Park, is located in the Thousand Islands Region of the Saint Lawrence River in Ontario. While there is plenty of outdoor fun to be had at the park, it's almost entirely only accessible by boat.
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What is the name of Nunavut's massive (but also smallest) national park?
Ukkusiksalik National Park covers 20,885 square kilometres in Nunavut (where it is actually the smallest park out of the territory's four national parks.) Each year polar bears return to the park's denning areas, an area which they share with arctic foxes, caribou, several species of seal and golden eagles (as well as many more types of fauna.)
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Which Yukon national park shares a border with Ivvavik National Park?
In addition to its impressive flora and fauna, Vuntut National Park also holds great cultural significance. The park was first established as part of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Final Agreement — this agreement ensures the park is used to conserve and protect the history and culture of the region.
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Which Manitoba national park should you go to if you want to pass through the East Gate National Historic Site?
You'll find the East Gate National Historic Site in Riding Mountain National Park — it is the only surviving gate out of the three gates originally built as entrances to the park. The park is an important conservation site for three distinct ecosystems: upland boreal forests, eastern deciduous forests and grasslands.
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What is the name of Canada's only urban national park?
Rouge National Urban Park, which is a conservation area for rare or vulnerable wildlife, is mostly located in Scarborough, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto.) This park is still in development — Parks Canada takes care of just under 50 square kilometres of land right now but is working to eventually reach 79.1 square kilometres.
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The name of this national park in British Columbia is a Cree word for amazement — can you guess which park it is?
With some of the highest mountain tops in the Canadian Rockies and sprawling ice fields, Yoho National Park truly lives up to its name. The park is adjacent to Banff National Park and Kootenay National Park and is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.
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Although very difficult to get to, this Manitoba national park contains the best polar bear-viewing sites in the world. What is the name of this Arctic park?
Covering just under 11,500 square kilometres, Wapusk National Park is an important hub for polar bear conservation and observation. Only accessible via Tundra Buggy or helicopter, the park's Cape Churchill is thought to be the best place in the world for watching and photographing polar bears in the wild.
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Where should you go if you want to stay in Alberta's historic Prince of Wales Hotel?
The Prince of Wales Hotel is located beside Waterton Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park. The Prince of Wales Hotel, which was built by the Great Northern Railway Company, is one of Canada's grand railway hotels and in 1992 was named a National Historic Site of Canada.
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Do you know the name of Canada's largest national park and World Heritage Site?
Extending across 44,807 square kilometres, Wood Buffalo National Park — which is located in Alberta — was first established with the intention of protecting the largest herd of wood bison in the world (of which there are now over 5,000 roaming through the park at any given time.)
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Which national park in the Northwest Territories is named after the Inuvialuktun word for "young caribou"?
Tuktut Nogait National Park is aptly named — it's where the Bluenose-West caribou herd goes to birth its young. The Dolphin-Union caribou herd is also occasionally seen in the park when winds have swept away the snow covering the area where they graze.
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If you want to see the tallest mountain ranges in Canada east of the Rockies, which national park should you make a point of seeing?
Home to highest mountain peaks in Canada east of the Rocky Mountains, Torngat Mountains National Park is located in Newfoundland and Labrador (the park is actually Labrador's first national park.) The park's conservation efforts protect polar bears, caribou, wolves, golden eagles, black bears and other species that call the Arctic their home.
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