About Canada national parks
“National parks are among Canada’s – and the world’s – natural jewels. They represent the power of Canada’s natural environment which has shaped not only the geography of this country, but also the course of its history and the experiences of the people who live and travel here.” – Parks Canada
National parks are located on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts, across the interior mountains and plains and Great Lakes, reaching as far north and south as Canada goes.
How the railway shaped the national parks of Canada
In the early 1800’s, inspired by the Northern Pacific Railway’s relationship with Yellowstone National Park, the Canadian Pacific Railway’s General Manager began urging Prime Minister John A. Macdonald to create park reserves along the CPR right-of-way. Favourable to the idea, the Prime Minster designated the Canada’s very first national park at Cave and Basin Hot Springs in 1885.
This important piece of land on the eastern slope of the Rockies adjacent the railway line started out as a mere 2,592 hectares until, in 1887, Parliament passed the Rocky Mountain Parks Act expanding the reserve by 2500% to 67,400 hectares.
The Rocky Mountain Parks act declared that the land was “hereby reserved and set apart as a public park and pleasure ground for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of the people of Canada”. In 1930 the name was changed to what we all know now as Banff National Park.
Order your free Parks Canada Pass here
For all of 2017 the national parks Canada pass gives you unlimited opportunities to enjoy Canada’s National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites across the country!
Good things to know:
- You only need to order one pass for your group or family if you are all travelling together.
- A 2017 Discovery Pass is valid for everyone arriving in the same vehicle at a national park, or arriving together at a marine conservation area or historic site.
- Activities such as tours or parking that normally carry a separate fee may not be covered by the Discovery Pass.
- Camping fees are not included with the Discovery Pass