The 8 Largest National Parks in Canada

Written by Niccoy Walker
Updated: September 5, 2023
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Canada is the second-largest country in the world by total area, covering 3.85 million square miles. And about 1.5 million square miles of that is wilderness. So, it should come as no surprise that this northern country features enormous and stunning parks and recreational paradises.

Overview of the Largest National Parks In Canada

Check out the eight largest national parks in Canada and discover their locations, geographic features, and activities.

1. Wood Buffalo National Park

Salt Plains and blue, cloudy sky.  Wood Buffalo National Park Alberta, Canada.

The Wood

Buffalo

National Park is the largest national park in Canada.

©Dancestrokes/Shutterstock.com

Wood Buffalo is the largest national park in Canada, featuring 17,275 square miles in Northeastern Alberta and the Southern Northwest Territories. This national park protects a significant area of the northern boreal plains and its ecosystem, which includes herds of wood bison, whooping cranes, and caves systems. Wood Buffalo National Park also contains one of the largest freshwater deltas in the world. People from around the world visit this area for camping, swimming at Pine Lake, canoeing, and hiking.

2. Quttinirpaaq National Park

Quttinirpaaq National Park Canada

Quttinirpaaq National Park is one of the largest national parks in Canada with 14,585 square miles.

©CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

Located on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Quttinirpaaq National Park is the most northerly and second-largest park in Canada, covering 14,585 square miles. The region features massive glaciers, ice caps, and polar deserts. It also contains the highest mountain in Nunavut, Barbeau Peak. Adventurers come to the park for hiking, skiing, climbing, camping, and glacier trekking. And you can witness wildlife, like muskoxen, peary caribou, and Arctic wolves. 

3. Sirmilik National Park

Aerial drone photo of tourists visit the floe edge near Sirmilik National Park in Nunavut, Canada

Sirmilik National Park sits within a vast chain of Arctic mountains.

©GROGL/Shutterstock.com

The Sirmilik National Park is also located in Nunavut in the Qikiqtaaluk region and covers an area of 8,600 square miles. The park sits within a vast chain of Arctic mountains and features many islands, glaciers, valleys, and red-rock hoodoos. The park also has abundant wildlife, including narwhals, beluga whales, polar bears, Arctic wolves, walruses, and caribou. Visitors can hike, camp, ski, kayak, and view wildlife. 

4. Auyuittuq National Park

Summit Lake, Akshayuk Pass, Baffin Island with mountains on background

Auyuittuq National Park features scarce vegetation.

©Marianna Ianovska/Shutterstock.com

Also known as “the land that never melts,” Auyuittuq National Park is on the Cumberland Peninsula of Baffin Island in Nunavut. It is the fourth-largest national park in Canada and covers an area of 8,290 square miles. You will find landscapes, such as ice fields, glaciers, steep fjords, and river valleys. And visitors can enjoy hiking, climbing, mountaineering, skiing, and backcountry camping. Wildlife can be quite scarce in this area due to low vegetation, but you might find lemmings, red foxes, snowy owls, beluga whales, gyrfalcons, and snow geese.

5. Ukkusiksalik National Park

Ukkusiksalik National Park

Ukkusiksalik National Park features a reversing waterfall.

©CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

South of the Arctic Circle in Nunavut, the Ukkusiksalik National Park covers 8,064 square miles and is the fifth-largest national park in Canada. Its geographic features consist of rolling tundra, coastal mudflats, a reversing waterfall, and over 500 archaeological sites. In this area, you will find polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, seals, and peregrine falcons. Along with guided trips and backcountry camping, you can also hike, ski, climb, and mountaineer.

6. Tuktut Nogait National Park

High angle view of the MacKenzie River, Canada

Tuktut Nogait National Park is very remote.

©&#169 Getty Images/PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images

The Tuktut Nogait National Park is in Canada’s Northwest Territories, specifically the northeast corner of the mainland. This park covers 7,000 square miles of barren ground, steep canyons, rolling hills, rivers, and waterfalls. Due to its remoteness, most recreational activities are prohibited in certain areas of the park. The people who do visit often paddle or hike. This national park is home to caribou, muskoxen, grizzly bears, Arctic wolves, wolverines, lemmings, and Arctic chars. 

7. Aulavik National Park

Aulavik National Park Canada

Aulavik National Park is on Banks Island in the Northwest Territories.

©CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Covering 4,700 square miles, Aulavik National Park is the seventh-largest national park in Canada. It’s located on Banks Island in the Northwest Territories and features landscapes such as rolling hills, seacoasts, river valleys, badlands, and polar deserts. Like most of the national parks on this list, Aulavik is very isolated, featuring limited emergency services. But you can hike, paddle, camp, and fish at your own discretion.

8. Wapusk National Park

Night sky lit up with aurora borealis, northern lights, Wapusk national park, Manitoba, Canada.

Wapusk National Park has one of the largest polar bear populations in the world.

©AndreAnita/Shutterstock.com

While it’s officially Canada’s 37th national park, Wapusk is also the eighth largest in the country, covering 4,431 square miles. You will find this park on the Hudson Bay shores south of Churchill, where one of the largest polar bear populations in the world exists. The park transitions from boreal forest to Arctic tundra, and the main activity in the area is polar bear viewing, which you can do with a guided tour.

The Largest National Parks in Canada: A Recap of the Top 8

RankLargest National Parks in CanadaSize
#1Wood Buffalo National Park17,275 square miles
#2Quttinirpaaq National Park14,585 square miles
#3Sirmilik National Park8,600 square miles
#4Auyuittuq National Park8,290 square miles
#5Ukkusiksalik National Park8,064 square miles
#6Tuktut Nogait National Park7,000 square miles
#7Aulavik National Park4,700 square miles
#8Wapusk National Park4,431 square miles

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Dancestrokes/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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