Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
If you’re at all considering a trip to Canada this year, the Canadian government has a terrific (and free) deal for you!
I’ll show you how to get your free 2017 Discovery Pass and share ideas on where to use it!
Free Canadian National Parks 2017
Link: Parks Canada
You can order your free 2017 Discovery Pass online. And they’ll even ship it to you (anywhere) for free!
Normally, Parks Canada charges ~136 Canadian dollars (~$103) for a yearly group pass. So this is a generous deal!
Keep in mind, the Discovery Pass only covers admission for yourself and passengers in your vehicle at national parks, or folks arriving together at historic or marine sites.
Other fees, like for camping, parking, or tours, are NOT included with the pass.
And if you forget your pass, One Mile at a Time reports you’ll still be allowed in to these sites for free (but they’d really prefer you have a pass).
Where Can You Go?
Whether you’re into hiking, camping, boating, scuba diving, or a history buff, there’s plenty to do at Parks Canada sites.
And it’s a good time to travel to Canada, because the exchange rate with the US dollar is very favorable ($1 = ~1.33 Canadian dollars). But keep in mind sales taxes and fuel prices are higher in Canada, too.
1. National Parks
Link: National Parks – Canada
Several of Canada’s national parks are UNESCO World Heritage sites including:
- Banff National Park, Alberta
- Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
- Jasper National Park, Alberta
- Kluane National Park & Reserve, Yukon
- Kootenay National Park, British Columbia
- Nahanni National Park Reserve, Northwest Territories
- Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta / Northwest Territories
- Yoho National Park, British Columbia
Many locations are perfect for hiking, spotting wildlife, fishing, and camping. And the sightseeing can be incredible!
2. National Historic Sites
Link: National Historic Sites
If you enjoy history, battlegrounds, forts, shipwrecks, archaeology, or learning about First Nations culture, you’ll find lots of interesting things to see and do at Canada’s National Historic Sites.
For example, tourists flock to old Quebec City to visit the Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site. It’s the only walled city in North America north of Mexico, and has a wonderful European feel.
Or if you’re a War of 1812 aficionado, check out places like Queenston Heights National Historic Site or the Fort George National Historic Site, both locations of famous battles near Niagara Falls, Ontario.
3. National Marine Conservation Areas
There are 4 National Marine Conservation Areas:
- Fathom Five National Marine Park of Canada, Ontario
- Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, British Columbia
- Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, Ontario
- Saguenay – St. Lawrence Marine Park, Quebec
If you enjoy scuba diving, like Emily, Fathom Five National Marine Park of Canada is an excellent spot to visit. It’s one of the top freshwater dive locations in the world, and has over 20 shipwrecks, plus numerous underwater cliffs and caves.
If you prefer to stay dry, check out Saguenay – St. Lawrence Marine Park for some of the best whale watching in North America. You’ll get the best views in the warmer months.
They’ll even ship it to you for free, anywhere in the world.
This promotion is part of Canada’s 150th birthday this year. If you’re think you might visit, it only takes a minute to order a pass and doesn’t cost a thing.
Have you visited Canadian national parks, historic sites, or marine conservation areas? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments!