Top 15 Natural Wonders in Canada

The maple syrup, ice and snow sports, quintessential landscapes, and the extraordinary flora and fauna- Canada’s characteristics are unique in many aspects. Though some destinations are founded on even more bemusing elements, incorporated with rare geological phenomenons.

These odd and alluring destinations grant a truly unforgettable experience; some eerie in essence, while others are simply fascinating.

To discover the lesser-known Canadian terrains’ wonders, here is a list of 15 destinations to visit at least once.

1. Smoking Hills, Cape Bathurst

Smoking Hills, Cape Bathurst

Located on the northernmost point of NWT’s mainland, the eastern shorelines of Cape Bathurst are continuously burning. For centuries, white streaks of soot rise from these barren coasts, contrasting with the Arctic Ocean’s frigid waves.

Discovered by the British royal armada, the initial prospectors landed in the vicinity of the Smoking Hills, who justified the fiery sand as a result of volcanic activities. In effect, the underlying beneath the clouds of smoke and silent combustion is the sulfur-rich soil and oil shales- distinguished as one of the Arctic wonders.

On the non-flammable side, Baillie Islands lay at a paddling distance, providing a spectacular vantage point over the smoking hills.

2. Rainbow Ranges, Chilcotin Plateau

Rainbow Ranges, Chilcotin Plateau

As though colored by a child’s color pencils, Rainbow Range holds true to its name. Vibrant and earthy shades of red, yellow, green, and blue have striped the lava-covered slopes of Anahim volcanic plains.

To reach the region’s earthen rainbow, it takes about 90 minutes of strolling hike, starting from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. Horse trails and foot hikes line along the picturesque river valleys fringed by characteristic flora and vistas of the rocky mountains.

The grizzly bear country ultimately leads to the colorful peaks of Chilcotin Plateau, highlighted as one of the most scenic and phenomenon mountain settings worldwide. Besides the heritage Mackenzie trail, the nature reserve also offers backcountry campsites and hearty chalets at the ecoregion’s many wilderness lodges.

3. Narcisse Snake Dens, Armstrong

Narcisse Snake Dens, Armstrong

The territory of polar bear coasts, cultured settlements, and the northern lights- boreal prairie of Manitoba boast many attractions, including Narcisse snake dens. Recognized as the largest gathering of garter snakes across the globe, numerous Narcisse’s serpents meander their way into eroded limestone caverns of Narcisse meadows.

After the winter and the end of the snake’s mass hibernation, the spring’s warmth awakens the Narcisse garters. While hiking closer to the dens, visitors can spot the roaming snakes, or come across the dens, filled with entwining snakes- holding the eerie essence of Norse mythologies.

The Manitoban graters are harmless to their curious spectators; though maybe uncanny to some, Ophidiophiles and photographers frequent the region’s hiking path each spring, to capture the sight of this rare terrestrial phenomenon.

4. The Grotto, Tobermory

The Grotto, Tobermory

With crystalline waters and rugged cliff sides sculpted in the slow erosion of limestone bedrocks, Bruce county’s grotto reflects the exquisite clarity of Mediterranean shorelines. often called the reserve’s wonderland, the underground tunnel of the grotto is a natural gem, noted for its bright turquoise waters.

It is ranked as the peninsula’s most popular attraction, while sided by numbers of rare phenomenons such as the flowerpot islet, scenic coves, and the ancient cedar forests flanking the cliff trails to the grotto. The national reserve is home to an expansive variety of orchids, best spotted during the July fest of orchids in the reserve.

5. Abraham Lake, Clearwater County

Abraham Lake, Clearwater County

When a dam was built over the North Saskatchewan River, it culminated into Albert’s largest reservoir and a few years later, Abraham lake’s sparkling phenomenon. On the first report, frozen methane, entrapped in a frozen vertical chain of bubbles, appeared beneath the surface- causing much astonishment and confusion.

After the construction of the hydro plant, water had seeped deep into the previous forest floors, decaying and decomposing such organic materials- resulting in a mysterious ice bubble lake, both mesmerizing beautiful and precarious. Occasionally, the methane simmers to the surface and burst open, hence smoking, swimming, and pleasure boating over the scenic surface is not recommended.

Although, plenty of nearby hikes for capturing magical photographs, and enjoying the Saskatchewan River’s verdant shores and contributory fishing creeks. The best time to visit the lake’s icy wonder is winter and early in the spring.

6. Lotus Flower Tower

Lotus Flower Tower

Despite the delightfully poetic name, Lotus Flower Tower is bold and unforgiving, located amid Nahanni National Park highlands and the Cirque of the Unclimbable. Surrounded by rugged and challenging landforms, the peak is categorized among the top Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.

The sheer rocky wall of the glacial mountain is slanted into a vertical drop, ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful climbing destinations to see from the bottom and above. The scenic vistas of this geological phenomenon are best appreciated from the base and the hiking routes from the Fair Meadows, or from atop, by the virtue of helicopter tours; though the most spectacular vistas here are granted only to the world-class climbers.

7. Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife

Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife

Great Slave Lake is the Northwestern territories’ second largest lake, lounging on the ecoregions of Yellowknife. In winters, the surface of the lake freezes into a thick and yet secure ice sheet, with enough force to accommodate heavy vehicles. Dog sledding over the lake is a popular and long-standing winter tradition here, in addition to the lake’s fishing galore.

with all the lake’s four seasonal bounties, its most fascinating feature does not come to the eye. Nicknamed as the bottomless lake, the Great Slave is said to be one of the earth’s deepest fissures. Bedrock trenches here dive as deep as 614 meters, though the new studies have testified it may even be deeper than imagined.

The lake’s heritage-boasting national reserve known as arms, tranquil communities, and sparsely populated terrains, as well as enthralling boathouses bobbing over Yellowknife Bay, are the region’s attractions. just paces from the shores, Con Mine is one of the deepest man-made points on Earth, concealing the gold and arsenic mining heritage in NWT.

8. Reversing Falls, Saint John

Reversing Falls, Saint John

Going against what we consider anticipated creates astonishment and wonder, such as Canada’s Reversing Falls. Enlisted among the many wonders of Bay of Fundy, St John river sweeps down a rugged gorge, before joining the fierce Atlantic waves. With the bay’s highest tides in the world, the waves and the vertical gorge’s wall rocks push against the stream which causes the water to reverse backward- establishing a genuinely rare sight.

Nicknamed as Canada’s Original City, St. John is an opulent cultural hub, flanked by a unique landscape. From national historic sites around coastal lookouts and picturesque lighthouses to fine art centers and museums to luxury accommodations and noteworthy restaurants to serving as a base camp to the bay and Newfoundland’s many gravitations- St. John is a multi facade parish.

Although for a more laid-back experience, visit Alma village, situated just at a short hike from the coastal falls. It perches on the rugged coasts of Fundy national park, a claimed tourist destination for its ideas, peculiar marine, and terrestrial life, as well as delectable seafood.

9. Ice Highway

Ice Highway

Ice Highways of Canada are an emblem of harmony between man and nature; when the sweeping spans of land and ocean freeze into a single piece ice desert, during the relentless arctic winters. Tucked in the ancestral terrains of northern Canada, many isolated communities used the seasonal ice roads to travel across the ocean or rivers, particularly in northwest territories.

Regarded as Canada’s most scenic ice drive, the drive starts at Yellowknife’s bay, over the frozen surface of the Great Slave Lake. Over the crackling ice under the car’s tires and the fractured crystalline surface peeping through the somber depths, driving to Dettah is truly epic, with a promising winter experience at the festive indigenous locales.

To drive over the river Mackenzie, Wrigley ice road leads to Fort Good Hope over the crystalline ice paved river in winter; with the slippery ice, large cracks over the surface, and the fast-changing weather condition, the drive is described as both thrilling and challenging.

The road from Inuvik to Aklavik is only available in winters when the waters of Mackenzie bay freeze and leads the way to the heritage hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk. Though a year-round highway is built here, the ice road is rather traditional in the season.

10. Ibyuk Pingo

Ibyuk Pingo

Not far from Tuktoyaktuk and the shores of the Arctic Ocean, ice has penetrated beneath the earth’s surface here, giving rise to the phenomenon hills, called Pingo. With ice at the core, the hills are covered with patchy wetlands and sparse pastures, covering over kilometers of flat land spans.

Marked as Canada’s only Landmark, the western region of Tuktoyaktuk is protected within a reserve housing eight of these earth-covered ice domes. Dominating the boreal terrain, Ibyuk is the tallest Pingo across the country, located at the native homeland of the Inuvialuit nations.

11. The Spotted Lake, Osoyoos

The Spotted Lake, Osoyoos

One of the most wondrous locations on earth lies on the plains of Similkameen valley, mentioned as the Spotted Lake for its presentation. While most of the year it carries the usual charm of glacial basins, the lake’s waters decline in summers, forming colorful blotches because of its rich mineral intensity.

Merged into the hard clay basin, the patches illustrate glimmering shades of green, blue, yellow, and grey; though these hues vary throughout the season due to the amounts of heat, leaving an ever unique display of colors on the blotchy surface of the lake.

Prevailing amid the grassland reserves of south Okanagan, Nk’Mip Desert and its world-famous lake feature a unique landscape. Apart from being the country’s only true desert, this semi-arid shrublands is home to a spectacular fauna, sided with rare landforms such as the lake, and the desert’s culture center- much cherished for its prizewinning architecture and interpretive programs.

To stay at the heart of the desert, Spirit Ridge Resort combines the valley’s fine culinary art and wine tradition with recreation- offering retreat suits, golf courses overlooking the vineyards of Canada’s wine capital, and access to the beach.

12. Mount Thor

Mount Thor

The biosphere’s greatest vertical drop leans over the steep slopes of Mount Thor, with an angle over 105 degrees. With impossible to climb slopes, colossal boulders, and the rugged landforms of Baffin Island, this destination is on the bucket list of record seeking rock climber, and those seeking the mystifying vistas of the Fairy Meadow, the summit, and Auyuittuq National Park’s ethereal topography-where the arctic wilderness is found at its rawest form. With a scenic erosion at the top, the twin-peaked Mt. Asgard is a rare sight itself, famed among the world-class climbers.

13. Canadian Dead Sea

Canadian Dead Sea

With a fivefold higher salinity, Little Manitou Lake is regarded as the Canadian Dead Sea. These nearly unsinkable waters are a summer treat for those seeking an effortless swimming experience, though healing properties remain the key feature here.

For thousands of years, the indigenous nations of the Canadian Rockies sought the healing waters of Manitou, called the Good Spirit Lake. Overlooking the silver lake, Numerous wellness spas are epitomized around the fabled goodness of thermal pools and mineral mud baths, rich in curative properties.

Nicknamed as the Carlsbad of Canada, Most of the wellness centers bear a close resemblance to Czech-style spas, flanked by luxury hotel entertainments; from palatial suits to designer golf courses, to beach bars and occasional music events- the waterfront resorts of Manitou have much to offer.

At a short drive from the lake, the cultured city of Saskatoon boasts a laid-back community, with deep hints of Saskatchewan’s aboriginal culture- bordered by the region’s iconic prairie country.

14. Lake Manicouagan

Lake Manicouagan

One of the earth’s largest impact craters abounds in the lush ecoregions of Côte-Nord, filled with waters of the Manicouagan River in its perfectly circular hollow. From the leafy shores, 70 kilometers across reaches to the circular landform of René-Levasseur Island; a visual combination that has earned the nickname as the Eye of Québec.

The island is home to rugged mountains dusted with celestial particles and remains of the ancient mediator, Mount Babel, and boreal tundras- all are protected within its eco reserves. On the other side of the shores, small hikes reach several Indian reserves and indigenous communities, concealing a world of cultural wonders, veiled from the rest of the world.

15. Ice Caves

Ice Caves

Among Canada’s extraordinary attractions are the glacial ice caves that once, perhaps, accommodated the first nations on their hunting quest, or housed the mythical arctic creatures. Rising over the daring summits, Athabasca glaciers embrace the crystalline ice caverns in the vicinity of Columbia Icefield, similar to a fairytale ice castle.

Salmon Glacier‘s hikes lead to the ice caves under the ground, outlined for its exceptionally bright blue color. While the arrays of daylight cross the frozen glacial river, the ice cave is illuminated into an otherworldly ambiance.

There are a great many glacial caves, with peculiar icicled roofs and sleek floors scattered across the Canadian territory, the most scenic of all is tucked away from just any visitor. Ranked among the world’s most beautiful ice caves, the Booming Ice Chasm lies at the heart rugged heart of the Rockies at a short trek from the scenic Crowsnest Mountain Pass. This picturesque cave is only accessible to the highly accomplished ice walkers and climbers for its highly challenging elements.

Canada is often referred to as one of the world’s most spectacular countries for its epic landforms and the arctic nature’s rare performances. Here are three additional peculiar destinations, absolutely worth a visit;

The Sleeping Giant;

Also known as Nanabijou, the sleeping giant of Ontario slumbers over the rocky cliffs of Thunder Bay. The naturally sculpted rocky figure marks a home to the first nation tribes for over 9000 years, together with rich flora and fauna and extensive hiking trails around the namesake nature reserve.

Cheltenham Badlands;

Noted as among Ontario’s geological treasures, Cheltenham Badlands are named after the barren appearance of the red hillocks for kilometers- once serving as an ancient seabed. Besides the redden soil and spectacular open vistas, the sparse vegetation here facilitates bird watching and wildlife sighting at the comfort of numerous campsites.

Nuvvuagittuq Belt;

Located on the northeast coast of Hudson Bay, Nuvvuagittuq Belt embraces the World’s oldest rock, foregoing 4 billion years. Though the rock holds the usual eroded character of volcanic coasts, Hudson Bay is laden with recreation and many unrivaled elements within its fascinating biotope.

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