North America

Canada's 10 best road trips

Canada's wild expanse of breathtakingly beautiful landscapes stretching across vast distances make it perfect for a road trip.

Whether you're looking for a short scenic drive near you or a multi-day action-packed road trip, Canada has some of the best driving options in the world. Here's our top ten to get you started.

Dempster Highway, Northwest Territories

Start – Dawson City; End – Inuvik; Distance – 457 miles (736km)

This classic trip takes you far beyond the Arctic Circle through some of northern Canada's most pristine scenery; a worthy contender for Canada's most scenic and challenging drive.

It's a meditative experience; for most of the time you're alone with the road, entirely self-reliant and aware of your own smallness compared to the vastness of the landscape.

It passes through dense boreal forest and bare tundra, and rises gently between snow-tipped mountains.

In darker months, you may see the northern lights dancing overhead, but road conditions are best between June and September. It's an unpaved, partially potholed road with treacherous muddy sections.

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

Start and end – Sydney; Distance – 261 miles (420km)

This is the big one: the looping, diving, dipping roller-coaster of a road snaking its way around the northern tip of Cape Breton, with epic views of rolling seas, mountain passes and thick forests.

If you're lucky – there’s the chance to spot a moose, eagle or even a whale en route.

Completed in 1932 to link Cape Breton's isolated coastal communities, people have been looping the loop for the last nine decades, and the trail remains as popular as ever.

Traversing the edge of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, it's home to some of the province's grandest scenery, richest wildlife and best hiking trails.

Icefields Parkway, Alberta

Start – Jasper; End – Lake Louise; Distance – 142 miles (230km)

There are amazing road trips, then there's the Icefields Parkway, a 142-mile-long ribbon of asphalt passing through some of Canada's most elemental and pristine landscapes en route.

Giant mountains, mammoth moose, craning trees and gargantuan glaciers brood moodily from the sidelines.

You can also travel it with a challenging multi-day bike ride, giving you more time to contemplate stop offs at cerulean Peyto Lake, powerful Athabasca Falls and the hikeable Athabasca Glacier.