Under–the–Radar Canadian Sights to Seek Out This Summer


From the world’s largest T. rex fossil in Saskatchewan to a beach that sings in PEI, here are our picks for the offbeat Canadian wonders to plan a trip around this season.

July 1, 2019
Desert landscape in Carcross, Yukon
   Photo: Government of Yukon, J Kennedy
  1. Wander in the world’s tiniest desert in Carcross, Yukon —

    Even though it’s earned this title, the Carcross Desert is not technically a desert, but the bed of a former glacial lake. Regardless, soft, beach–vacation–quality sand spans 640 acres, surrounded by spruce trees and mountain peaks.

A bridge running through a stone wall, Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park
   Photo: Natulive Canada
  1. Hike a historic railway route in Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, B.C. —

    This 3.5–kilometre rail trail, known as the Othello Tunnels, takes you along the railway passage and over the bridges that were carved through the Coast Mountains when the Canadian Pacific Railway built the Kettle Valley Railroad in 1914.

A giant patterned Ukrainian style egg
   Photo: Travel Alberta
  1. Stand beneath a giant pysanka in Vegreville, Alberta —

    Built in 1974 as a nod to the area’s Ukrainian population, this nearly 10–metre–high egg’s pattern contains 524 star patterns and 2,208 equilateral triangles. It’s no wonder it took more than 12,000 hours to complete.

T-rex skull on display at the T.rex Discovery Centre
   Photo: Tourism Saskatchewan / Greg Huszar Photography
  1. See the world’s largest T. Rex skeleton in Eastend, Saskatchewan —

    Its nickname is Scotty, you can find it at the T.rex Discovery Centre (close to where it was uncovered in 1991) and, in 2019, paleontologists crowned the dinosaur the biggest tyrannosaurus ever discovered – take that, “Sue” in Chicago.

Aerial view of an impact crater in Lake Manicouagan
   Photo: NASA
  1. Kayak an impact crater in central Quebec —

    Known as the “eye of Quebec,” Lake Manicouagan’s ring shape formed when an asteroid struck millions of years ago. It’s one of the largest impact craters on Earth.

The “Singing Sands” beach in Basin Head Provincial Park
   Photo: Tourism PEI, Sander Meurs, Basin Head
  1. Hear the sand sing at Basin Head Provincial Park, PEI —

    Ditch your flip–flops: Due to high amounts of silica in the sand, walking on “Singing Sands” beach produces a satisfying squeaking sound underfoot.

Driving at low tide across the path between the mainland and the Van Horne Estate
  1. Drive on the ocean floor at Ministers Island, New Brunswick —

    Thanks to the area’s powerful tides, the water between the mainland near Saint Andrews and this 500–acre island, home to the historic Van Horne Estate, clears daily, allowing cars (and pedestrians) to traverse a bar road.

This story was originally published in July 2019 and was updated in July 2023.