Arts·Photos

10 stunning photos that will inspire you to explore Canada

If you need any summer vacation ideas, the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is now open, and their pile of international submissions already includes Canadian images so breathtaking you might just trade in that ticket to Reykjavik to explore Dawson City, Yukon, instead. Check out a few of the stunning Canadian locales captured by photographers vying for the prize.

Check out these entries for the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

Marvin Evasco. Rise & Fall, 2016. (© Marvin Evasco/nationalgeographic.com)

You could fly from Toronto to London and back again (a couple times) for less than a ticket to Whitehorse, which is my cheapskate excuse for not booking a Canadian getaway when there are vacation days to burn. And whatever your own reasons, it's true that too many of us don't ever experience the wonders waiting to be explored in each and every province and territory across the country.

Still, if you need any summer vacation ideas, the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is now open, and their pile of international submissions already includes Canadian images so breathtaking you might just trade in that ticket to Reykjavik to explore Dawson City, Yukon instead. The contest is all about celebrating pictures that inspire travel while revealing more about the character of a place. 

Check out a few of the stunning Canadian locales captured by photographers vying for the prize.

Whistler, B.C. 

Max Zedler. Into the Clouds, 2016. (© Max Zedler/nationalgeographic.com)

Writes the photographer, Max Zedler: "While skiing up at Whistler Mountain, I noticed this ledge peaking out towards the mountains where the clouds were slowly collapsing in. It was one of those perfect moments where you just need to have your camera handy."

Dorchester, N.B.

Brittany Crossman. Sandpiper Festival, 2015. (© Brittany Crossman/nationalgeographic.com)

"During the month of August, this beach has thousands of sandpipers (150,000 - 170,000 birds)," writes photographer Brittany Crossman. "They come to this area to fatten up prior to heading down south for the winter."

Great Bear Rainforest, B.C.

The Great Bear Rainforest is the home of the Spirit Bear - a rare subspecies of the American black bear. (© Kim Petersen/nationalgeographic.com)

"There is estimated to be only 1,000 spirit bears in the wild," writes photographer Kim Petersen, who captured this moment one late afternoon in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Kingston, Ont.

Lars Hagberg. Skating on frozen Lake Ontario, 2016. (© Lars Hagberg/nationalgeographic.com)

Canadian Press photographer Lars Hagberg captured this image of a lone hockey player at sunset. National Geographic's Associate Photo Editor, Matt Adams, left this comment on his contest entry: "What a great moment to photograph, and a mix of two things I love. Hockey and Canada. The timing and location are just perfect. Great frame!"

Athabasca Glacier, Alta.

Elizabeth Fulawka. Ice Cave, 2016. (© Elizabeth Fulawka/nationalgeographic.com)

Writes photographer Elizabeth Fulawka: "It was freezing to get to, it was windy, but it was all well worth it."

Scarborough, Ont.

Marvin Evasco. Rising, 2016. (© Marvin Evasco/nationalgeographic.com)

For photographer Marvin Evasco, this scene was the perfect winter sunrise. "I found this interesting dead tree covered with icicles and the moment I saw it, I told myself, this would be a perfect foreground."

Tofino, B.C.

Stephen Michael James Ellwood. Fluffy Hello, 2015. (© Stephen Michael James Ellwood/nationalgeographic.com)

Travel isn't all just about where you go, it's also about who — or what — you meet. Stephen Michael James Ellwood encountered this "cute and beautiful" sea otter while visiting the Vancouver Island tourist destination. He writes: "This cute yet larger than I expected individual was more than happy to come up close, almost looking like [he was] saying, 'give me some food.'"

Banff, Alta.

Kirk Wagner. Fishing Hole That Dreams Are Made Of, 2012. (© Kirk Wagner/nationalgeographic.com)

Crystal-clear water and Rocky Mountain skies. As photographer Kirk Wagner writes, it "was an amazing day on the water with no motors, no technology and just me and the fish."

Niagara Falls, Ont.

Marvin Evasco. Rise & Fall, 2016. (© Marvin Evasco/nationalgeographic.com)

"This photo was taken on a cold winter morning," writes photographer Marvin Evasco. "The view was so perfect and it reminds me that every time the sun comes up, I don't have to worry because it will bring me a new hope and another chance to make up for whatever shortcomings I had from the past."

Dawson City, Yukon

Victor Liu. Tombstone Impression, 2015. (© Victor Liu/nationalgeographic.com)

Autumn in the Yukon is the "best season" to visit, writes photographer Victor Liu, because it's "when golden colours thrive in the mighty wilderness." This sunset photo was captured in Tombstone Territorial Park.

Have a stunning photo of a travel destination? National Geographic is accepting contest entries until May 27

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