Maligne Lake + Maligne Canyon + Maligne Lake Canoeing
Jasper, Alberta is a beautiful as the name suggests. I spent some time tromping around here with my travel buddy and friend, Anya. We saw Maligne Lake and Maligne Canyon, and even got to do a little canoeing. Here’s what we did and how you can do it, too!
Maligne Lake Hike
Maligne Lake is a lovely body of water with lots of activities to do. A lot of people like to do the cruise to Spirit Island, which I guess is pretty cool, from what I’ve heard. Still, we opted out. Instead, we decided to take a short walk around the loop. I think we saw more, and I know we enjoyed it more. It was a nice trail—moose sightings are pretty common, although we didn’t see any. You might be luckier! The views were gorgeous, and it wasn’t strenuous at all. We weren’t up for a big hike that day, so it was perfect. We went to the mini island and then turned around and took our time coming back.
Maligne Lake Canoeing
After our leisurely walk, we decided to go canoeing. The cost was actually surprisingly reasonable, especially compared to some of the other lakes I visited in Alberta, like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, both of which are smaller than Maligne Lake. The rental cost here was only $40 per hour for two people. The maximum they’ll charge you for a boat is $120, which is the price for three hours (check me out, with my mad math skills!). So basically you could take a canoe for ten hours and still pay just the same as a three-hour rental. I’m not sure who would be up for a ten-hour canoe paddle, but hey, anything’s possible.
At first, Anya and I thought it would be fun to take our own trip to Spirit Island, but it was just too far and we wouldn’t have made it. It wasn’t the paddle that stopped us, just our time constraints. So if you want to paddle to Spirit Island, just be sure to start early enough!
We finished out our day with a trip to Maligne Canyon. We did a great hike—a pretty easy trek around some waterfalls. Getting to do this hike made it a hundred percent worth is to cut our canoe trip short and skip Spirit Island. If I could do it all again, I’d plan a lot more time for the Maligne Canyon hike. There are tons of trails you can try out, from easy hikes like the one we did to day-long hikes. There’s even a two to four day hike called Skyline Trail, which would be an amazing vacation in and of itself! Put that on your bucket list.
The Jasper area of the Canadian Rockies is sort of hidden away and not too famous, but it’s totally worth seeing on your trip through Alberta. The best places are the ones that are a few steps off the beaten trail. My recommendation is to plan more time here than you think you’ll need—you won’t want to go home, I guarantee it!