Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park: A treasure for mind, body and Spirit

Home » Alberta Adventure Guide » Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park: A treasure for mind, body and Spirit

Written by bike posted on Monday, October 26th, 2009

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Tiny Spirit Island on Maligne Lake is one of the most famous and most photographed places in the Canadian Rockies.

Tiny Spirit Island on Maligne Lake is one of the most famous and most photographed places in the Canadian Rockies.


Even in the Canadian Rockies, a place renowned for its lakes, Maligne Lake stands apart.
This jewel of Jasper National Park is the second-largest glacier-fed lake in the world. Which means, intrepid adventurers, that you’re more than welcome to swim in it – if you don’t mind your water a bit on the chilly side!
For those of you not inclined to turn yourselves into human popsicles, don’t worry: There’s plenty to draw you there besides an ice bath.
The fishing in the lake is top-notch, and there’s something special about catching your dinner for the evening. The highlight, of course, is trout fishing – specifically, rainbow trout and eastern brook trout.
You will need a permit to fish; they’re readily available in Jasper National Park and easily obtained at the lake. Also, everything you could possibly need for your trip can be rented at the lake, and if you really want to spoil yourself, you can hire a guided fishing tour to give you the best experience.
There are many trails around the lake, and if you don’t feel like walking them, you could climb on a horse and take a beautiful ride. There are all kinds of trails to hike, ranging from short, easy strolls in the woods to steep, uphill treks, all highlighted by the Skyline Trail that connects Maligne Lake with the town of Jasper. At 44 kilometers long, this multi-day hike is consistently ranked as Jasper’s most popular.
And, last to be mentioned but certainly not least, there is Spirit Island.
The island itself is tiny, just a little circular rise in the lake and mostly covered by trees. But its location has made it one of the most famous spots in the Canadian Rockies, certainly one of the most photographed. You can only get to it via boat – there is a 90-minute tour to the island that leaves on the hour every hour, or you can rent a boat or take your own out to it. Just be aware that you can’t have a motor on the lake.
It may seem odd for such a tiny place to have such a reputation, but once again this points toward the importance of location. There’s a reason people have taken a trip to the Canadian Rockies just to see Spirit Island. It really is that impressive.
So, whether it’s fishing, hiking, rafting or simply the unparalleled scenery that’s drawing you to the Canadian Rockies, be sure to include a trip to Maligne Lake, because at this lake, you can find a little bit of everything … and a lovely, Spirit-refreshing view to cap it off.
For more on nearby Banff National Park, click here!
And tune in next week as we take you with us for a hike along the Skyline Trail!

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