Boating in Jasper National Park, Alberta

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Written by Patrick J. Smith posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

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Enjoy Jasper National Park on your vacation from some of the park’s pristine and gorgeous waters on a variety of boat types, including rowboats and canoes. These craft are allowed on most of ponds and lakes here, and are great for experiencing the quiet beauty of the park.

If you want to get out and have  some fun on a powered boat, those with electric motors and without on-board generators are allowed on most of Jasper’s road-accessible lakes.

Maligne Lake is a great place for Jasper boating.

Jasper’s Maligne Lake is one of the top places to go for stunning views while boating here. Here’s some tips for enjoying Maligne Lake.

  • Maligne Lake is usually calm until about 9 a.m., so we recommend an early start on your first day.
  • The lake is cold and hypothermia can be a concern if you capsize. Always paddle close to shore and wear a life jacket.
  • Do not overload your watercraft. Leave at least 30 cm. (12 in.) of free board, the space between the water level and the top of your watercraft.
  • Although small watercraft have priority over the powered tour boats, avoid crossing in front of them for everyone’s safety.
  • Tour boats travel down the middle of the lake and usually operate from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and can create big waves which are best taken head on, bow first, if you are in a smaller craft.
  • Wind coming down the mountains can change direction and intensity on a dime. Sudden storms, cold temperatures and occasionally snow can be expected throughout the whole summer.
  • Please limit your impact on Jasper’s wildlife. Black bears and grizzlies are present in the area. Give all the animals their space and liberty to live naturally in their habitat.
  • If you see that bad weather is coming in, paddle closer to shore, as the wind can change rapidly and create large waves in a matter of minutes.
  • A National Park Fishing Permit is required to fish at Maligne Lake. Children under the age of 16 do not require a fishing permit if accompanied by an adult who holds a valid fishing permit.
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