Government Motor Launches travel to Spirit Island
several times daily in the summer/fall.
47 kilometers south and east of Jasper is the
second largest glacial lake in the World, Maligne Lake. Motor
launch tours are available and canoes can be rented. This is
one of the only lakes in the Rocky Mountains where motorized
boats are allowed (another being Lake Minnewanka
near Banff) . A leisurely 90 minute guided boat cruise
will bring you to mystical Spirit Island. Tours depart hourly
throughout the summer months. You can step off the boat near
the island and take pictures as thousands before you have.
Comfortable motor launches deliver
you most of the length of the lake to a spot that was
actually named by an American from New York State.
He called it Spirit Island because it raised his spirits.
The boat rid is very leisurely and stops for photos
at one of the Rockies most visited places. Watch
for wildlife along the 22 kilometers of shoreline
MORE MALIGNE LAKE PHOTOS
Maligne Lake should have been
named after Mary Schaffer, a quaker who was
the first Caucasian to lay eyes on its mesmerizing beauty.
Instead the nearby Maligne River, and later the lake, were
named by a Jesuit missionary who had trouble crossing the
river. Maligne in French means "wicked".
This water does not warm up much in the summer.
Most swimmer would last less than 10 minutes before succumbing
to the frigid temperatures.
Head to the west side parking lot if you are interested
in hiking Skyline, Bald Hills or Maligne Pass hiking trails.
Trails can occasionally be restricted by park rangers if bear
activity is high. There are a number of shorter hikes
around the shores of the lake as well.
Maligne Canyon - The
Maligne River flows in and then disappears!
1 Kilometer Hike. Take the easy and shorter canyon loop and
see steep canyons where the walls are eroding 1 inch every 5
years, a dramatic waterfall and the teahouse. Examine the rock
here and see fossilized remains of Sea Creatures. This terrain
was once very much underwater!
MALIGNE CANYON HIKE DESCRIPTION
The turnoff to Maligne Canyon is before the turnoff to Maligne
Lake. 3 Kilometer Hike. Visit the upper and lower canyon
and see the waterfalls, teahouse area, six bridges, ever-deepening
canyon and the flowpoint of an underground river from Medicine
Lake. Medicine Lake (called bad medicine by early natives) can
actually disappear entirely into the underground caverns and
cave networks that drain the lake. Be sure to note how the stream
at the beginning of the canyon becomes a river by the end of
the walk. It is fed by spring water from underneath!!
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