Snowshoeing Maligne Lake ~ Jasper, Alberta

Finally got to snowshoe along Maligne Lake. I don’t  make the journey up to Maligne Lake often but when I do I always wonder why I don’t do it more often. Family Day it seemed to line up just right – good weather, good roads, available time and good company to join me.

Maligne Lake ~ Jasper National Park

During the summer months dogs are not allowed on the sub alpine or alpine trails that surround Maligne Lake due to caribou habitat so its not an area that is on my mind much, but in winter and the lake is frozen dogs are allowed on the lake. With this new found information Stop Nothing But TIme (make sure you check out her write up as well) and I load into the truck with my two crazy  Labs, day packs and our beloved snowshoes – watch for a future post about snowshoeing with dogs.

Maligne Lake ~ Jasper National Park

Upon arrival to the lake there are two different parking lots. The first parking lot is located on the east side of the lake and is the main parking lot with easy access to the lake tours in the summer. We chose to park in the second parking lot on the west side of the lake where you will find access to to popular trails boat launch and an outhouse for your use.

All geared up we hit the lake with no set destination in mind. At around 2.5kms I am in need of a rest. Clearly I am out of shape. Even though the lake has a dense snow pack it is still tough going. We have a snack and a drink, then continue on. At 4.0kms you come across a giant rock which I hear is just amazing in the summer as it protrudes out of the crystal clear water but in the winter it makes a great sun reflector and wind barrier.

Maligne Lake ~ Jasper National Park

If you have never been up to Maligne Lake I can not suggest it enough. Weather you come up and take a boat ride in the summer or enjoy the frozen lake for a snowshoe, ski or even a fat-bike ride this area will not disappoint.

How to get there…

From Jasper

1.8 Kms turn Right onto Maligne Lake Road/Jasper Park Lodge, once over the bridge you will get to Y in the road stay left

44kms to get to Maligne Lake

Drive time : 1 hr drive

From Hinton

Follow Hwy 16 for 74kms

Turn right onto Maligne Lake Road/Jasper Park Lodge, once over the bridge you will get to Y in the road stay left

44kms to get to Maligne Lake

Drive time : 2 hours

You may want to factor in some extra time as the drive up the valley is beautiful and you may find yourself stopping for photos along the way

What you should know before you go…

Pets are allowed on the Lake and a couple of the small trails beside the lake. Make sure you review the maps carefully, speak with tourist information before you decide to venture off the lake with your pet.

There are 4 different trails to choose from in the winter months ranging in difficulty and length. Parks Canada has a great website with all the trail information.

Hiking Maligne Lake in Winter

ALWAYS check your weather report, trail conditions and current closures before heading out. The weather can change quickly in the mountains and you need to be prepared.

Caribou Winter Habitat closures Maligne Lake is effeceted by the annual winter caribou closures.

NO cell reception

Maligne Lake Winter Trail Map

 

Facts about Maligne Lake

  • Length – 22.3 km
  • Minimum – maximum width – 100m to 2km
  • Maximum depth – 96m
  • Total volume of water – 792 200 000m3
  • Average water temperature – 4°C / 39°F

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Maligne Lake ~ Jasper National Park



Maligne Canyon Ice Walk ~ Jasper, Alberta

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Back in January Sarah over at Stop Nothing but Time got up at the crack of dawn, loaded ourselves and our gear into the truck and headed to Jasper to stand on a frozen Lake Beauvert for sunrise.

Maligne Canyon Ice Walk ~ Jasper, Alberta

After some breakfast the decision was made to go hike Maligne Canyon. I have hiked this trail many times in the summer months and 2015 was my first winter Ice Walk.  Heading back into the frozen wonder of the canyon was something I was excited for.

How to get there…

From Jasper we take the Maligne Lake Road to the fifth bridge parking lot. This hike is enjoyed by many with multiple guided tours happening daily.

Maligne Canyon Ice Walk ~ Jasper, Alberta

Photo Credit Stop Nothing But Time

Gear is loaded up and Ice Trekkers are put on our feet to assist with traction (we are about to walk along a frozen river) and the truck key is safely stored away in a pack pocket.

What to Expect

As you cross the parking lot towards the river you will see a bridge that will take you across the river and signage with lots of information

Maligne Canyon ~ Jasper Alberta

Trailhead Signage

Maligne Canyon ~ Jasper Alberta

Fifth Bridge

With this only being my second time out on the ice walk I was surprised just how different it was from the visit in 2015.  As you approach the bridge that will take you across the river it is hard to believe that this river is completely frozen over just a few hundred yards up the way.

Maligne Canyon ~ Jasper Alberta

Once you cross the river and turn right along the trail you have two options to take you to the frozen section of the trail. We decided to take the path that takes you along the edge of the river before taking you back up to the trail for a short bit before heading back down to the river but this time it was frozen.

It is at this spot that I stopped took a few photos and started my hike along the frozen river

Maligne Canyon ~ Jasper Alberta

Waterfall at the point where you start the Ice Walk

Due to popularity of the area the path is well packed and visible

Maligne Canyon ~Jasper Alberta

Path along the river.

Maligne Canyon ~ Jasper Alberta

Always an opportunity to take a picture for others

 

The hike is not very long but has always taken me a good two to three hours to make my way up and then back.

Maligne Canyon ~Jasper Alberta

Maligne Canyon ~Jasper Alberta

Maligne Canyon ~Jasper Alberta

Maligne Canyon ~Jasper Alberta

 

Gear Needed

Winter boots
Ice Grippers
Appropriate clothing for weather
Hiking poles if you have them
Water
Camera

If you are ever in the Jasper National Park during winter I can not recommend this hike enough

Maligne Canyon Ice Walk ~ Jasper, Alberta

Maligne Canyon Ice Walk ~ Jasper, Alberta

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Jacque Lake ~ Jasper National Park

Girls only you say?

You bet this trip was planned as a all girls trip. There was six of us in total two of which were preteen girls.

Jacque Lake - Jasper National Park - Canada

Let the fun begin

So let’s just get right down to it

Elevation Gain: 240 m

Distance: 12.2kms into Jacque Lake

Difficulty: Easy

Directions to Trailhead

From Jasper
Take Highway 16 east towards Edmonton. Two km from Jasper, turn right across the bridge onto Maligne Road. Continue for 28 km south on the Maligne Road to the south end of Medicine Lake. Turn left into the parking lot.

 

Jacque Lake - Jasper National Park - Canada

Stop Nothing But Time hiking the old fire road with my Daughter

 

Trailhead to Jacque Lake Campground 12.2km

You will then find the tail head at the Beaver Lake Picnic Area. The hike begins on an old fire road for the first 4.8kms and at km 1.6 you will arrive at Beaver Lake. It’s a small lake with nice views where we saw canoes that you could rent (Check out Currie’s Guiding for more info).

 

Jacque Lake - Jasper National Park - Canada

Beaver Lake

 

3.2kms further down the trail you will arrive at the first of the Summit Lakes

 

Jacque Lake - Jasper National Park - Canada

The first of the three Summit Lakes

 

The trail turns to the right and goes into the forest. This is where you leave the old fire road and continue along a narrow rooty trail. We went in early fall so it was a lot drier than what you read about in the spring and summer months.

 

Jacque Lake - Jasper National Park - Canada

Part of the trail after the turn at Summit Lake

 

This was a long but easy hike and is a great overnight for families. I took my daughter (typical preteen on my hands at this time) on her first overnight trip here. Part of the appeal is that you can have a fire, which is a nice treat most of the back country campgrounds in the national park fires are prohibited.  With campfire comes SMORES!!!! I love this photo of Stop Nothing but Time 

 

Jacque Lake - Jasper National Park - Canada

Campfire and Smores

 

It was during this trip that I realized she was interested in taking photos. A love I was surprised to see and that she was coming to that age that she would no longer want to hike with me and this turned out to be her first backpacking trip and her last for over a year. With a new season approaching and her now armed with her own camera equipment she is showing a new interest in once again joining me for short hikes and overnights.

 

Jacque Lake - Jasper National Park - Canada

My daughter spending some time with the camera

 

The area is known to be frequented by moose and you can read many stories in the guest log that you will find in the common area. I was hoping to be one of the lucky ones that would be able to add to the stories but all I seen was a single cow moose meandering along the shallows at the opposite side of the lake munching on grasses.

 

Jacque Lake - Jasper National Park - Canada

Can you spot the moose?

 

Where do you book?

Reservations open in January for a bunch of the campgrounds in the National Park                           A backcountry camping permit is mandatory for all overnight trips and can be obtained online at reservations.pc.gc.ca or by calling 1877-737-3783

Non-refundable reservation fee $11 ($13.50 if done by phone)

In winter please check the local avalanche bulletins and condition

Jacque Lake ~ Jasper National Park