Maligne Lake is the quintessential Canadian Rocky Mountain lake. Famous "Spirit Island" is an often photographed location, 16km (10mi) down the lake. The total distance to the south end of the lake is 23km (13mi).
The mountain scenery is incredible. Tour boats travel to Spirit Island (but no further down the lake) daily.
The most beautiful area, to my mind, is the southern third of the lake, with Mt. Paul dominating along with Monkhead at the south end. Fisherman's Bay, at the narrows provides camping as well as Coronet Creek at the far south end of the lake. There are limited sites available at each (8) and reservations must be made in advance. You will be limited to a two night stay.
The lake is very cold, and winds can be unpredictable. Best advice to begin your paddle early in the morning. On our latest trip, we left the dock at 6:30am with temperatures at 3C.
The paddle down to Coronet Creek(kayak recommended) takes anywhere from 3.5 to 5 hours or more depending on conditions.
This should be on the bucket list of anyone who enjoys paddling great mountain lakes.
There are no accommodations at Maligne Lake other than the backcountry campsites mentioned in the article.
National Park pass is required as well as backcountry camping fee.
Contact Jasper National Park
From Jasper townsite, proceed east to the turn off for Jasper Park Lodge. Take the Maligne Lake road (about 45 minutes) past the tour boat turn off and continue to the boat launch and parking area.
Jasper Information Center
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water