Hiking In Jasper National Park!
Known as the most interesting canyon within the Canadian Rockies, Maligne Canyon is a must see tourist attraction in Jasper National Park. This canyon was formed when the soluble limestone bed rock became whittled away from the underground streams of the Maligne River, (which originates at Maligne Lake, flowing beneath the surface from Medicine Lake until it reaches Maligne Canyon). This canyon has a maximum depth of 50 meters and is built across six bridges, the first one being built in 1914.
Beginning at the sixth bridge, the bottom of the canyon, the trail is clearly marked for your convenience. You will see many springs, some of which are extremely unique to Jasper National Park because under your hiking trail is where the Maligne river joins. This is quite an experience on its own. As you hike upstream, you will notice that the Maligne valley becomes a narrow canyon towards the fourth bridge. At this point the scenery becomes much more vivid and breathtaking. As you approach the third bridge and beyond, typically more foot traffic becomes apparent.
As you hike upstream, due to the mist that occasionally floats upwards among other environmental factors, some of the trail edges can become quite slippery. It is advised to take lots of caution while on the hiking trails along with being careful of your footing, due to the many tree branches and rocks that are along the path.
While at Maligne Canyon, be sure to stop in at the Maligne Canyon Restaurant and Gift Shop. Although it holds one of Canada’s premier art galleries, here you will also find many souvenirs from your trip to Jasper along with having the ability to take advantage of the exquisite restaurant that it has. While serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, it also has a coffee bar and sweets and offers happy hour. The Maligne Canyon Restaurant also does has complete catering abilities for special events (including banquets, weddings and private functions).
Maligne Canyon offers a very large parking lot, free of charge. Although the hike itself is not wheelchair accessible, as the path is mainly made up of relatively smooth bedrock, the restaurant and gift shop are wheelchair friendly. While visiting Maligne Canyon, or while travelling anywhere within Jasper National Park for that matter, it’s a great idea to always have your camera ready. Black bears, grizzly bears, elk, moose, deer, coyotes, and wolves (among all of the other wildlife that Jasper has to offer) might show themselves to you – it’s fairly common to come across one of these beautiful animals.