Near Jasper Alberta!
Within the Canadian Rockies, Maligne Lake is the largest lake glacially fed, completely surrounded by vast mountain peaks and is home to the world famous spirit island. With a distance of 48 km from the Jasper town-site, this lake is 22 km long and is home to many types of wildlife, including the moose, caribou and Harlequin Ducks, to name a few. Once up at Maligne Lake, lots of different activities awaits you including but not limited to interpretive boat tours, paddle boat rentals, hiking trails, a gift shop and large cafeteria and numerous photo opportunities to capture its vastness and breathtaking scenery.
Spirit Island is approximately 14 km up-lake from the main buildings and can only be accessed by tour boats or paddle boats; there are no trails or roads leading to the island. The interpretive boat tour that Maligne Lake has to offer is one like no other and has been classified by the Reader’s digest subscribers as “Canada’s best boat cruise.” With 7 different boats that run throughout its opening season (from May to October), tours depart every hour from the main lodge and is approximately a 1 ½ hour return tip. These boats are heated, wheelchair-accessible and are completely glass-enclosed to ensure that nobody gets left behind on any day of the season – rain or shine. To ensure minimal wait times, reserving your interpretive tour tickets in advance is highly recommended especially during peak season.
During this interpretive boat tour, you will learn about the different wildlife that frequent the area, you will learn about the different mountain peaks, along with being explained the story of Maligne Lake, formerly known as “Chaba Imne” (Beaver Lake) and the story of Mary Schaeffer and how she came about the lake. You will learn more about the lake itself, including the way Maligne Lake was created: the Opal Hills landslide caused 700 million cubic yards of rocks and dirt produced a natural dam in the lower valley. When the water backed up, Maligne Lake was created!
Maligne Lake also has many rentals available for your private enjoyment. From canoes and aluminum rowboats to sea kayaks, Maligne Lake Boathouse has you covered. They also have fishing licenses available for purchase, as many fish are known to live in the lake. Before leaving the doc with your boat rental, it is highly advised to get used to the lake and have some knowledge about boat safety, especially considering the coldness of this lake; if the boat capsizes, hypothermia can be of great concern. It is suggested to paddle close to the shore line along with always wearing a life jacket. If you decide to rent a boat while up at Maligne Lake, it is extremely important to know and understand that small watercraft have the right of way (on the rare occasions that they were to land or scoop up water).
With stunning views and relaxing atmosphere, Maligne Lake has lots to offer. Whether it be renting a boat and exploring the lake on your own, taking a guided tour to Spirit Island, hiking, or just relaxing at the main lodge (and enjoying the fantastic food and cappuccino bar or shopping in the gift shop), this is one attraction suitable for families of all ages.