Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies. Ringed by snow-and-ice-capped mountains, the
22 km long lake stretches past serene Spirit Island right to the melt-water channels of Coronet Glacier. An open forest of lodgepole pine and spruce, home of moose, caribou and Harlequin Ducks and many other types of wildlife surround visitors at the north end of the lake. Hiking and, in winter, cross-country skiing trails abound making this a popular retreat at all times of the year.
Maligne Lake was originally known as "Chaba Imne" (Beaver Lake) by the Indigenous people who lived in Jasper. In 1907 Mary Schaeffer, a wealthy Quaker from Philadelphia, learned of the mysterious lake. Following a map obtained from Samson Beaver, Mary explored the valley and lake and later wrote about her adventures, making the area a popular tourist attraction in years to follow.
One of the most popular pictures in the Canadian Rockies is the image of Spirit Island in the middle of Maligne Lake. The island is 14 kilometres up-lake and there is no road or trail access. Tour boats or private, non-motorized craft are the only means of reaching Spirit Island.
Maligne Valley offers backcountry experiences with options for hikers and paddlers. Whether you're paddling to one of the three campsites on the most famous 22 km Maligne Lake, or hitting the trails for an exceptionally beautiful journey through a narrow mountain valley to Jacques Lake, or heading above treeline on the beautiful ridges of the Skyline, there is an adventure waiting for you!
Seasonal closures for caribou conservation
From November 1 through February 28 inclusive, all access is prohibited to important winter habitat of the Maligne and Brazeau caribou herds. This includes the subalpine and alpine areas of the Maligne Range from Signal Mountain south, east of Highway 93 and west of the Maligne River; the slopes to the west of Highway 93 between Bubbling Springs and Beauty Creek Hostel, Poboktan Creek Trail and the Brazeau Loop. Details