About Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Fed by the Maligne river, Maligne Lake is the longest(22.5 km) natural lake in the Canadian Rockies.
Known as Chaba Imne (Beaver Lake) to the native first nations, Maligne Lake was first explored by Mary Schaffer in 1907 with the help of Samson Beaver. In 1927, Col. Fred Brewster built Maligne Lake Chalet, the guest house, wash house, and cache at the Lake to house the tourists.
This recognized National Historic building, was once a famous luxurious accommodation in Jasper. In 1928, Donald ‘Curly’ Philips built, the now Historic Boat house as part of his guided fishing tours. The first tour boat, named Leah, was also built in 1928 by Philips.
What to do at Maligne Lake?
Things to do at Maligne Lake
Walk along the lakeshore trail (Mary Schaffer loop) that follows the shoreline and enjoy the azure coloured Lake back dropped by stunning mountain ranges – Maligne range, Mount Charlton and Mount Unwin.
Enjoy the scenery & the view of the Maligne glacier hanging on the Maligne mountain.
Hike the many trails found near the lake.
Go on the boat cruise through Samson narrows to Spirit Island (a tiny Island with trees) and see the many mountain peaks around the lake, the two glaciers and wildlife.
Fish at the Lake stocked with trouts. Or go on guided fishing tours.
Canoe or Kayak at the lake.
See the wildlife like caribou, moose, black bear and Harlequin ducks along Lake shore.
Enjoy afternoon tea at the historic Maligne Lake Chalet.
Star gaze at night and see a million stars . Jasper is an Official dark sky preserve. Maligne Lake is one of the best spots to star gaze at night in Jasper.
Maligne Lake Hikes
Mary Schaffer Loop
This 3.2 km loop starts at the first parking lot on the right. Follow the path to the lake shore. See the Historic boat house. Learn about Mary Schaffer through many interpretive displays. See the panoramic view of the lake backdropped by mountain ranges and return back to the starting point after hiking through a path through a forest of pine, spruce and fir. GPS : 52.7293, -117.6371
Hiking this 8.2 km loop with an elevation gain of 460 m passes through alpine meadows and rewards you with the view of the entire Maligne Valley. Occasional closed due to bear activity near this trail. Check for warnings and closure. Trail Head : Northeastern corner of the farthest parking lot. GPS : 52.730969,-117.634647
Moose Lake Loop
The trail starts at the parking lot situated at the end of Maligne Lake road. This 2.7 km hiking trail follows the Bald Hills trail for 200 m and then turns left to Moose lake (a lake where Moose graze ). The trail loops back along the south shore of the Maligne lake back to the parking lot. Trail head GPS : 52.72576,-117.645305 Bald hills trail kiosk
Bald Hills Hike
This must do moderately strenuous trail of 10.4 km(return) rewards you with the views of Maligne Valley and the mountain peaks. By the time you reach the viewpoint, you would have gained an elevation of 495 m. Trail head : Same as Moose Lake. GPS : 52.72576,-117.645305
Lorraine Lake and Mona Lake
Follow this trail that has an elevation gain of 80 m to reach a pair of serene lakes. Trail distance : 5.2 km return. Trail head :The Skyline trail Kiosk. GPS : 52.726969,-117.645487
Canoeing & Kayaking in Maligne Lake
Canoeing/Kayaking or paddling is the best way to enjoy the jade blue waters of Maligne Lake. Canoes and Kayaks can be rented from the Curly Philips boat house.
Experienced Kayakers may paddle to the two backcountry camping locations along the Maligne Lake shore. Fisherman’s Bay campground is located on the east shore ~ 13km from the boat house. The other campground at Coronet creek is almost at the end of the lake: 21.3 km from the boat house on the west shore. (Details)
Maligne Lake Boat Cruise
Take the boat cruise to see the most photographed Spirit Island located in the Maligne Lake. Feel inspired by the beauty of Maligne Lake’s vibrant blue waters and the stunning lofty peaks as you cruise to Spirit Island, a world-famous destination accessible only by boat.
Premium Cruise – 2 hours: Extented time in the Spirit Island.
Maligne Lake in Winter
Winter presents an altogether different scenario at the Lake. A good time to see wild life.
Snow shoe & or ski along the trails. See trail report
How to get to Maligne Lake?
Maligne Lake Location & Directions /address
From Jasper town, head north on Yellowhead highway (Highway 16) . Turn right to Maligne road (see the signs for Maligne Lake road). The Maligne Canyon turnoff will be on the left after about 6km. After about ~15 km from the Maligne canyon turnoff, you will reach Medicine Lake. Continue on the road for another 22.5 km to reach the lake.
GPS : 52.730276,-117.638749 (turnoff for parking).
Click on map tab for Maligne Lake Google map.
Boat cruise, Canoeing/Kayaking is the only way to see Spirit Island up close.
How much to see Maligne Lake?
Free with National Park Admission.
Maligne Lake Boat Cruise
Classic Cruise : Adults : $72 & Child : $36 GST included.
Canoe & Kayak Rentals
Afternoon Tea: $36.00 & up
Guided Fishing: $200.00 & up
- Maligne Lake Cruise
- Price: $71.98
- Maligne Lake Cruise
- Price: $51.75
- Maligne Valley and Wildlife Tour
- Price: $51.75
When to see Maligne Lake?
Year round. Activities vary as per seasons.
Fishing season : May 18 -to- September 30. National Park permit required.
Boat Cruise 2017 :
May 20 - Jun 4 | 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Jun 5 - Jun 30 | 10:00AM to 4:00 PM
Jul 1- Aug 31 | 10:00AM to 5:30 PM
Sep 1 - Oct 8 | 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
What about Maligne Lake amenities?
Parking. Picnic tables near the Mary Schaffer View point.
Cafteria at the Day Lodge,
Mary Schaffer trail is wheel chair accessible till view point.
Fisherman's Campground ~ 13km on east shore in the Samson Narrows & Coronet creek Campground ~ 21.3 km away on west shore.
Other Picnic sites along the Maligne Lake : @ 4km on west shore near Trapper Creek. @5 km at Four Mile Point on the east shore. @ 10km at Sampson on east shore. @ 17km near Spindly Creek is 17km on the west shore.
Maligne lodge is located in the town of Jasper. Book MALIGNE LODGE* Boat house photo used under Creative Commons License . Image courtesy Chritianabend.