About Medicine Lake Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Located in Maligne Valley, Medicine Lake is formed by the Maligne river. When the river on its way to merge with Athabasca river, reaches the Medicine Lake area, pools up to form the Lake over a series of underground caves made of limestone. The water drains through these sinkholes to appear at the Maligne Canyon.
In summer, due to the huge amount of glacial melt water (more than what the cave system could handle), the lake is filled with icy blue green glacial melt water. By Autumn, the lake shrinks to a few number of pools. This wonderful phenomena caused by the largest inaccessible underground cave system in the world caused the natives to name the lake, Medicine Lake.
What to do at Medicine Lake Jasper Alberta?
Things to do at Medicine Lake
Stop at the road side pull out and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Learn the geology of the largest inaccessible cave system that lies underneath the lake through interpretive display boards.
Medicine Lake Hike: Walk down the short path to the lake shore.
View the wild life that graze near the lake : Big horn sheep, Elk, moose, black bear.
Medicine Lake in Winter
Snow blankets the lake in winter. Though not a popular destination, you can snow shoe on the lake. Wildlife like moose, elk can be seen.
See here for winter warnings.
How to get to Medicine Lake?
Medicine Lake Direction / Location
From Jasper town, head north on Yellowhead highway (Highway 16) . Turn right to Maligne road (see the signs for Maligne Lake road). You will pass the Maligne Canyon turnoff after about 6km. Continue on the road for ~ 21 km (from the Highway-Maligne road intersection) to reach the lake.
GPS coordinate : 52.873378,-117.805209
Watch tower trail head is ~ 2 km before the lake. GPS : 52.879931,-117.834427
How much to see Medicine Lake?
Free with National Park admission.
When to visit Medicine Lake Jasper?
To see the lake in all its glory – Summer. The lake almost disappears by the end of Autumn.
What about Medicine Lake amenities?
Parking available. Wheelchair accessible.