Maligne Canyon Waterfalls

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1.5
One of the Maligne Canyon Waterfalls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Maligne Canyon Waterfalls (pronounced "muh-LEEN") were the waterfalls that we managed to encounter within the depths of Maligne Canyon. Julie and I did a real straightforward 20-minute loop of the upper parts of the canyon, which encompassed I think the first and second bridges that spanned the deep and narrow gorge. These bridges also provided us views of the most interesting waterfalls including the tallest one (pictured above).

Even through there were many more waterfalls and rapids deeper within the canyon further downstream towards the 3rd through 6th bridges, we were content with our abridged experience. I understand that the longer walk would've taken about 90 minutes each way.

Even though I've seen recommendations saying the one-way shuttle walk would be the way to visit this attraction, it would only be possible if we had access to two cars. I heard it could also be done with a partner if each person started off at opposite ends of the trail, then the possessor of the car key would hand it over to the partner so that partner could then regain the car, swing back around to the other trailhead, and collect the other partner.

Anyways, the main waterfall was right below what I think was the first bridge. It was just downstream from the so-called Tea House where there were more cascades. The gorge at this point was somewhat shallower than where the 1st and 2nd bridges crossed over.

And since the walk was relatively easy and straightforward, we were also joined by a pair of tour buses. So I'd imagine this was a really popular attraction, especially considering it was also en route to the remote Lake Maligne.

Speaking of Lake Maligne, in order to get that postcard view of Spirit Island fronting the lake in a mountainous backdrop, we had to take one of the boat tours that took us all the way to the back of the lake. That end of the lake was nearly enclosed in by the box canyon.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Another 37km beyond Maligne Canyon was the beautiful Lake Maligne.  This photo was taken from the end of the lake nearest to the car park at the end of the roadAnother 37km beyond Maligne Canyon was the beautiful Lake Maligne. This photo was taken from the end of the lake nearest to the car park at the end of the road
Another 37km beyond Maligne Canyon was the beautiful Lake Maligne.  This was that post card view of Spirit Island fronting the box canyon closing in this end of the lake.Another 37km beyond Maligne Canyon was the beautiful Lake Maligne. This was that post card view of Spirit Island fronting the box canyon closing in this end of the lake.
To even get up to Jasper, we took the scenic route along the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) passing by many beautiful mountains, a glacier, and lakes such as the Waterfowl Lake shown hereTo even get up to Jasper, we took the scenic route along the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) passing by many beautiful mountains, a glacier, and lakes such as the Waterfowl Lake shown here
Antlered elkAs my Mom would say, "Early bird gets the worm." In this case, we chanced upon this antlered elk on the way to Maligne Canyon.

The large car park for Maligne CanyonThe large car park for Maligne Canyon

On a well-established and signposted walk into Maligne CanyonOn a well-established and signposted walk into Maligne Canyon

Julie following the paved walk before it entered the depths of the gorgeJulie following the paved walk before it entered the depths of the gorge

Julie crossing over what I think was the second bridgeJulie crossing over what I think was the second bridge

Peering into the depths of the canyon looking upstreamPeering into the depths of the canyon looking upstream. Notice the striated and curly formations suggesting there was once a flood with some whirlpool action here.

Peering into the depths of the canyon looking downstreamPeering into the depths of the canyon looking downstream

Looking towards the top part of the tallest waterfall showing some gorge contextLooking towards the top part of the tallest waterfall showing some gorge context

Looking directly at the tallest waterfall in the canyonLooking directly at the tallest waterfall in the canyon

One of the upper cascadesOne of the upper cascades

Looking downstream from the upper cascadeLooking downstream from the upper cascade

We saw some mountain goats or rams en route to Lake MaligneWe saw some mountain goats or rams en route to Lake Maligne

Finally, we made it to the shores of Lake MaligneFinally, we made it to the shores of Lake Maligne. This was well worth the long drive from Maligne Canyon to get here.

Spirit Island and the head of Lake MaligneSpirit Island and the head of Lake Maligne


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Bottom up sweep of the tallest waterfall in the canyon as well as the gorge context it's in


Bottom up sweep of one of the upper waterfalls upstream of the main one


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

To get to the signposted turnoff and large car park for Maligne Canyon, we headed northeast of Jasper along Connaught Drive before it junctioned with Hwy 16. Turning left onto Hwy 16, we followed this highway for under 2km before turning right onto Maligne Road (you'll be crossing a bridge).

Look for the well-signed turnoff for Maligne Canyon to your left after about 6.2km on Maligne Road.

Note that it's another 37km beyond this turnoff along Maligne Rd to get to the beautiful Lake Maligne.

For some additional context, Jasper was 365km (under 4 hours drive) west of Edmonton and 412km (5 hours drive) northwest of Calgary.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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