In my humble opinion, no Canadian holiday is complete without visiting the stunning alpine town of Jasper in the Alberta province. Home to its own national park and surrounded by picture-perfect scenery amid the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, Jasper is a nature lover’s paradise with a wide range of things to see and do during your time here. The Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake are two magnificent attractions which will certainly be candidates for the highlight of your Canadian holiday. |
An area of great geological and historical importance, the Maligne Canyon is the deepest in the park dropping to over 50 metres in some areas. Hikers of all abilities can enjoy exploring the area thanks to the six bridges built across the canyon so you can spend time uncovering the various waterfalls, fossils, underground stream outlets and walls, beautifully patterned by the friction of the swirling water over the years.
The network of signs along the trail provides extensive information about the geography and history of the area - be sure to read these to get the extraordinary story of how the canyon came to be. There is even an inviting restaurant at the top with amazing views over the Maligne River from the large outdoor patio where you can dine on the tasty food served up for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
During your visit to the canyon, you might also want to try the amazing Icewalk adventure. The base of the canyon is a frozen floor with a maze of alleys with ice caves, fossils, and towering frozen waterfalls just waiting to be discovered.
A massive 22km lake (the largest in the Canadian Rockies) surrounded by snow-capped mountains and thick forest, the scenic Maligne Lake is a lovely place for a peaceful hike or even for cross-country skiing if you are visiting during winter. The area was discovered by a wealthy Quaker named Mary Schaeffer in 1907 and you can follow in her footsteps by walking the Mary Schaeffer Loop. This lakeshore trail hugs the shoreline and provides an opportunity to enjoy the incredible scenery and wildlife found in the area. Other options include canoeing or kayaking in the lake, fishing for trout or going on a guided boat tour of the area.
The beautiful Spirit Island (which features in one of the most famous photographs of The Rockies) is found in the centre of the lake. Measuring a mere 14km across, the island is only accessible boat and provides fantastic views of the lake and the two nearby glaciers.
The world-famous canyon and lake at Maligne are worth the visit and brilliantly showcase the incredible natural beauty found in this amazing part of the world. Canadian holidays to Jasper should always be booked with a reputable specialist tour operator to ensure that you get the best possible experience and do not miss out on the magic that this region has to offer visitors.
John Dixon is the Chairman and Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For almost a decade he has been sending his clients on bespoke Canadian holidays, handcrafted by his award-winning team. John is an experienced world traveller and tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of the properties he recommends, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
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