Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park is the second largest glacier-fed lake in the world

Spirit Island, Maligne Lake, by Allan W King, courtesy Travel Alberta

Spirit Island, Maligne Lake, by Allan W King, courtesy Travel Alberta

Maligne Lake, Alberta – So, how cool is it?  So cold that if you fell in you’d only last about 12 minutes, but this doesn’t stop the thousands of visitors who board tour boats to cruise the 22-km (14-mile) lake each summer. The big attraction is is Spirit Island, a small patch of land with about a dozen trees, which is in such a picturesque setting it’s been seen in photo spreads and commercials around the world. It has been called the most photographed island in the world, and it was featured on the old Canadian $5 bill. As glacier-fed lakes go, Maligne Lake is second in size only to Lake Baikal in Siberia, yet is easily-accessible with a spectacularly scenic setting.

The 48 km (30-mile) drive out from Jasper is well-known as one of the best road routes to spot wildlife, from beaver lodges and big-horn sheep to occasional black bear, grizzly bear and moose. You can self-drive or take a tour. Enroute to Maligne Lake you will pass Medicine Lake, a 9 km long lake which remarkable empties out like a giant bath tub each year.


Spirit Island, Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta


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