The Maligne Canyon walk explores the finest limestone gorge in Jasper National Park. This is a great family-friendly hike that provides great views of the mountains and the incredible canyon geology.
Head north from Jasper on Highway 16 until you reach Maligne Lake Rd. Turn right on this road and continue until the turn off for Maligne Canyon. Park at the far end of the lot to access the trailhead.
|When to do|
May through October
Out and back
There are several paths that lead all throughout Maligne Canyon, giving you many options to explore. All of the paths are extremely wide and are well signposted. There are several steps so taking a stroller could be very difficult, and is not recommended.
It is best to take the leftmost trailhead that leads directly to the canyons. These canyons have been carved out for years by glacier runoff, and are absolutely stunning. The photos do not do them justice. They are immensely deep and narrow, and have several magnificent waterfalls.
If you want to best view for the least effort, turn left before crossing the bridge and hike up towards the gift shop. You will come across the most majestic waterfall, and some smoothly sculpted rocks.
However, if you want a longer hike cross the bridge and turn right. This path (# 7) runs parallel to the river and crosses over several times. As stated, the views are beyond words. Towards the end of the path the river widens and neat rapids form.
At the end of the path cross over the fifth bridge and return along the 7F trail. This path is no longer paved and climbs up along a ridge above the river. From here you will see wonderful views down the valley and across to the single picturesque Pyramid Mountain. The 7F trail will reunite with the 7 trail at the first bridge you crossed. Return to the car the way you came.
The majestic Maligne Canyon was formed because of the Palliser Formation, a layer of limestone left some 365 million years ago by ancient plankton. Water constantly running over this stone has carved out the superb canyons that are seen along the hike. Panels located throughout the trail system explain in more detail the geological significance of the area.
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