10 Incredible Facts About Maligne Canyon!

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maligne canyon

Are you a wanderer who likes exploring new places?  Then Maligne Canyon is the place for you!

But, visiting a place without having any background knowledge and interesting facts makes the site slightly dull.

Maligne Canyon is a beautiful place that lies within Jasper National Park and should also be on your bucket list. Located amidst the lush greenery and beauty of Alberta, Canada, may it be summer, winters, or fall, the canyon always has its vivid beauty to offer to its visitors.

So, why not gather some interesting facts about Maligne Canyon? It’s always beneficial and enhances your knowledge, plus you can brag about it in front of your friends.

Essential facts about Maligne canyon!

maligne canyon

Ovedc, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


1. Let’s talk about history first!

Maligne is a French word, which means wicked! Well, that was unexpected. Why would someone name such wild beauty as wicked? There’s a story for its name, which sounds reasonable.

It is believed that once a French man was trying to cross the river that flows beneath the canyon, but his horses couldn’t withstand the current of water and got swept away, hence the name Maligne.

The river flowing beneath the rocky terrain indeed has a high current flow, and so does the river is called as Maligne as well. That is something you definitely wouldn’t wanna miss!

2. About the canyons

The Maligne Canyon has a depth of 55 meters, and it spreads across the Jasper National Park in 1.2 km of length.

The walls of the canyon are limestone, and its shape is narrower on the upper area and broader below, allowing some geologists to believe that the canyon had an underground cave system.

There are fossils in the walls of Maligne Canyon! Yes, you can find the imprints of ancient creatures like snails, sea lilies, etc.

During winter’s natural ice sculptors, forms on the walls of the canyon, allowing adventure seekers to go for ice climbing.

3. About the river

maligne canyon

Ovedc, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The river is also named as Maligne river, and it flows only in the high seasons, which are from May to December. From January to April, as the winters are at their peaks, the river freezes, allowing nature to form beautiful ice sculptors.

It is believed that the river flows through an underground cave system from the Medicine Lake, which is around 14kms away from the canyon.

Also, there are six bridges built in the Maligne canyon to allow visitors to explore its beauty and witness a frozen waterfall during winters.

Beneath the river lies an underground drainage system, which is known as karst. It is a belief of scientists and geologists who came to this conclusion by observing the massive flow of water that flows underground and emerges with sudden force.

4. About the hike

It is possible to park your car, cross a bridge, and witness the beauty and move on to the next destination. But, that would simply visit in disguise. So, please go inside and explore the mountain ranges, those canyon walls, and all amazing things yourself.

There are parking spots available near the first and second bridges and also near the sixth bridge. It is advisable to come prepared with lots of time because the full loop of the hiking trail is around 3.7 km long.

At the second bridge lies the tallest waterfall of Maligne canyon. Around the third or fourth bridge, all that energy put in trekking will get rewarded with a mesmerizing view.

There’s no compulsion, you can return whenever you want, but don’t miss the photogenic areas of the waterfalls, high peaks, water levels, etc.

5. Apart from hiking

Maligne Canyon is well known for hiking, but along with hiking and enjoying the scenic beauty, you will gain knowledge about geology as informational boards keep on appearing. There are also horseback rides and ice walk tours available for visitors.

Observe flora and fauna of the place, and you can easily spot mosses, lichens, water insects, and birds like American dipper, raven, black swifts, etc. with their nests.

The best part about Maligne canyon is the Aurora or star gazing during a festival celebrated as Jasper Dark Sky Festival.

6. Weather decisions

Maligne Canyon looks stunning always. There’s no doubt about that. During summers, the place is covered in lush greenery. You can experience the wilderness of this canyon, and the adventure doubles up when the Maligne River’s level rises while flowing beneath those rocky terrains.

During winter, not just Maligne canyon, but most of Canada turns into a winter wonderland. So if you’ll visit this place during winters, the river freezes, but that is not a disappointment factor; you can go down the canyon to witness the frozen waterfall and experience its beauty from a different angle.

Don’t miss the opportunity of taking lots of pictures as Maligne Canyon is quite photogenic.

7. About the ice walk

maligne canyon winter

ChrisStubbs, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The ice walk is one of the major attractions of Maligne Canyon. It is evident that ice walks are possible during winters only, so if you get a chance or if you are planning to explore and experience all kinds of adventure Jasper National park has to offer, try visiting between January to April.

Don’t forget to wear your waterproof snow boots, and go with a group, as going alone is not advisable. And if you are one daring soul planning to go ice walking alone, return after the third bridge, as it is not safe to go further.

There are several ice walk tours organized by the national parks that give tours to visitors twice or thrice a day. Give an attempt to ice climbing and take lots of beautiful pictures.

The view from beneath the canyon is just breathtaking, and it can be an experience of a lifetime.

8. Things to carry along

Yes, Maligne Canyon is an adventure-filled the place, where you can trek and enjoy the beautiful views offered by the Jasper National Park.

Before hiking on the trails, a few things that you should carry with yourself include items like rain protection because you never know when it starts raining, and you don’t want to ruin your trip.

Wear hiking boots for more comfort and down jacket if you are visiting during winters. A camera, of course, without a camera, your visits are incomplete and carry your water in a bottle as tourist places have pricey shops.

Just a small bag full of the above-mentioned items will do the job.

If you want to save some time and avoid the rush, try to visit the place in the morning hours. Also, try to take a tour guide along as they are really helpful from every perspective.

9. Apart from Maligne Canyon

Jasper National Park

Photo by Davi Costa on Unsplash

Yes, the canyon is an excellent place for the adventurer inside you. But as you have already reached Jasper National Park, take some time to explore the place as well. You won’t regret it!

Jasper National park is the largest and among one of the oldest parks in Canada, as it is spread in the area of 10,800 sq.km. And was established in the year 1907.

It is a package of all-natural wonders like it has glaciers, mountain peaks, lakes, hot springs, etc. It has some famous mountains such as Mount Columbia and Mount Edith Cavell.

The Columbian icefield has eight significant glaciers, and Athabasca Glacier is one of the most beautiful among them. Coming to the lakes of Jasper National park, it has Athabasca River, Pyramid Lake, Patricia lakes, and of course, the Maligne River.

And there’s a skyline trail of around 25km and a sky tram for adding the last bit of fun to the park.

To gain in-depth insight into the Jasper National Park, you can click here!

10. Few important facts

The Maligne Canyon is easily accessible from Jasper town, and it is only ten minutes drive. It is advisable to visit the place in the morning from 7.30 to 8.00 A.M.

Start your hiking journey from any bridge you want, no compulsions. The loops are slightly steeper so, be prepared.

It has also been reported that grizzly bears can be found near the sixth bridge of the Maligne canyon. The probability is low, but still being aware and prepared can do lots of wonders.

And if you are looking for staying around Jasper national park, all ranges of accommodations are available nearby.

Canada has lots of surprises; you need to visit the country to experience the adventure it has to offer.

Maligne Canyon is one of the surprises of Jasper National Park as it has the capability of being the highlight of your Canada trip. There are lots of other exciting and unusual places waiting to be explored in Jasper.

For exploring Jasper, allow yourself the time of one whole day, because all those beautiful places demand your time and attention.

If you are really into exploring national parks and wildlife of Canada, you can check out some beautiful places where you can experience the Canadian Wildlife, by clicking here!

This was an article on ’10 Important Facts About Maligne Canyon’. If you have something more to add, please feel free to share your thoughts with us!


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