The Maligne Lake Road is one of the highlights for any visitor to Jasper. Access to the road about 5 km east of Jasper on Highway 16 and the drive is about 46 kilometers before you get to Maligne Lake which is the goal for most visitors. But the road has much to offer before you get to Maligne Lake.
Wildlife. The first thing you are likely to see when travelling Maligne Lake Road is wildlife. We came across these two mule deers just after crossing the bridge after turning off Highway 16. They are smaller and maybe not as impressive as the larger elk that I wrote about in ‘Jasper Village Wildlife‘, but I still think they are beautiful! The mule deer is only about a meter tall. They are less shy than the elk and don’t mind posing for a photo.
Looking at the pictures of the mule deer it is probably not a surprise that it got the name because of its ears. Funny how the one in the picture below has twisted its ears 180 degrees. That is something I didn’t notice before I looked through the pictures.
Our next stop was Maligne Canyon. We had done the Maligne Canyon Hike during the summer, but had heard it was supposed to be stunning in the winter as well and that you can actually walk on the canyon ice floor in the winter. Wow, that’s something we just had to check out for ourselves. Access to the canyon is at the fourth bridge (there are maps in the area showing you were the fourth bridge is). When getting down in the icy floor of the canyon we soon realised that you need cleats to safely walk through the canyon. It had been quite mild so in addition to being quite slippery there were some decent water streams going through the canyon. We decided to not continue without cleats – safety first! But we got a couple of nice pictures of some of the adventurous ice climbers in the canyon making use of the frozen waterfalls.
Medicine Lake. This was unfortunately our turning point today. Due to warm weather and rain earlier in the week there was severe avalanche danger in the steep mountain sides along Medicine Lake and the road was closed from this point on. We were hoping to do some cross country skiing on Maligne Lake as we have done the Bald Hills Fire Look Out hike earlier and the area was stunning! At that time we came across fresh bear track… We were not able to go to Maligne Lake this time, but we had a back up plan in place. We pulled out our snowshoes and had a nice snowshoeing walk on Medicine Lake instead. The cross country skiing on Maligne Lake will have to wait…
Our Jasper National Park hikes:
Thanks for visiting. Comments are much appreciated!