BEAUTIFUL!! I just wanted to scream those words. I was so blown away with the Maligne Lake scenery. It was much, much grander than I expected. And kayaking Maligne Lake is one of the best ways to experience the grandeur, especially once you get past Spirit Island.
Kayaking Maligne Lake is best done in July and August when the weather is usually good and the temperatures are warmer.
Maligne Lake is only 44 kilometres (27 miles) from the town of Jasper. It’s an incredibly popular spot to take a boat cruise – which I highly recommend doing but only if you’re not inclined to canoe or kayak.
John and I were keen to kayak the length of the 22 kilometre lake so we could camp at the Coronet Creek Campground. In fact at precisely 8 AM, with two phones going, I nabbed the last campsite – on March 30th.
Reservations can be made 90 days out, and since this is a very popular spot, I knew I had to be on the phone the second the line opened. I booked our trip for the July 1st, the Canada Day long weekend. Three days was the perfect length of time to do the trip.
These photographs will give you a good idea of just how wonderful our Maligne Lake kayaking trip turned out to be.
Useful information for kayaking Maligne Lake
Book up to 90 days ahead of time. Weekdays are easier to get than weekends. Phone (780) 852-6177 (MST).
Canoes, kayaks or a boat powered with a tiny motor – 3 horsepower or less I believe.
You can camp for a maximum of two nights at each of the three campsites. Hidden Cove is the first one you reach – and it’s perfect for families. Fisherman’s Bay (13 kilometres down from the launch) and Coronet Creek (21.3 kilometres down from the launch) are the other two campsites. Wardens come around and check that you have a valid permit.
It costs $11.70 to make a reservation and $9.80 per person per night to camp.
Bear lockers are provided as are tent pads.
There is an open air – but private – toilet.
Bring a tarp and pack for every possible type of weather – from sun to snow.
You can have a fire in the fire ring. As the summer progresses firewood will be increasingly difficult to find. Consider loading up your kayak or canoe on the way down to the campsite.
There is an excellent 16 kilometre day hike from the Coronet Creek campsite.
Dogs are allowed on a leash – even at the campsites.
You can rent canoes and kayaks right on the lake though the prices are steep.
Further reading on paddling in western Canada
- 9 of the Best Places to Paddle in Alberta
- Kayaking Murtle Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC
- Kayaking to Tent Island in BC’s Gulf Islands
- 7 of the Best Places to go Kayaking in BC
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