We’ve been to Jasper National Park several times so I don’t know how we missed these attractions during previous visits. When we discovered Lakes Edith and Annette, Maligne Canyon, and Maligne Lake, I asked myself, “Have I even visited this national park before now?”
That’s the kind of place Jasper is. You can drive through those park gates and see something different every time. Each visit is a new adventure.
I’d often seen the sign along the main highway pointing the way to Maligne Canyon Road. And maybe, just maybe, a long time ago I drove up there and took that terrifying walk along the intimidating canyon, its roaring waters sculpting jagged rock into smooth, rounded forms, curved walls, and perfect bowls.
Listen to me read this post:
As we walked along, we did remember. “I think we have been here.”
“Yes, but there were a million people and it was hard to get a good view.”
This last weekend in Jasper was the opposite of crowded. On the Sunday night before the May long weekend, it was just us, the carved stone, and the crashing water. The weather was warm, the leaves were popping out, and the whole forest smelled like it was coming to life.
To get to Maligne Lake you have to drive about 44 kilometres up into the mountains. We did and on the way, we stopped to see the Maligne Canyon Lookout, the Fifth Bridge, some nice hiking trails, and, of course, the Maligne Canyon.
The lake looked post-apocalyptic with its solemn, unrippled surface surrounded by lonely grey boulders like headstones, and acres and acres of dead trees, either burnt or diseased. I can tell by the tourism websites that this beautiful place was not always so desolate. Still, even against its backdrop of mountain peaks and green forest, a lake that is 22 kilometres long and that high up is bound to look a bit isolated from the rest of the world.
Lakes Annette and Edith
Lakes Annette and Edith are right next to one another and located near Jasper Park Lodge. There are picnic areas and long, narrow beaches with clean, white sand at both these lakes. Non-motorized watercrafts are allowed on these lakes and at Edith, you can rent paddle boards.
My favourite discovery this past weekend was the paved walking trail that runs right around Lake Annette for about two kilometres in total. There are benches along the lakeshore, and walkers are encouraged to stop and listen to the birds and the gently lapping water.
One consistency this past weekend was our accommodations. We rented a cozy heritage cabin again at Alpine Village and after each exploration of another corner of Jasper National Park, we headed back to sit on the patio or by the fireplace. It was pretty warm this weekend to take advantage of the big outdoor hot pool available to Alpine Village guests, but most times this hot pool is a great place to be after a full day of discovery.