Maligne Canyon Falls

Jan 15, 2011

I started off this journey to Jasper, expecting to go and photograph Athabasca Falls, but in the end I still wasn't disappointed. My co-pilot (Sean) and I left that morning under the impression that there would be some possible avalanche warnings. Little did we expect how severe they actually turned out to be. We first stopped to have a look at Punch Bowl falls near Pocahontas Cabins, and the Roads were closed off.
It was at this point we decided to hike it by foot, for a little over a kilometer towards the falls. We stopped at one point to take pictures of some scenery, and ran into a couple guys snowshoeing. Thanks to them, we were notified that we were standing on the falls as the snow level was so high, that they were not visible.
On our way to Athabasca Falls we were met by some Park Rangers who informed us of the Severity of the Avalanches in the region. The road to Athabasca was closed off and we were not permitted to access the road, due to blasting to clear the snow. The Rangers informed us of the Malign Canyon Falls, and so we were off on our attempt number 3 at finding some frozen falls.

Directions: A short drive down the Maligne Lake Road (just south of the town Jasper), bear right at the intersection and you'll find the parking spot for the walkway leading to the canyon. The start of the canyon is only a short walk in from the parking lot, where you'll see the beautifully carved canyon walls. In the summer these walls contrast with the lush greens, trees, moss and plentiful green leaves. During the winter the contrast is lost, but the beauty of the sheer drop and chiseled like walls, are enough to keep you satisfied. The first sightings of the falls are not even a kilometer walk down the trail. Which is an easier walk in the summer as there is a pathway all the way through the canyon. During the winter you'll get a decent work out on the way back up the walkway, as the steppes are covered in snow making it more of a slope. In any case the walk is still an easy one that would be good for some one looking to go Waterfalling for the first time.