Maligne Canyon

November 11, 2011

Before I departed, it was a surprise that there was no snow on the ground as of Remembrance Day in Edmonton.  There were parts of the province that has seen small amounts of snow, but overall the weather hasn't adapted to winter yet.  On the trip into the mountains there were pockets of snow collected in the fields, and some mountain tops had snow, but not all of them.

It was a mix of snow and rain on the drive through Jasper National Park and I suspected my first option of seeing Bridal Veil Falls wouldn't turn out to be as stunning as she could.  Some rivers, streams and even lakes were slightly frozen, so this told me that the water flow was likely restricted.  Which is why I turned to Maligne Canyon Falls, as I knew it was going to be flowing for some time until the hard frost and -30 weather started.

Maligne Canyon is a very powerful waterfall on the top section, cutting through rock and wearing it down, which over the years helped in forming the canyon that is predominant today.  The lower tier of the waterfall is more susceptible to being frozen, as it's a curtain waterfall.  It's interesting to see two opposing types being displayed in one waterfall.  On the top the Plunge is powerful and ruthless, forcing rock formations to evolve offer the years; and on the bottom a peaceful Curtain, a sign of tranquility and serenity.

As I've been to this location before, I was aware of the hike involved.  The waterfall isn't more than a 10 minute hike from the parking lot at the top.  However the hike back up to the car is significantly more exhausting.  A novice hiker would be able to make this journey and from the picture displayed above, the trail is even safe for children.  Though the decent is slightly steep, which may take a bit longer to return to your vehicle.

To find this waterfall; on your journey towards Jasper from Edmonton, be sure to bypass the exit for the town of Jasper.  Continue until you see a sign marked Maligne Canyon.  The road will be on your left hand side and clearly starts with a small bridge.  Bear left again at the immediate fork, and continue on the road until there is another sign for the canyon.  You will be lead onto a parking lot and should hear rushing water from there.