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The First-Time Hiker’s Guide to Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park

Person jumping creek. Icefields tour

Jasper national park is a treasure trove of Canada’s natural wonders with lush foliage and diverse wildlife. If you’re eager to explore Jasper National Park, then penciling in a Maligne Canyon hike is a must!

With breath-taking views, waterfalls, and geological formations, Maligne Canyon is the deepest accessible canyon in the Canadian Rockies. Hiking through the canyon is an outdoor escape where you can feel fully immersed in nature.

So you’ve decided you’re ready for the adventure, but don’t know where to start? 

If this is your first visit to Jasper National Park, don’t fret. Our first-time hiker’s guide to Maligne Canyon breaks down your trip from what to wear before you leave to must-sees during your hike!

 

What To Wear on Your Hike in Jasper National Park?

As part of Jasper National Park, Maligne Canyon is available to visitors during both the winter and summer months. Each season offers a unique experience, but it’s vital to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. When you’re on the trail, you want to make the most of your experience and not be worried about your wardrobe.

Check the Jasper National Park trail conditions and weather report, so you can dress for the appropriate hiking conditions. 

For footwear, hiking boots are the best option as they have effective tread and support for uneven terrain. If you’re visiting during the summer season and don’t have hiking boots, then high quality running shoes can work as an alternative. 

Depending on the time of year, the trail conditions will be icy or muddy. In these conditions, ice cleats or spikes are recommended to avoid slipping or falling. On our SunDog hiking tours, our guides will provide these items if the weather conditions require it. 

 

Summer Conditions

During the summer months, Maligne Canyon is more temperate and alive with plant and animal life. Surrounded by the calls of nature, you can admire the rushing rapids and waterfalls that weave through the canyon’s stunning forest and rock formations. 

Visiting Jasper National Park between April to October has more comfortable temperatures than the winter season. You can dress the same as a light to moderate day hike, such as wearing comfortable pants with a sweater and jacket layer. 

Pro Tip: Layers and more layers! Multiple layers of clothing and accessories allow you to add or remove layers when you cool down or heat up, so you can stay comfortable throughout your entire hike.

 

What To Bring on Your Hike?

When it comes to being out in the wilderness, it’s always better to be over prepared, than underprepared. There’s a few essential items that you’ll want to bring along on your hike.

  1. Water – Bring at least 1 litre of water along on your journey as water in the park may be unsafe for drinking purposes.
  2. Snacks – High energy snacks are good to keep for an added energy boost.
  3. Camera – The Maligne Canyon is filled with beauty that you’ll want to capture. Don’t forget to bring your camera to snap a few memories.

A qualified trail guide can help you feel confident and safe during your hike through Maligne Canyon. At SunDog tours, our trained guides are prepared with bear spray, hiking poles, and knowledge to share about the area and inhabiting wildlife.

 

The Maligne Canyon Trail

The Maligne Canyon trail has five bridges to wander over as you explore further on your hike. Each bridge gives you an opportunity to pause, take in the view, and snap a photo.

The Maligne Canyon trail is a multi-kilometre hike with moderate hiking difficulty. The trail contains changes in elevation and can be quite steep in some sections.

It’s important that your hike matches the ability of all members of your hiking party. If your hiking party has young children, be mindful to choose a tour route that is suitable for their activity levels and physical abilities. To inquire if a guided Maligne Canyon hiking tour is suitable for your family, call or email SunDog Tours at 780-852-4056 or .

 

What You Can See In Jasper National Park?

Maligne Canyon has no shortage of wild beauty to discover during your hike. Whether you’re a bird spotter, plant seeker or waterfall watcher, the canyon is rich with diversity to catch the eye of any nature lover.

SunDog Tours offers Guided Hiking Tours through Maligne Canyon so you can get the most out of your outdoor adventure in Jasper National Park. 

 With the expertise of our certified guides, you’ll receive a guided interpretation throughout your hike to point out unique characteristics and share their knowledge, including Karst topography and the mystery of the disappearing Medicine Lake.

At SunDog Tours, we also offer a Maligne Canyon Hike and Jasper Wildlife Sightseeing Package. 

Whether you’re eager to spot a moose, bear, bighorn sheep, wolves, or mountain goats, our Jasper Wildlife Tour gives you the opportunity to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. Throughout the tour you’ll explore Jasper’s stunning scenery while on lookout for dens, nests, and Jasper’s wild inhabitants. 

Experience the natural beauty and wildlife of the Canadian Rockies have to offer. Book your SunDog Tours Guided Hike and Wildlife Package today!

 

Curious about Hiking Maligne Canyon in the Winter?

If you’re searching for a picturesque winter-scape, then search no further. Maligne Canyon offers many spectacular frozen waterfalls and ice caves to discover. Exploring the Maligne Canyon is a true Canadian experience, however, it also includes the cold Canadian weather.

Temperatures in the Canyon can get as cold as -25 degrees Celsius (-17 Fahrenheit). On top of this, wind chill can cause the temperatures to fluctuate. That icy wind can easily pierce through certain types of clothing and chill you to the bone. Winter months will require a thermal base layer, mid-layer/sweater, jacket, hat, gloves/mitts, neck warm and potentially snow pants as mountain clothing to stay warm.

Especially in the snowy season, it’s essential to dress for the harsh weather and be familiar with your route to avoid getting lost in the cold.

During winter months, Parks Canada recommends the safest way to visit Maligne Canyon is with a guide.

From December to March, SunDog Tours offers guided ice walk tours through Maligne Canyon.

Book a Jasper adventure with SunDog Tours today. Contact us to get started!

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