Following an ancient path through the earth's crust, water as hot as 53.9ºC flows out of springs in a narrow canyon along Sulphur Creek. Heated by geothermal warmth, the Miette Hotsprings are the hottest known springs in the Canadian Rockies.
Each minute 800 liters of water of steaming water pours out the ducts in the river. The water is rich in Calicum, Sulphur and Hydrogen Sulfide (the stinky smell). The water is collected, cooled, chlorinated and filtered, then pumped into the pools
Although it is only 17kms from the turn off at the Pocohantas Cabins, the road is narrow and winding. It may seem like it's taking forever to get there but finally you see the Miette Resort Cabins and then the parking lot (usually filled with mountain goats) for the Hot Springs. About midway there is a lookout - Ashlar Ridge Viewpoint - where if you look closely you may see a bear on the other side of the mountain.
The pools are open daily mid May until mid October. There are longer hours in the summer months. The cost of admission is
Adult (18 – 64 years) $6.05
Youth (3 – 17 years) $5.15
Child (under 3) Free
Senior (65+ years) $5.15
Family (2 adults and 2 youth) $18.35
Extra Youth $3.40
If you happen to forget to pack your swimsuit you can rent one at the Hot Springs for $1.90, a towel $1.90 and a locker for $1.90. So don't think because you forgot a swimsuit or towel that you can't go.
There are 2 hot pools and 2 cold pools. One pool wheelchair accessible, it's more shallow than the other pool. The other pool I believe is 4ft deep. Both of these pools are kept at 40 degrees Celcius. One of the cold pools temperature is around 12 degrees Celcius, the other a little warmer but not as warm as the large pools.
There is also a picnic area on the other side of the parking lot and is a great spot to take a break even if you haven't come for a swim.
Athabasca Glacier feeds into the Columbia Icefield which is part of the Continental Divide of North America. It's situated between Banff and Jasper National Parks. It's around 325 square km is area and up to 365 m deep and receives a high volume of snow annually. The Icefields are surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the Canadian Rockies and the highest is Mount Columbia at 3,747 m (hence the name!).
You can able to travel on a "snowcoach" or do a trek on the glacier during the summers month. I took the "snowcoach" excursion in 2000 and did a trek on the glacier in 2005.
However, there are environmental and scientific issues with regards to the Icefield because the Athabasca Glacier is receding fast at record levels.
The Icefield Centre is where you can learn about the glaciers with its interpretive displays and there are also visitors facilities including shops and restaurants.
Maligne Lake (at 22.5 km long) and Spirit Island is one the photographed locations in the world. From April to October, you can take a boat tour to the island and also admired the surrounding beauty of the lake and the surrounding peaks and glaciers. You can hike around the lake and there are a variety of hiking trails available for all abilities including the famous 44 km Skyline Trail. In winter, cross skiing is available.
Town shuttles are available to Maligne Lake from Jasper.
This lake is in Jasper National Park and not far from Jasper. Medicine Lake is a shallow lake and is part of the Maligne Valley which is glacial fed. The lake has a geologic anomaly with affects the lake where the Maligne River stops and suddenly disappears below and yet in the summer the lake can easily fill up from the melting snow in the valley and mountains.
Maligne Canyon is a gorge which are formed by the forceful waters of the lower Maligne River. You can follow the trail that takes you downstream by crossing the six bridges and some bridges down to the river itself. On the 2nd bridge, the canyon is over 50 metres deep and it's a sight beyond of the canyon and towards Athabasca Valley and the bridges there are several waterfalls below in the canyon.
There is a tea shop at the beginning of the trail and various picnic spots.
*Unfortunately I don't have any digital photos of Maligne Canyon. Hopefully on a future trip!*
Jasper, and what nice buildings there were here. They looked very sturdy with local stonework in the architecture.
The Tourist Information Centre was set in the park in one of these buildings, a must for information on what to see and do.
It is located at 500 Connaught Drive and is open seven days a week.
Tel : 780-852-6176
Opening hours vary throughout the year, so please check
April 1- June 9: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
June 10 - September 5: 8:30 am - 9:00 pm
September 6 - September 30: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
October 1 - October 31: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
November 01 - March 31: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Jasper, I thought was a little cheaper than Banff, we did manage to find a good reasonable cafe for our meals.
The town is not overly large, and we found it quite easy to walk around.
Peak season is the months of July and August, so you need to book accommodation well in advance.
I loved these falls!
Located on the Athabasca river with the Columbia Icefields as its source, I imagine there would be a lot of water going over them at anytime.
It had rained heavily all night, and it still was light rain when we were here.
The result was a thundering waterfall, full of fury and might, so powerful and mesmerizing to watch as it swirled around rocks and over and down the narrow gorge. The falls are only 23metres high, so not real high, but the high volume and sheer force of the water has made these falls A MUST VISIT. So powerful is the water, that over time, it has eroded the the softer limestone beneath, carving interesting features, including and a short canyon.
There are a few viewing platforms, go to all of them, as they give different views.
Be careful walking, as there is plenty of spray coming off the falls, and the steps would be slippery even on a fine weather day.
The Tangle Falls are located on Tangle Ridge and are a spectacular series of cascading waterfalls. We saw them with a small amount of water, and then the next after heavy overnight rain, they were really gushing then! These are pretty Waterfalls.
You can't miss them as they are right on the edge of the Icefield's Parkway, about
97 km from Jasper......
6.4 km south of the Icefields Center.
There is a large parking area across the road from the falls, with ample parking.
Watch for traffic when crossing the road to view the falls.
We were driving the Icefield's Parkway when we came across a lot of car's stopped and people with their camera's out. A quick look, and we could see why, there were Mountain Goat's feeding by the side of the road.
Well, we joined the other photographer's, as this was the 1st time we had seen them.
They were nothing like the photo's I had seen, where they were white and fluffy, but they were a dirty white and their coats were falling off them, it must have been the time of the year for malting, they looked a pretty miserable lot!
The only one that looked nice, was the little, fluffy white baby.
We found out that Mountain goats gather here to lick the silt for its calcium and sulphate content, ingesting so much that their droppings turn silt-white instead of the usual black. This deposit attracts the mountain goats and is a great and easy place to see these animals, right near the highway.
Another plus is the view towards the Athabasca River Valley, pretty good!
Medicine Lake in my view was beautiful. The Lake is approx 7 km long and is a fairly shallow lake. The lake is part of the Maligne Valley watershed which is mainly glacial fed.
When we 1st saw it, the water was dead calm, and the reflections fantastic.
There wasn't anywhere to park, so we decided to take photo's on the way back. BIG MISTAKE!
Lesson learnt. Take photo's straight away, as when we came past on our way home, the wind was up, and the lake was no longer calm!
Medicine Lake is also different to other lake's, in the sense that it is not actually a lake, but rather an area in which the Maligne River backs up and suddenly disappears underground. Sometimes, there is no water left in the Lake at all! Early Indian's thought that the "spirits" were the cause of this, now we know different.
The underground system is one of the most extensive in the world.
Another nice scenic drive that we did from Jasper, was to Patricia & Pyramid lakes.
We followed a winding road past some large Elk feeding on the road edge to Lake Patricia, and then onto the end of the road where Pyramid lake with Pyramid Mountain in the background was located. At Pyramid lake we did a walk across to Pyramid Island. Once again, the water was pretty and clear, and there were good reflections........beautiful!
There are a few picnic sites on the shores of the lake, as well as boat ramps and Canoes for hire. There are hiking trails from Jasper, to these lakes and Pyramid Mountain.
This area was very pretty, and I noticed a Resort there.
Lac Beauvert, its English name means 'beautiful green, and yes, it was a beautiful Green.
This was our first stop on our day's outing, and how nice this Lake was. Early morning, and it was dead calm with beautiful relections of Mount Mount Edith Cavell reflected on the surface the lake.
There are trails around Lac Beauvert, most of them being developed by the Jasper Park Lodge with cabins, benches, viewing docks, boat docks and a golf course.
What a stunning position the Jasper Park Lodge was located.
Jasper National Park has a free day hiking guide called 'Summer Trails' of these trails.
To get here.........
At Hazel Street, cross the railroad tracks, go straight and cross Hwy 16, then turn left on the Old Fort Point Road. The Old Fort Point Road crosses the river, passes through the parking lot at Old Fort Point and continues to parking lot on the shores of Lac Beauvert. This is a seasonal road, open from May to Oct.
We saw Elk along this road, by the river.
Jasper is known around the world as a beautiful National Park in the UNESCO World Heritage Canadian Rocky Mountain parks. Gorgeous scenery, abundant wildlife and first class activities all come to mind when thinking of Jasper. Most visitors might not know much about it's history, though, and the Jasper Yellowhead Museum is the place to learn about this wonderful town and National Park. The history of Jasper goes back as far as 10,000 years with the aboriginal people working hard to survive the harsh winters and hunt buffalo for food and shelter, up to the first European people arriving, exploring and settling, to the building of the extremely important railway, all the way up to modern day life and tourism.
The museum isn't very big, but it offers a lot of information in well presented displays, as well as very interesting artifacts through all of these time periods. I loved reading about the railway men and being able to see their badges and hats right in front of me. I'm the type of person that reads every sign and display, and it took me about an hour and a half to make it through. The main part of the museum is the Historical Gallery, and there is also a Showcase Gallery (which had an
art display while I was there), and an Alcove Gallery, which featured lots of old photographs and a few historical pieces. Even though you will want to spend all of your time in the beautiful outdoors, a visit to this museum is definitely worth the time.
The archives are in the basement, and you can only visit by appointment, Mondays to Wednesdays.
Children 5 and under/ free
Open year round. Gift shop.
Because we were in Jasper National Park in September, there were not a lot of tourists and visitors. We drove out to the lake and bought our tickets here at this office. I would suggest if you visit this area in the summer months, to make a reservation at the ticket office in Jasper or get your tickets ahead of time online.
There is a shuttle that runs from Jasper to Maligne Lake four times a day in high season. This drive provides some of the most scenic areas of Jasper Park. Cost for the shuttle is $20. On our drive to Maligne Lake we came upon a bunch of cars pulled off the highway to gawk at Mountain goats and sheep. While we were maneuvering arund the animals we missed the sign for our turn. Uh-oh. We drove about 8 miles before we decided to turn around which was exactly what we needed to do. We were hoping to see wildlife, perhaps a bear, on our drive but other than the goats we did not see any wildlife. The story of my life.
We were hoping to see wildlife on our drive to Maligne Lake, but other than mountain goats we didn't see any wildlife. We had no trouble finding a parking place at the Maligne Lake Ticket Office to purchase our Scenic Boat Cruise to Spirit Island. Maligne Lake and Spirit Island personify the spectacular beauty of the Canadian Rockies. We were entertained by our guide and boat captian for the 90 minute cruise in the glass enclosed, heated boat. Overnight boat rentals allow camping and fishing enthusiasts to access Maligne Lake's two back-country campsites. I think our pictures turned out quite nicely here. It's hard to capture the beauty of such a spectacular place with pictrures. We disembarked at Spirit Island to take in the grandeur of Maligne Lake's fjord-like north end. By the time we were on our cruise the sun came out from behind the clouds and we had more super blue skies and gorgeous views. Our guide told us that we were experiencing the first sunny day in about 3 weeks. It had been rainy all summer and most boat cruises were poor, because of lack of visibility of the beautiful mountains. Tickets may be purchased in the town of Jasper or at the lake ticket office. Our cruise cost $47.00 CAD each. Now I see it's $55.00 CAD. We saw no wildlife on our drive back to Jasper. Disappointing.
We stayed at Alpine Village for a romantic and fun filled week last spring. The cabin was a...more
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804 Miette Avenue, Jasper, Alberta, T0E 1E0, Canada
Good for: Families