Camping with a canoe: Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park

Canoeing and Camping at Maligne Lake
July 12-15/2013

When I was a teenager, I went on a canoe trip for 5 days, and it was fantastic! I always remember the days on the water, swimming in the lake, and cooking on a fire. I always wanted to do that again. I bought a canoe, but I didn’t know anyone who wanted to go canoeing with me. It was hard to take the canoe to a lake. I didn’t go canoeing very often.

Last year and this year, I started to go camping more, and I joined a canoe club. Finally, I started to use my canoe, and I also learned more about cooking and sleeping at a campground. I love camping and canoeing. This year, I joined a club that planned a 4-day canoe trip in Jasper National Park. I signed up right away! I read, and practiced, and I asked questions about how to cook on a fire.

Thursday night, 8 people drove from Edmonton to Maligne Canyon Hostel, in Jasper National Park. We slept in small cabins, and the toilet was outside. We woke up at 5:15 on Friday morning, and we packed up quickly after we ate breakfast. We drove 47 kilometres to Maligne Lake. We had 4 boats: 3 canoes and 1 kayak, and each boat had 2 people. We wanted to leave early because sometimes the lake is very windy. We paddled 22 kilometres that day, and we arrived at our campground at about 3 pm. We stopped on the way to eat a picnic lunch by the side of the lake. When we arrived, everyone set up their tents and we ate hamburgers for supper. Everyone cooked one meal for the whole group during our trip.

On Friday, we didn’t have to go anywhere, but some people hiked 16 kilometres. The area where we stayed was very beautiful. There were deer that kept visiting us. On Saturday, we took down our tents, and we paddled our canoes for 8 kilometres. We stopped at Spirit Island, a famous place that used to be on the Canadian $20 bill. Many tourists took a tour boat to visit the island. The tour boat is very expensive. We took photographs there. Soon, we came to our second campsite. After that, it rained a lot for the whole afternoon, and evening, and night. It still rained the next day while we paddled 14 more kilometres back to our cars. We made a shelter, and we enjoyed meeting travellers who were also camping at the lake.

Monday was the hardest day, because it was cold, rainy, and windy all day while we paddled. It was hard to continue, but we wanted to get back to our cars. After we finished, we ate a great lunch in the town of Jasper. Everyone was happy to go home and take a hot bath. I hope I can take a canoe trip every year!

7 comments on “Camping with a canoe: Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park

  1. oh wow what a great adventure. We are planning to do it for long weekend of july. We are worried to don’t be able to find a canoe. Good for you you have one. we had to rent. Not much options for renting in Edmonton. I have two questions for you. What’s the name of the canoe club you joined and can you name the campground you stayed at for each night ? thank you very much

    • I belong to Ceyana Canoe Club. Members can borrow equipment if they’ve attended some programs. Totem rents out equipment and I’ve heard some people say theY rented at the lake, which would mean you’d have to pick it up during their rental hours but you wouldn’t have to carry it on your car. We stayed at Coronet Creek the first 2 nights and then one night at Fishermans Bay. I think you can book 3 months in advance. We stayed at Maligne hostel the night before paddling so that we had the full day to go 22K.

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