Maligne Lake and Spirit Island Canoe Trip

intrepidphotos
Robert Downie @intrepidphotosJune 2018 · 2 min read

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Stillness descends over Maligne Lake and Spirit Island. Kodak used a picture of Spirit Island taken by Peter Gales as part of a showcase for Kodack Colorama, that was displayed prominently in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal in 1960. Kodack Colorama was leading the new phenomenon of consumer colour film at the time and since then the island has become one of the iconic vistas of the Canadian Rockies. The ‘island’ is in fact a small peninsula which is only cut off by water briefly after large spring snowmelts. We spent three days with our two boys canoe camping around the lake, and the colour of the water in the southern end of the lake really needs to be seen to be believed.

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Being one of the most popular back country trips in the Rockies, it can be notoriously difficult to book a camping spot on the lake. We were lucky that the ice melted off the lake a couple of weeks early this year and Parks Canada released an extra week of bookings which were previously withheld. We quickly booked at the last minute, and were amazingly the only people in the campsite near Spirit Island on the first night we camped. With the ice having just been off the lake a week earlier, we were able experience Spirit Island all to ourselves. The next morning as we paddled to explore the southern end of the lake we did not see another vessel.

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We had several stormy days of canoeing in which we had a mix of rain, hail, sunshine, and snow.

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The boys still managed to get some sleep while we paddled though the inclement weather.

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Maligne Lake sits in at an elevation of 1,675 metres (5,495 feet) in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. It has a maximum depth of 97 metres (318 feet). The deep water temperatures in the lake never rise above 4°C (39°F) even at the peak of summer; so it’s not a lake you can afford to capsize your canoe in. The title shot of Spirit island was taken just after sunset.

If you would like to learn a little bit more about my background in photography you can read the interview @photofeed did with me here

Robert Downie
Love Life, Love Photography

All images in this post were taken by and remain the Copyright of Robert Downie - http://www.robertdowniephotography.com


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6

Wow thanks guys! Appreciate the support .


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You are welcome :)


6

You are welcome!


6

Very nice account ! Beautifull and owesome photos.


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Thanks!


0

Wow! That first shot in particular looks amazing. What am I saying? They all look pretty amazing.


0

Thanks! It's a beautiful lake if you ever get the chance to experience it.


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Calm. Have a good time. ... from SEOUL.


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Thank you !


0

Absolutely incredible. Those glacial waters 😍 I was super unprepared one day and decided I'd try walk to this famous spot from the Maligne Lake parking lot rather than catch the ferry out. Haha.. I never made it! After hours of walking I turned back. Thank my lucky stars I didn't run into any bears either. It sure was pretty out there though. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you were able to secure a camping spot. It's a beautiful part of the world.


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It is indeed such a such a special part of the world. I have read that it is very difficult to walk to and that they discourage it. Even from the camp that is close to it they have no walking signs.


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A dream but real! How very beautiful @intrepidphotos!
The colors view and sounds of all that magnificence
can leave one blown away, 💕 Love your work!!
Jaspers one my fav's, looks like everyones having a
great time making wonderful memories!
Resteeming!! 👍👍


0

Thanks ! Very kind of you and appreciate the support .


0

Way too freaking cold for me, even with the breathtaking scenery! Maligne Lake sounds like a bit of a scary name though O_O And I think kids can sleep anywhere, it's one of their many superpowers.

goatsig
goatsig


0

Kids can sleep anywhere; but they can also choose not to sleep anywhere and make life more difficult than I could be sometimes!


2

It is fantastic trip, and even more grateful, that you took your boys with you. We take our daughter into our adventures as well.
Thank you for sharing!


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Thanks. The boys loved the trip. It is important to give them a sense of adventure at a young age I think.


11

I am sure it is! The Nature adventures give us deep and clear sense of living and strong connections with ourselves.


15

Awesome! Looks like the water is perfectly clear, would love to kayak around there!


0

Thanks. If you ever get the chance to kayak there take it!


0

I will!


0

That looks simply stunning. I used to live in BC and I heard that Jasper is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing and now I will have to make a trip there.


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yes you should if you ever get the chance.


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