Tag Archives: Maligne Canyon

Canadian Rocky Mountains: Day 5 Maligne Canyon

The morning started with Margaret refusing to brush her hair, a fairly normal event. Giving up we handed the brush to Philip and told him to use it. He chased his sister with it. Not what we meant.

Today’s hike was the one that my wife really wanted to do, called Maligne Canyon. Our original plan was to start at the bottom and hike or way up so the return trip would be down hill but the bridge at the bottom was missing. It turned out that it was a temporary bridge and had been removed so they could put in a permanent one. All that it meant was that we had to start at the top.

Top of Maligne Canyon
Top of Maligne Canyon

The kids explorer books had a page of GPS locations. The best one was of fossils still in the limestone of the trail. It is one thing to see them in a museum but quite another to see them out in nature. We probably would have missed them without the book and the GPS. It is neat to see fossil of sea creatures at an elevation 1140 meters (3740 feet), in the mountains.

Fossils at Maligne Canyon
Fossils at Maligne Canyon

In finding the GPS locations we also discovered that Ian could correctly read large numbers like 572 as five hundred and seventy two. He was also able to tell if the number was going up or down. He successfully navigated us to the third point. I am not sure where he learned to do that…

Deepest Point Maligne Canyon
Deepest Point Maligne Canyon

The canyon was a lot narrower than I thought it would be and the amount of water moving through it was incredible. The deepest point was 51 meters (167 feet). The pictures do it more justice than my words can.

Cool Feature Maligne Canyon
Cool Feature Maligne Canyon

There are a number of underground rivers that join up with this one. At one point in trying to figure out where the water from a lake went they put a die in the water and were surprised where it ended up. Below is one of those underground river joining up.

Underground River Joining In Maligne Canyon
Underground River Joining In Maligne Canyon

As we got closer to the bottom the river flattened and more creeks and such joined in. One made a beautiful waterfall.

Cool Waterfall
Cool Waterfall

My wife had planned the route and knew that there was another trail back to the top that was recommended for the return journey. It stayed on one side of the canyon rather than criss-crossing and it didn’t go up and down to get the views. So it wasn’t nearly as hard climbing back up as I thought.

Waterfall Near Top of Maligne Canyon
Waterfall Near Top of Maligne Canyon

Before dinner I took the kids to the playground in the campground. Margaret decided to climb a tree. I took her picture, told her to climb down and told her to not mention doing it to anyone until we were home. I did not want Ian trying the same stunt. Since Margaret broke her shoulder trying to climb a tree a couple of years back I really didn’t want to repeat the experience while on vacation.

Margaret up a tree
Margaret up a tree

That night we did some star gazing. Jasper is a dark sky preserve and the Perseid meteor shower was peaking that night. Unfortunately it was also full moon so we had very little time between sunset and moon rise to see anything. We did get to see a few meteors, one air plane, one satellite and a handful of stars. I have a website (Heavens-Above) on my phone that would have told be what the satellite was but my phone was dead.

Elk at Twilight
Elk at Twilight

We went to the seating around the outdoor theatre to do our star gazing. The area is a large field in the center of the campground. There were a pair of elk grazing in the twilight. I had to play with the levels heavily to get them to show up. I didn’t even realize that the one in back was in the photo. They grazed even closer to us but by then it was way to dark and I didn’t want to spook them our ruin our night eyes with a flash.