There’s a reason that the Maligne Canyon Ice Tour is Jasper’s most popular winter tour. It’s accessible, and in under an hour of walking the easy to moderate terrain, you arrive at caves covered in ice, in the heart of the canyon.
The whole tour takes just about three hours, including driving time from your hotel, or the shop. We had the shuttle pick us up form at the Sawridge Hotel, and make the quick drive to the shop, where we filled out waiver forms and picked up our ice cleats.
Tip: If you forgot your gloves (or anything else) there’s an opportunity to buy a pair at the shop.
Gathering at the start of the trail, on Bridge five, at Maligne Canyon we made our way through the trail, taking in the magnificent view of the mountains and snow covered trees. Cutting down to the river we learned that the water stays a consistent temperature through the year and stopped to take in the view of Bridal Veil falls.
The river stopped, and we made our way to the canyon. Here, we went to grab a drink of water – before we could through, Brody showed us stream of crystal clear water, and asked us if we wanted to try it. We all tried the water, and kept on the path of the ice-covered river, to the canyon.
The ice cleats came in handy at this point, as we walked with the view of the canyon in sight. Here, we followed the least-slippery path that he led us towards, and got the chance to see some ice climbing up-close, touch the frosty snow crystals dusting the top of the cave and sneak past icicles to learn about a cave that goes sixty to eighty feet back, and is only accessible in the winter, through a tight hallway entry.
It was the first time either of us had experienced Maligne Canyon during the winter and we were excited to see everything up close, to look upward and marvel at the expanse of rock above us, covered in ice and small flows of dripping water that create the ever changing and growing sheets of ice.
Nearing the end of the canyon, we stopped for photos, capturing those small details that made the excursion so wonderful, before we made our way back up the trail, this time venturing on a path above. On the loop back, we saw the ice sheets from an entirely new angle – from above, again stopping for a few moments to watch the climbers.
The Maligne Canyon Ice walk tour is $65 for adults, and well worth the price. Included in the guided tour are transportation, ice cleats and insight from a local expert along the way.
You can book your tour at www.maligneadventures.com. Thanks to Tourism Jasper for arranging the fun winter experience for us!