Picture this: walking along an ice shelf breathing in the fresh air under a sky filled with stars and you’ll find yourself at the Maligne Ice canyon on a night tour.
After talking about wanting to visit the Maligne Ice Canyon since I first arrived in Jasper, I can now cross it off my to do list.
Last Friday night, Bec, Georgia, Nicola and I decided to pay for a tour organized by Maligne Adventures after hearing positive feedback/recommendations from our co-workers who recently went on a day tour. For $65 p/p (plus tax) you can go on a two/three hour guided tour. The tours run daily at three times, 9am, 1pm and 6pm. The best part? The bus picks you up and drops you off at your accommodation (your legs will be grateful- trust me!) The company also supplies each person with a pair of gumboots (if you don’t have hiking boots), cleats and head lights.
The Ice Canyon is accessible by the public and you can hike it without a guide or using ice cleats if you feel like challenging yourself. For around $6-$10 you can hire a pair of cleats in town from Jasper Source for Sports- I’d recommend hiring a pair, that way you can take in the views (rather than staring at the icy paths) without fear of falling over.
We got to take a ride down ice slides, taste the fresh water, stand in an ice cave, look underneath an ice shelf, stand underneath a waterfall and walk on water.
The hike isn’t too tiring and there are rails up if you feeling like pulling yourself a long at the steeper points of the walk.
If you enjoy learning facts about the landscape, having fossils explained, how the core water temperature is only five degrees (and will never freeze during winter because it’s too warm), then I’d suggest booking in for a tour. Carly was our tour guide and she was full of knowledge and more than happy to answer any questions and take photos. You’ll be guided through the canyon safely, shown the ‘Queen’ and ‘Angel’ ice formations, the entrance to the cave among other highlights.
Day or night, it’s definitely worth layering up and visiting the canyon. It’s 15 minutes out of Jasper along Maligne Lake Road (turn off towards Jasper Park Lodge) and follow the signs.