Where mists soak up the white coats of the lofty Rockies as if protecting them from pelting, where the cobalt blue waters flow, where a mystery is pseudonymous to beauty – Can’t recognize it even so? Well, It’s the Spirit Island in the Maligne Lake, of the Jasper National Park.
Situated at the southward end of the Maligne Lake, the Spirit Island of Jasper National Park is one of the most marked and photographed places of the Canadian Rockies. It’s a little island in the midst of the lake, tied to the mainland with a small stretch of solid ground. The place is some 48 kilometres away from the town of Jasper. Spirit Island is a great destination for boat trips and camping and is famous all across the world. The best manner to enjoy the serene panorama if you ask? A helicopter trip! Find a helicopter that heads over the Maligne Lake. That way you can absorb the full grandeur of the island as well as the lake, which spans around 22 kilometres.
No one exactly knows how the place took its name, the Spirit Island. But, it’s alleged that the first person who photographed it must have given the name, been enchanted by the beauty of the island; or perhaps the name goes by an ancient folklore about two forbidden lovers. According to the story, two lovers of some feuding tribes used to secretly meet on the island. Nonetheless, when the girl confessed her secret affair to her father, the chief of one of the tribes, he forbade her from returning to the island. Heartbroken, her lover kept returning to the island, hoping to see her ladylove again. Regrettably, she never returned and he eventually died on the island, where his spirit still lingers. Spooky or romantic? We let you decide that on your own *wink*.
How to go to the Spirit Island?
Before you come to the Spirit Island, you have to get yourself to the Maligne Lake. It is the second largest glacier-fed lake in the world and surrounded by the regal mountain peaks. Such a wonderful addition to the trip, no?
To get to Maligne Lake by car travel east along highway 16 towards Edmonton and turn right onto Maligne Lake Road. Once you’re on the road, follow this past the Maligne Canyon turnoff, past the Medicine Lake and end up at the Maligne lake boathouse. Addition, it is advised that you should leave 60-90 minutes as there are many scenic lookouts and stops all along the way!
By bus or train
If you’re letting someone else hold the wheel, there are some other choices as well. Hop on a half-day journey with the Maligne Valley Wildlife and Waterfalls tour from Maligne Adventures.
Maligne Lake boat tours
You can rent a canoe or a kayak once you make it to the shores. If you’re not into paddling that a good deal, no worries – Maligne Lake extend a bunch of Spirit Island Cruises that can take you there and bring you back in time
Places to eat at near the Spirit Island.
Grab some breakfast and lunch at Coco’s Cafe.
Particular about serving fresh and fondly made food with seasonal artificer coffee, the place has been there in Jasper since 1991. You can have your meal in the cafe itself or you can get it packed for your trips as well. They also supply catering for events and parties at your venue, entirely of your choices! Fringe benefits- they make custom cakes, cupcakes and other baking as well!
Or some dinner at Tekarra Restaurant.
Experience Jasper’s fine dining with the “cabin in the woods ”, Tekarra Restaurant. Their appetizers feature small and shared plates and follow the same theme with meat and cheese boards, house smoked trout; these are alike to the menu created by Chef Dale Nutt, and owners Mike and Cyndi Day, which was inspired by regional products such as AAA beef, Wild Boar, and Arctic Char.
How about some beer at Jasper’s Brewing Company.
Consider a visit to the Jasper’s National Park brewery and enjoy their six signature beers brewed on site. They use only the best ones: premium hops and malts combined with their own cultured yeast strains. The magic element to their beers is the natural mountain water from the great Canadian Rockies and, unlike the most breweries, they do not do anything to their water except removing chlorine.
Places to stay near the Spirit Island.
Mount Robson Inn.
The Mount Robson Inn is a top-10 ranked hotel in Jasper, simply 5 blocks away from downtown Jasper. It consists of super comfy rooms and suites, acquainted with amenities like AC, microwave, refrigerator and complimentary WiFi. Clients can enjoy other facilities like free breakfast and parking, outdoor hot tubs and ski storage.
Situated in the heart of Jasper National Park, Pine Bungalows are surrounded by woods of Spruce, Pine and Douglas fir, located along the banks of the Athabasca River. Enjoy an easy stay in a peaceful environment, away from the fussy modern technologies. They have 5 different bungalows and cabins with amenities like a kitchen and fireplace. Besides, they possess an on-site barbecue.
Bear Hill Lodge.
Tucked up in a peaceful corner of Jasper, they are the ONLY cabins right in the town. Studio cottages, heritage log cabins, chalets, homestead log houses, you mention it. Whether its about relaxation or about recreation, they always have a place for you!