“Enjoy this popular trail along the Maligne River as the river narrows and goes through Maligne Canyon.”
— Joan Pendleton
Features: River/Creek — Views — Waterfall
To find the Maligne Canyon Trail from Jasper, take the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16) east a short ways to the Maligne Lake Road turnoff. On Maligne Lake Road, take the first left, and then again the first left, to get to the parking area at the 6th bridge of the Maligne Canyon Trail. Go over the bridge across Maligne River and turn right onto Maligne Canyon Trail. Maligne Canyon Trail is marked with a number 7 on a yellow diamond.
Maligne Canyon Trail starts off through the woods in primarily a fir forest. The Maligne River is to the right of the trail with gently sloping banks that are not at all canyon-like... yet. The trail follows the river, and after about 0.5 miles, the river begins to narrow as its banks steepen. About 1.1 miles from the trailhead, the 5th bridge is reached. The 5th bridge provides access to another parking area.
After passing the 5th bridge, the river's steep banks grow higher, and soon the Maligne River is at the bottom of Maligne Canyon. As the Maligne River flows through Maligne Canyon, it cascades down rapids and waterfalls. The 4th bridge, a bridge to nowhere, is passed 1.9 miles from the trailhead.
About 2.1 miles from the trailhead, Maligne Canyon Trail crosses the Maligne River on the 3rd bridge. The trail now continues with the Maligne River to the left at the bottom of the canyon. After about another 0.25 miles, the trail recrosses the river and canyon on the 1st bridge.
After the 1st bridge, the canyon abruptly ends and the river runs over higher, flatter land. There is a visitor center here and toilets.
This trail has many short spurs that take you to the river and canyon's edge for dramatic, close-up views. The views of the river and canyon from all six bridges are also great. Many interesting placards along the way explain the geology and life of the river and canyon.