The Jasper Ice Pride Maligne Canyon Ice Walk Tour with Sundog Tours. Spectacular and an experience we would not want to have missed! Hiking the frozen Maligne river through the Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada was without any doubts one of our gay travel highlights during our Winter Road Trip from Calgary to Jasper. The Canadian Rocky Mountains with their thousand lakes, spectacular snow-topped mountain ranges, and the hidden secrets of the pure Nordic nature life have been a great adventure, especially with high snow and chilly minus 20 degrees in March! Just 10 minutes by shuttle from Jasper Town, Alberta, an icy winter wonderland waits to be discovered.
Together with our mountain guide from gay-friendly Sundog Tours, we hiked from the Fifth Bridge to the bottom of Maligne Canyon, the deepest accessible canyon of Jasper National Park. After arriving there, we explored deeply frozen waterfalls, stunning ice caves, hidden ice crystals, and a great place for ice climbing. The 3.5 kilometers long hike has it all. In the end, we were able to enjoy a spectacular view from the mountaintop of Maligne Canyon. Ask everything you want to know about wildlife, the nature reserves, and if you will encounter bears during the tour. The rangers and tour guides know what they are talking about. But now enjoy our Ice Pride Walk during Jasper Pride Festival through a couple of men’s eyes with all info you need to know about your special ice experience!
SunDog Adventures in Jasper Town
Right in the city center of Jasper Town at Connaught Drive, you will find the SunDog Tour Co. where you can book your Ice Walk Tour to Maligne Canyon. Just around the corner “Jasper Source for Sports” is the place to go if you are looking for a big selection of outdoor and adventure gear. The Ice Walk Tour Maligne Canyon is about 3 to 3.5 hours and will be completely guided. Why? Well, we entered a naturally preserved area with wildlife, some exciting hike, and climbing parts, and some very sensitive protected areas just next to the hiking trail. Good to have a guide around who can tell you everything about it. After you have booked your tour, SunDog offers an included pick-up service from your accommodation in Jasper. If you are staying at JPL (Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge), there are some extra pick-up times (check the website for the up-to-date times) since it is located outside Jasper Town.
Ice Pride Walk into Maligne Canyon
Dress accordingly to the weather, especially in winter, don’t worry about how you will look like. It will be freezing cold inside the canyon. We had minus 20 degrees Celsius and have been more than happy about our Winter Sports clothing. After a short ride with the tour bus, we entered a beautiful valley with the unfrozen Maligne river. The Maligne River actually originates from Maligne Lake, flowing underground until Maligne Canyon. After reaching the surface, the water is too warm to freeze and so the river stays unfrozen, even with minus 20 degrees Celsius we experience during our tour. But we won’t hike this unfrozen part of the canyon, of course. The part of the appearing river deeper inside Maligne Canyon is during wintertime mostly deeply frozen and walkable.
Explore the Ice Wonders of Maligne Canyon
After leaving the unfrozen river, we took a left turn deeper into untouched nature along a well-prepared path. Deep snow and spectacular scarps surrounded by the dense Canadian forest created a mystical atmosphere inside the narrow canyon. On our way to the famous frozen waterfalls, we passed by a small cave with wonderful ice crystals. The warm air appears to graduate from warmer areas below the surface instantly freezing when getting in contact with the cold icy environment of Maligne Canyon. Even our camera fogged due to the warm humidity from the depth. Don’t worry if you touched and destroyed some ice crystals. They are very fragile but will appear in the next hours and days again. Tiny winter wonders of Jasper National Park, Alberta.
Our Highlight of Maligne Canyon Ice Pride Walk
Finally, we entered Maligne Canyon, with its gigantic frozen waterfalls and steep cliffs on both sides. During summer, the water is crystal clear and turquoise blue and so is the ice in winter! Amazing, seriously! The natural climbing wall of ice is the place to ice climb in Jasper National Park since you can approach the Maligne Canyon also from the top. Our tip: don’t walk beneath climbers on the ice wall, since parts of the ice might fall down. Take your time to explore, take photos and try some steps behind the frozen curtain of the waterfalls.
Hike back from Maligne Canyon over the Mountains
On our way back to the bus, we took a trail all the way on the mountain range along Maligne Canyon, with a stunning view over the Jasper Valley. The dark green color of the dense Canadian Forest and the formations of the Rocky Mountains as backdrop left us speechless. This beauty is just beyond words, so surreal unique, impressive, and powerful. You have to see it to really believe it.
Where to stay and what to do in Jasper – Canada?
- Hotel Tip: stay at gay-friendly Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge >
- Breakfast Tip: Coffee Shop Jasper gay-friendly Coco’s Café Jasper Albert >
- Jasper Tips: our tips, photos & stories of a Gay Couple Week in Jasper National Park >
- Event Tip: plan your trip to Jasper for Jasper Gay Pride Festival >
- All you need to know about Winter Road Trip Rocky Mountains Alberta, Canada >
Jasper Ice Pride Maligne Canyon Ice Walk Tour:
Source for Sports
406 Patricia Street
Official Website: Sundog Tours
Contact: Tel.: +1-888 786 3641
Good to know:
Our tip, dress accordingly warm and waterproof. The shuttle service from Jasper accommodations, warm gumboots, and ice cleats are included in your booking with SunDog Tours. Be aware that the tours depend on weather conditions. We recommend confirming your booking with SunDogs 24 hours before departure.
Karl & Daan.