View topic - Maligne Lake July 2009

Canadian Canoe Routes

Maligne Lake July 2009
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Author:  gbarron [ November 11th, 2009, 6:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Maligne Lake July 2009

Trip Report: Maligne Lake circumnavigation. 45 km. 4 days, July 2009.

There are two campsites on the lake: Fisherman's Bay, halfway along the N shore, and Coronet Creek at the SE end of the lake. Both have docks, picnic tables, fire pits, foor storage boxes, tent pads, and outhouses. Be sure to reserve a campsite with the Parks personnel before departure. The public boat launch is a bit tight and at the bottom of a steep approach, so try to load/unload boats as efficiently as possible so as to accomodate other users.

There are two picnic sites on the N shore before Fisherman's Bay and one on the S shore near cliff bands. In case of wind, you can beach there or on one of the many small beaches along the shore and sit it out. We circumnavigated the lake clockwise so as to see as much as possible. The distance to campsites is a maximum 13 km or so (2-3 hours moderate paddling), so an early start will get you to camp by noon or so, well before the wind is likely to pick up.

Tour boats generate large wakes (up to one metre if you're close to them in the Narrows) but were very careful to slow down when approaching, so they posed no threat to safe navigation. You'll only encounter them as far as Spirit Island (which is really a spit).

Fisherman's Bay is (according to wardens) the most popular backcountry campsite in JNP, so expect it to fill up, esp. on weekends. There was a large "permanent" tarp over part of the cooking area.

We found the mosquitoes and deer flies to be intolerable in the (hot) afternoons in the campsites (which are wooded), so we elected to spend the afternoons under our tarp near the water where there was a chance of a breeze. Bugs seemed to disappear towards dusk. A short dip in the frigid water after supper helped rinse off sunscreen and DEET. The only other wildlife we encountered were very habituated deer roaming both campsites. One paddler reported seeing a bobcat from his hammock early one morning.

We saw the warden and his launch almost every day. He was friendly and helpful, and seemed more intent on public safety and curtailing partying than enforcing bureaucratic rules (e.g., he wasn't interested in checking for campsite permits).

Finally, don't forget your camera: the vistas at the SE end of the lake are especially spectacular. Hope this helps!
picnic site.jpg

Author:  ice-breaker [ November 12th, 2009, 9:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maligne Lake July 2009

I have heard that this is a good trip and am planning a paddling weekend out on Maligne Lake for next year. Another good trip report for the lake can be found on Mark Lund's family website at:


Author:  dunkin' [ November 13th, 2009, 7:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maligne Lake July 2009

This is a paddle I have yet to do, but not for wanting. I had it planned in for this September, but something came up that thwarted the idea.

Does anyone know if dogs on leashes are allowed? I have emailed the parks people twice, and have not received a reply.

Author:  gbarron [ November 14th, 2009, 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maligne Lake July 2009

I don't recall seeing any dogs while we were out, but the JNP page says this:

"Pets may provoke confrontations with wildlife and affect your safety. Dogs must be kept on a leash while in a national park. They may be happier if left at home."

Author:  dunkin' [ November 14th, 2009, 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maligne Lake July 2009

Thanks for that. I did know that where dogs were allowed in the park, leashes are required, but there are some trails I know of that don't allow dogs period. This is why I am specifically curious for Maligne Lake. I know many say this, but my dog is very well trained, and is under my control even if faced with wildlife in his path.

There are so many places now where you can't bring your dog along, that I really like to bring our dog along whenever possible, he just loves it.

I have seen some dogs brought along that definitely should not be in the backcountry, where the owners have not bothered to properly train them, and they are a pain to be around. But then, I have seen kids and adults that don't exactly 'add' to the experience either.

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