Saturday 3 November 2018

Notes from a Travel Journal: Maligne Canyon

Over the summer, I spent a couple of weeks exploring the west of Canada with my parents; it was a real dream-come-true trip and an amazing experience to get to know this beautiful part of the world. We travelled to Vancouver, and spent time in Banff and Jasper as well, driving through some of the most stunning scenery I have ever seen. 

The 8th of August dawned cool and clear as we woke in our little lodge some 50km outside Jasper. We had a pretty chill start to the day, enjoying a leisurely breakfast on our balcony; after all, it's hard to tear yourself away from a view like this. But as the morning wore on and the temperature climbed, we set off to find the Maligne Canyon.

The canyon is a deep gorge cut into rocks by the river Maligne, followed by a trail and criss-crossed by 6 bridges. We started at the first bridge and began the walk. The path plunged down the cliffs at the top of the canyon which was surprisingly deep yet extremely narrow, compressing the little river into rapids and erupting into waterfalls. The views were quite incredible and we traversed the first four bridges quite quickly. 

The sun was out in full force and turned the dense, surrounding forest into a beautiful, vibrant green; it was peaceful to stroll and scramble along.

The fifth bridge took us much longer to reach and the river widened out, joined by other streams emerging from lake-fed underground caves. For the sixth bridge, we left the canyon side and walked through pine forest, coming out by the now very wide river further down. Plenty of other walkers had given up by this point but we wanted to continue and visit all the bridges.

With a sense of achievement, having reached the final bridge, we stopped for a selfie and a shortbread and a softfruit. And some Smarties. Typical hiking energy sources. The temperature had soared and was now up in the thirties ,and facing the uphill scramble back in the heat was a little bit daunting.

However, we made the slog back, pausing in the shade every so often, and wishing for more water and sustenance. And Smarties. In total, it was around a 9km round trip and when we got back to the car park, we were sweaty and thirsty and tired, more from the heat than anything else.

So we fell upon the canyon-side cafe and had drinks and biscuits and cake. Having satisfied our initial ravenous exhaustion and feeling slightly more like ourselves, but still hungry, we ordered 2 portions of fries to share. The kitchen staff looked at us doubtfully, explaining that the portions were quite large. We stuck to our guns however, undaunted in our chip-consumption-capacity.

They guy was right. The portions were enormous; of frankly staggering proportions. But we were made of stronger stuff, and we finished them anyway.

After an energetic day, it was lovely to return to the lodge, enjoy a cocktail on the terrace with the sun setting over the mountains and an incredible evening meal. After all, we had earned it!

Kisses xxx

P.S. This blog post is part of my November travel series; I'm spending the month documenting some of the trips I've taken this year, sharing extracts from my travel journal and my photos. My aim is to do this for each day in November as a personal challenge, to get photos and words put together and record some of my favourite experiences from the year. As the weather turns chilly, it's a lovely feeling to curl up in doors and reminisce about travels past, and plot travels for the future.


  1. Super photos. Great memories. Really enjoyed reading it.

  2. Can you hear me sighing over the gorgeousness of your photos ...?