Many thanks for your reply Frommy. I have actually been to this location myself and did think it was only accessed by boat.
I am now wondering how this photograph - www.ephotozine.com/u7944/gallery/272427 - (possibly a sunset?) was taken. If it were taken by a boat passenger, the boat must have returned in the dark . . . . . strange for a boat trip ! ! !
Gorgeous photo! You are correct in that the only access to Spirit Island is by boat. However, the break in your logic is assuming that the only boats that go there are the boat cruises. ;-) Besides the commercial boat tour operation, Maligne Lake is open to anyone who wants to canoe or kayak on it (the only motors permitted are electric motors, other than the boat tour operation and the wardens, who are permitted to use gas/diesel engines). There are two backcountry campgrounds on the lake to accommodate those who want to take trips on it - one of them, Fisherman's Bay, is only about one kilometre from Spirit Island. The other, Coronet Creek, is down near the end of the lake.
Great photo, and I notice it was taken in February.
Well, Frommy, the photo site says it was added in February. I'm not sure it's a February photo though. Usually by that time of year, there are several feet of snow on the lake's ice, so you would see a broad expanse of white where the water appears to be. However, I looked at the picture quite closely but could not tell if it was water or ice with no snow cover that is reflecting the beautiful sky colours. I do know people who have skated to Spirit Island - there are rare winters when there is thick enough ice for skating before the snow comes (autumn, actually - it's usually November or early December when this occurs.)
Oh yeah - the give -away... the green grass on the island. Definitely a summer photo.Edited: 11 January 2010, 12:41
We are just starting to think about next summer, coming to the Rockies for a month from the U K- Maligne Lake was definitely on my travel radar! I was wondering about the practicality of kayaking down to Spirit Island - have seen some comments that the lake can be rough. We are fit and reasonably experienced holiday canoeists. ( Rivers, Fjords, Arctic) I would be quite happy to take all day over it but just wondered if this is a practical plan
The lake can be rough, and weather can be very changeable, but if you have some experience, you will do fine. The very first time I canoed down to the end of Maligne Lake, we had a beautiful blue sky day on the way in, and a couple of days later, on the way out, we had every kind of weather imaginable - blue sky, snow, sleet, rain, and driving winds. (This was in July.) It seems that everytime we got past another point, the weather would change again. Twice we had to put in to shore and wait for wind & waves to subside. But I've done other trips where the weather was great both ways.Edited: 16 January 2010, 01:24
Thank you for your advice - the distance doesn't faze me at all - and it would be great to at least have part of the lake to yourself. We will be in Jasper, the last week of June - not sure if that makes any difference. It is also great exercise as an alternative to hiking. I go mad without my daily exercise fix! By the way on the photo discussion - I think it has been well "Photoshopped" - I am a keen photographer and it shows all the signs of that!
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