We almost missed out on the this gem of a short hike simply because it had been a long day. But we decided that before we called it a day, we’d just pull into the parking lot, and see how busy it was.
As we pulled in, there was just one car, and even they were leaving. So since we couldn’t resist having a popular spot to ourselves, we decided to hike it after all.
This particular day had actually started the night before over at the Cavell Meadows trailhead where we waited up for most of the night chasing the predicted aurora that never showed up. So with just a couple fitful hours of sleep under our belt, we woke up and hiked the Cavell Meadows which was beyond stunning.
Then we headed for the Maligne Lake area to do some photographing, and go canoeing on the gorgeous Maligne Lake. After all that, we power hiked up the Bald Hills which in itself is no slouch of a hike, getting back to the car as the sun was starting to go down.
So as you might imagine, after 2 hikes, a lot of driving, and an hour paddling about in Maligne Lake – we were a little beat! But since we tend to pack way too much into our vacation days, we couldn’t resist one last short adventure through this canyon hike.
And as you can see from the photos, we were so glad we didn’t miss this hike. It’s a great short hike with up close views in some areas, and distant views that really give you some perspective in others, (see photo below).
Since it was very late in the day at this point, most of the canyon wasn’t sunlit. But right towards the end of the loop, we were treated to the most lovely glow bouncing off the water to our right, (pictured above). It was beyond stunning, and made the whole hike worth it, even just for this one view.
What you need to know about the Maligne Canyon Loop Trail:
- It’s very popular because it’s quite short, however it is a great little hike. If you can go during more off hour times, it will be less crowded.
- Even though it’s popular, this is still a great spot to go when you’re looking for less miles, or a great hike to do with children.
- There’s a little spot to get snacks or lunch at the beginning or the end of the loop, (pictured below).
- It’s about 3.4 km with only 118 m elevation gain, so it’s nice and easy, especially for hiking in the Canadian Rockies.
- The canyon is 50 meters or about 150 feet deep, just a fun fact to keep in mind as you peer down into the abyss.
And finally if you’re looking for more things to do in this area, check out my Maligne Lake Area post for inspiration!