Maligne Lake is a lake in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. It is famed for the colour of its water, the surrounding peaks, the three glaciers visible from the lake and Spirit Island, one of the most photographed locations in the world. The lake is located 44 km (27 mi) south of Jasper town, and is accessible by motor vehicle, including shuttle buses from Jasper. Boat tours run to Spirit Island in the spring to autumn season. The 44 km Skyline Trail, Jasper’s most popular, highest and above treeline, multi-day hike, begins at Maligne Lake and finishes near the town of Jasper. Other popular day hikes include the Opal Hills and Bald Hills loops. Winter activities include cross-country skiing.
Maligne Lake is approximately 22.5 km (14.0 mi) long and is 97 m (318 ft) at its deepest point, in the south end of the lake. It averages 35 m (115 ft) in depth. It sits at approximately 1,670 m (5,480 ft) asl. Easily visible from the Maligne Lake Day Lodge are Leah and Samson Peaks and Mount Paul to the east, and Mounts Charlton, Unwin, Mary Vaux and Llysfran Peak to the south and west. The Charlton, Unwin and Maligne glaciers are visible from the lake, which boasts a self-sustaining population of introduced rainbow trout and brook trout. It is a popular spot for sport fishing, kayaking and canoeing. Parks Canada maintains two camping sites, accessible only by canoe, at Fisherman’s Bay and Coronet Creek.
Maligne Lake is fed and drained by the Maligne River, which enters the lake on its south side, near Mount Unwin and drains the lake to the north. Maligne Lake, as well as Maligne River, Maligne Mountain, and Maligne Pass, takes its name from the French word for malignant or wicked. The name was used by Father Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801–1873) to describe the turbulent river that flows from the lake (in the spring), and soon spread to the lake, canyon, pass, mountain and range. It is also possible that early French traders applied the name to the river for its treacherous confluence with the Athabasca River