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Jasper Park Maligne Canyon

The cow elk picture posted yesterday was at the end of our trip to Maligne Canyon. It a challenge for me along the canyon rim with a drop of up to 50 metres. The canyon was an issue for explorers finding their way downstream to the Athabasca River.

This is immediately above the drop into the canyon and the river shows its turbulence already.

The river drops suddenly and its power is obvious. The holes are a product of the swirling water over time.

This is the first part of the canyon and the holes are visible in the top left hand corner of the picture.

The river turns 900 and hollows out the rock wall into a cylinder-like churning machine before roaring down the canyon.

The canyon has six bridges at various locations along the canyon and beyond. Bridge 5 is currently out of commission due to high water. Kathy took this picture from Bridge 1 looking back upstream.

After crossing the bridge, Kathy took this picture. In a particularly harsh environment, the trees are exceptional survivors in places as demonstrated here. This place is probably close to the 50 metres.

As we descended into the canyon, the river began to run slower, but there is evidence of the power of nature over the centuries.

Kathy took this from the 3rd Bridge where our hike ended. The gorge drops again and the river plummets one more time over and around the rocks in its pathway.

The Maligne River flows into the Athabasca below the 6th Bridge. We drove to this bridge and walked to where the rivers converge. We opted to skip the 4th Bridge because we would have turned back due to the closure of some of the trail.

On our way back into Jasper, we made a stop at an overview of the Maligne Canyon. Initially, there was not much to see and we were disappointed. As I walked to the other end of the walled parking lot, this lovely young elk caught my eye.

It took us about five minutes or more to walk carefully closer and not startle this animal. This is her home.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

7 responses »

  1. I haven’t been to Jasper for years – these photos make me want to go! Those holes in the canyon are such an amazing testament to the power of natural forces – I was thinking of these very things today working on a poem about the power of waves action! 🙂

    • I read your poem. Nature is both a calming and chaotic place with so much paradox.

      Kathy and I began to visit our own backyard more after going to Yellowstone in 2005. There is so much in Canada and, in our case, Western Canada, we do not have to go beyond our borders.

  2. What a wonderful scenic experience. I could imagine the thunder of the water, and the smell of the spray, really great to be able to share it, thanks to blogging! and thanks to you.

  3. I was there too; not in reality however; your narrative brings the reader along with you… 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing these photos of magnificent beauty with us, Ivon.


  5. The beauty of this place is truly an inspiration. Very fine photos.


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