Throughout the spring and summer, Medicine Lake draws in sightseers from the nearby town of Jasper. Hiking trails and kayaking opportunities give you an ideal vantage point for wildlife watching—keep your eyes out for bears, caribou, moose, bighorn sheep, and more.xa0 While you can visit on your own, the lake is a popular stop on tours of Jasper National Park. Sightseeing tours to the lake also include visiting waterfalls in Maligne Canyon, cruises on Maligne Lake, and other stops along Maligne Lake Road.
You can learn more about the lake’s filling and draining process, as well as the story of how the local indigenous people gave Medicine Lake its name, from informational plaques along the trails and at viewpoints.
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Things to Know Before You Go
- The lake is an intriguing stop for geology and glacier enthusiasts—information boards provide details about the lake’s natural disappearing act.
- If you want to get on the water, bring your own craft or rent a kayak from a shop that delivers it to the lake for you.
- The lake’s north viewpoint (paved and wheelchair accessible) is the best spot to stop for photos overlooking the lake.
- Medicine Lake offers a quiet alternative to the more populated Maligne Lake.
How to Get There
Medicine Lake is conveniently located just 15 miles (25 kilometers) from Jasper en route to Maligne Lake. Take Highway 16 north to Maligne Lake Road and continue on the scenicxa0 Maligne Lake Road until you reach the lake.
When to Get There
To see the lake when it is full of water, visit in the late spring or summer. If you visit in the fall, expect mudflats rather than a lake.
Must-See Spots in Maligne Valley
Medicine Lake is just one of many natural attractions nestled in the Maligne Valley, making the Maligne Lake Road a popular route for sightseers and wildlife enthusiasts. One of the best spots for hiking and photography is Maligne Canyon—the deep, narrow gorge is filled with waterfalls. Maligne Lake is the spot to go for lake cruises, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing.