Almost 50km from Jasper at the end of a stunning road that bears its name, 22km-long Maligne Lake is the recipient of a lot of hype. It's the largest lake in the national park and there's no denying its appeal: the baby-blue water and a craning circle of rocky, photogenic peaks are a feast for the eyes.
Although the north end of the lake is heavy with the summer tour-bus brigade, most of the rest of the shoreline is accessible only by foot or boat – and so much quieter. Numerous campgrounds are available lakeside and are ideal for adventurous kayakers and backcountry hikers. Moose and grizzly bears also frequent this area.
The Maligne Lake Boathouse rents canoes and kayaks for a spin around the lake. Not many people paddle all the way to Spirit Island – the lake's most classic view – as it would take you all day. Instead most people take it in on the classic and riotously popular boat trip with Maligne Lake Cruises. The trips leave the boat dock up to eight times daily and last 1½ to two hours.