Medicine Lake

Medicine Lake featuring a lake or waterhole, a sunset and tranquil scenes
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This lake depends on melted glacier water to fill up and it changes drastically with each season. Its disappearing water has amazed people for thousands of years.

If you’ve witnessed the flow of water in Maligne Canyon, a visit to Medicine Lake is a must, because this is where it all goes. Well, this is where it is supposed to go at least. When autumn starts, the body of water disappears and leaves a mere trickle. This phenomenon has mystified people for thousands of years. Medicine Lake earned its name from the Native Indians who believed its ebb and flow was magical, like medicine.

In an attempt to understand the flow of water, or the lack thereof, you can look at where the water originates. Located 9 miles (16 kilometers) upstream from the canyon, picturesque Maligne Lake spills into the Maligne River. In summer, glacier melt water cuts through Maligne Canyon and reaches Medicine Lake, to the point of overflowing. Even now, experts are unsure where the water disappears to. What is known is that it likely has one of the most extensive, and inaccessible, underground cave systems in the world with hidden sinkholes. Technically, Medicine Lake is not a lake at all: It is a sinking river!

In summer, the fishing on Medicine Lake is excellent. Rainbow and brook trout populate the waters. Rent a boat to get out on the water. If you’d rather photograph the wildlife than eat it, keep an eye out for the likes of bears, caribous, wolves, and moose. Birds of prey are often seen swooping down on the lake to capture fish.

For those looking to stay a while longer, Medicine Lake Provincial Recreation Area has over 40 campgrounds open in the warmer months. Some are located near the water’s edge. If you want the experience of cooking the day’s catch under the aspen and spruce trees, there is no better place to do it.

Medicine Lake is located about 12 miles (20 kilometers) southeast of Jasper, along the scenic Icefields Parkway. While the views and activities are better in summer, it is a fascinating site to see any time of year.

Top Hotels Close to Medicine Lake

Pine Bungalows
Pine Bungalows
2.5 out of 5
2 Cottonwood Creek Rd, Jasper, AB, T0E 1E0
The price is $254 per night from Sep 5 to Sep 6
Stay at this eco-friendly hotel in Jasper. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in our reviews. ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (475 reviews)
"Beautiful cabins, friendly staff, no wifi! Perfect getaway :) Will recommend to friends and family!"

Reviewed on Aug 10, 2022

Pine Bungalows
Chateau Jasper
Chateau Jasper
3 out of 5
96 Geikie Street, Jasper, AB, T0E1E0
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $288 per night from Aug 28 to Aug 29
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Jasper. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the clean rooms in our reviews. Popular ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (1,267 reviews)
"we like it"

Reviewed on Aug 12, 2022

Chateau Jasper
Forest Park Hotel
Forest Park Hotel
3.5 out of 5
76 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB, T0E1E0
The price is $288 per night from Aug 29 to Aug 30
Stay at this 3.5-star spa hotel in Jasper. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the clean rooms in our reviews. Popular attractions ...
3.9/5 Good! (1,190 reviews)
"First time staying here, the front office staff were excellent and very helpful."

Reviewed on Aug 13, 2022

Forest Park Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Medicine Lake

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Best Lodging Options Near Medicine Lake

HI Jasper
HI Jasper
2 out of 5
708 Sleepy Hollow Road, Jasper, AB, T0E 1E0
The price is $182 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 23
HI Jasper
Chateau Jasper
Chateau Jasper
3 out of 5
96 Geikie Street, Jasper, AB, T0E1E0
The price is $288 per night from Aug 28 to Aug 29
Chateau Jasper
Forest Park Hotel
Forest Park Hotel
3.5 out of 5
76 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB, T0E1E0
The price is $288 per night from Aug 29 to Aug 30
Forest Park Hotel
Pine Bungalows
Pine Bungalows
2.5 out of 5
2 Cottonwood Creek Rd, Jasper, AB, T0E 1E0
The price is $254 per night from Sep 5 to Sep 6
Pine Bungalows
Tonquin Inn
Tonquin Inn
3 out of 5
100 Juniper Avenue, Jasper, AB, T0E1E0
The price is $250 per night from Aug 28 to Aug 29
Tonquin Inn
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
4 out of 5
Old Lodge Road, Jasper, AB, T0E 1E0
The price is $649 per night from Sep 5 to Sep 6
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Maligne Lodge
Maligne Lodge
2.5 out of 5
912 Connaught Drive, Jasper, AB, T0E1E0
The price is $257 per night from Aug 28 to Aug 29
Maligne Lodge
Lobstick Lodge
Lobstick Lodge
2.5 out of 5
94 Geikie St, Po Box 1200, Jasper, AB, T0E1E0
The price is $258 per night from Sep 4 to Sep 5
Lobstick Lodge
Jasper Inn & Suites by INNhotels
Jasper Inn & Suites by INNhotels
3 out of 5
98 Geikie Street, Jasper, AB, T0E 1E0
The price is $259 per night from Sep 6 to Sep 7
Jasper Inn & Suites by INNhotels
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.