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Medicine Lake
Vacation Travel Guide

Medicine Lake featuring a lake or waterhole, a sunset and tranquil scenes

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

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
4 out of 5
Old Lodge Road, Jasper, AB
The price is $239 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
Situated in a national park, this spa resort is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course and 3.1 mi (5 km) from Maligne Lake. Maligne Canyon ...
4.2/5Excellent! (987 reviews)
"love the property. nice to just walk around. food was fabulous!"

Reviewed on Apr 7, 2021

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Chateau Jasper
Chateau Jasper
3 out of 5
96 Geikie Street, Jasper, AB
The price is $116 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
Situated in a national park, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Jasper Activity Centre and within 3 mi (5 km) of Icefields Parkway and Patricia ...
4.3/5Excellent! (982 reviews)
"The front desk staff were friendly and helpful."

Reviewed on Apr 22, 2021

Chateau Jasper
Mount Robson Inn
Mount Robson Inn
2.5 out of 5
902 Connaught Drive, Jasper, AB
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $114 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
Situated in a national park, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Jasper Artists Guild and Icefields Parkway. Jasper Municipal Library and Jasper Information ...
4.2/5Excellent! (1,230 reviews)
"Good stay. No complaints. Room was clean. Staff was friendly. Good location. Comfortable bed."

Reviewed on Apr 20, 2021

Mount Robson Inn
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.

Top Medicine Lake Flight + Hotel Deals

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Medicine Lake

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Best Lodging Options Near Medicine Lake

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
4 out of 5
Old Lodge Road, Jasper, AB
The price is $239 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Chateau Jasper
Chateau Jasper
3 out of 5
96 Geikie Street, Jasper, AB
The price is $116 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
Chateau Jasper
Mount Robson Inn
Mount Robson Inn
2.5 out of 5
902 Connaught Drive, Jasper, AB
The price is $114 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
Mount Robson Inn
Sawridge Inn Jasper
Sawridge Inn Jasper
3.5 out of 5
76 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB
The price is $111 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
Sawridge Inn Jasper
Whistler's Inn
Whistler's Inn
3 out of 5
105 Miette Ave, Jasper, AB
The price is $95 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
Whistler's Inn
Tonquin Inn
Tonquin Inn
3 out of 5
100 Juniper Avenue, Jasper, AB
The price is $103 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
Tonquin Inn
Pine Bungalows
Pine Bungalows
2.5 out of 5
2 Cottonwood Creek Rd, Jasper, AB
Pine Bungalows
Jasper Inn & Suites by Sunrise
Jasper Inn & Suites by Sunrise
3 out of 5
98 Geikie Street, Jasper, AB
The price is $119 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
Jasper Inn & Suites by Sunrise
Lobstick Lodge
Lobstick Lodge
2.5 out of 5
94 Geikie St, Po Box 1200, Jasper, AB
The price is $103 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
Lobstick Lodge
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.