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Medicine Lake
Vacation Travel Guide

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

Sawridge Inn Jasper
Sawridge Inn Jasper
3.5 out of 5
76 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $138 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1

Situated in a national park, this spa hotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Jasper Activity Centre and 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from Icefields Parkway. Jasper-Yellowhead Museum ...

3.9/5Very Good! (954 reviews)

"We like the upgrade to a balcony room. Their safety precautions were more than good"…"

Reviewed on Feb. 25, 2021

Sawridge Inn Jasper
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
4 out of 5
Old Lodge Road, Jasper, AB
The price is CA $359 per night from Mar 9 to Mar 10

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! (984 reviews)

"we love that you walk out your door and you are ready to explore"…"

Reviewed on Feb. 8, 2021

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Chateau Jasper
Chateau Jasper
3 out of 5
96 Geikie Street, Jasper, AB
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $145 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1

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 hotel was between a 3-10 minute walk of everything in Jasper's downtown. The underground parking was a huge treat in the -35 weather we encountered during our stay. Though there are plug in spots above ground for busier weekends in the cold. Our room was clean and nice and I loved having the ..."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 16, 2021

Chateau Jasper
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

Sawridge Inn Jasper
Sawridge Inn Jasper
3.5 out of 5
76 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB
The price is CA $138 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1
Sawridge Inn Jasper
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
4 out of 5
Old Lodge Road, Jasper, AB
The price is CA $359 per night from Mar 9 to Mar 10
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Chateau Jasper
Chateau Jasper
3 out of 5
96 Geikie Street, Jasper, AB
The price is CA $145 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1
Chateau Jasper
Lobstick Lodge
Lobstick Lodge
2.5 out of 5
94 Geikie St, Po Box 1200, Jasper, AB
The price is CA $129 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1
Lobstick Lodge
Whistler's Inn
Whistler's Inn
3 out of 5
105 Miette Ave, Jasper, AB
The price is CA $99 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22
Whistler's Inn
Tonquin Inn
Tonquin Inn
3 out of 5
100 Juniper Avenue, Jasper, AB
The price is CA $117 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1
Tonquin Inn
The Crimson Jasper
The Crimson Jasper
2.5 out of 5
200 Connaught Drive, P.O. Box 1200, Jasper, AB
The Crimson Jasper
Mount Robson Inn
Mount Robson Inn
2.5 out of 5
902 Connaught Drive, Jasper, AB
The price is CA $139 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1
Mount Robson Inn
Marmot Lodge
Marmot Lodge
2.5 out of 5
86 Connaught Drive, P.O. Box 1200, Jasper, AB
The price is CA $129 per night from Mar 15 to Mar 16
Marmot 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.