The Journey to Spirit Island

A visual wonderland

By: Liam Costar
October 24, 2016

Save List
6 Saves

The adventure took place in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Jasper, Alberta. Its 7:00am, there's a cold chill in the air, fog covers the Maligne Lake - our route to Spirit Island completely smothered by it. Its dead silent, no one to be seen or heard. We slide our canoes off the bank and started to paddle, yet we are still blinded by the fog but it was peaceful. We may not have been able to see what was around us but it still gave a surreal feel with the strokes of our paddles being the only noise around.

Its just the beginning.

An hour passes, the sun begins to share its warmth with us and the fog begins to rise but at a very slow pace. First the lush green trees are revealed to us then slowly the mountains became visible and you suddenly feel very small as you look around to see the pure size of these mountains with fresh coasts of snow sitting on the very peaks of them. It really is a wonderland for your eyes. Being out in the middle of the lake in a canoe is truly something else... something that photos and words can't properly grasp.

Shoulders start to burn as each paddle brings us closer to our final destination. Nature kept us motivated, just the pure beauty of the landscape was all we needed to stay focused on reaching Spirit Island. We reached a land mark of the trip - Fishermans Bay, this was going to be home for the night, only a short paddle to Spirit Island from here. We pitch our tents, unload the canoes and get the fire burning.

"Your guess is as good as mine."

Time flew by as we sat around the fire and listened to the echoing howls of wolves in the distance. The sun began to set so we commenced our short paddle to Spirit island to enjoy the last light of the day. We arrived and were treated by breath taking views, the light in the sky was soft, not one bit of breeze to be felt which created a perfect mirror over the whole lake, a reflection that you couldn't fault. We were seeing double. 

We returned to the warmth of our campsite, the only light in sight was the fire keeping us warm. Rain clouds roll in, soon the mountains covered by cloud and the stars with them, it was going to be a wet night. We all fell asleep to sounds of the rain hitting our tarp, it was a good sound to be enjoyed while in the comfort of our sleeping bags.

Jasper, you really put on a good show for us on that day.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.