Maligne Lake History
Maligne Lake history begins in 1875, and since the first tourists were guided to Maligne Lake by Fred Brewster in 1914, the journey has evolved greatly. Instead of a three-day horseback trip, it’s now a one-hour drive from downtown Jasper along a paved road, and the handmade wooden boats used a century ago have been replaced by comfortable motorboats that zip up and down the lake.
Discovery of Sore Foot Lake
The first official recording of Maligne Lake was in 1875 when James McLeod followed the Maligne River to its source but found traveling up the Maligne Valley very difficult—when he reached the lake at the head of the valley, he dubbed it “Sore Foot,” for his difficult journey.
For 30 years after McLeod’s visit, the lake remained a mythical place. Word of its beauty had spread, but it remained remote and difficult to reach. In the summer of 1908, Mary Schäffer journeyed to the mythical lake. Guided by two Banff locals, she traveled north over Wilcox Pass to the Sunwapta River and then crossed Poboktan Pass.
Maligne Lake History Book
The only book dedicated to the lake is Maligne Lake: The Jewel of Jasper National Park. Written by a local expert and beautifully illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs, Maligne Lake features the natural and human history of this scenic lake. With detailed accounts of everything there is to see and do at Maligne Lake and a full-colour map, Maligne Lake is an invaluable resource for visitors and locals alike. It is sold at the Maligne Lake Day Lodge, or online by the publisher Summerthought Publishing here: Maligne Lake book.