Alberta's Icefields Parkway Photos: Side Trip to Malign Canyon

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The trip to Maligne Canyon, one of the Canadian Rockies' most inspiring gorges, lies only seven miles north of Jasper. Snow-covered stone 'potholes,' carved by the powerful current that flows through here in warmer months, cover the top of the canyon each winter.  
Credit: Heather Hansen 
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It spans only three feet at its narrowest point, but plunges to depths of up to 165 feet. A self-guided tour traces the canyon up to the point where it joins the Athabasca River.  
Credit: Heather Hansen 
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But during the winter, you can drop down onto the frozen canyon floor, where thin ice looks and sounds like walking on broken glass.  
Credit: Heather Hansen 
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Freezing temps also affords another unique seasonal opportunity: ice climbing. Here, a group of climbers secure ropes before their icy ascent.  
Credit: Heather Hansen 
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An ice climber tackling a frozen waterfall.  
Credit: Heather Hansen 
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Despite its calm surface, water still gushes beneath a frozen base of the Athabasca River, a somber reminder to the amount of force that the waters achieved to form such a stunning canyon.  
Credit: Heather Hansen 
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At the end of the canyon, the Maligne and Athabasca rivers come together near the canyon's end, reflecting the nearby peaks.  
Credit: Heather Hansen 
 
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