Bald Hills Malign Lake Hikes – Jasper National Park
- 10+ km return (there is a short-cut though)
- Harder hiking trail – elevation gain almost 500 m
- No dogs allowed as the trail passes through Woodland Caribou habitat
The Bald Hills Hike in the Maligne Valley, Jasper National Park, offer incredible views of Maligne Lake, Opal Hills and the surrounding mountain peaks. This moderate hike has some of the best panoramic view points in the Canadian Rockies.
The Bald Hills trailhead is located at Maligne Lake. From Jasper, head north on highway 16 to Maligne Lake Road, follow this road past the canyon, 44 km to the parking area. The trailhead is south of the parking lot.
Bald Hills Hike
The Bald Hills Hike is as challenging as it is rewarding. The trail starts off pleasantly enough, with a gradual path leading you through the pine forest. About halfway through the hike there is a harder, steeper short-cut trail which reduces the distance to the summit 1.3 km.
You feel as though you are at such a high altitude. When we visited Bald Hills we were treated to all kinds of weather. We had our share of sunshine and views but a thunderstorm was brewing as we reached the summit. After seeing several large lightening strikes in the mountains around us we decided to take cover in a nearby bush while we wait out the storm.
On the way back we took a side trail up to a different ridge to make up for not reaching the summit. We were afforded some interesting views of the mountains and hills behind the ridge. The alpine wildflowers and otherworldliness of the surroundings made us feel like we were on another planet.
On our way back home we found ourselves on an old fire road, now used by horseback riders. Worried that we might end up somewhere we didn’t want to be, we turned around to find our original way back. On the way we stopped to eat some food, and quickly discovered that we were not alone. A Grey jay, a.k.a Whiskey jack, decided to join us. The Canadian Geographic has declared the Grey jay Canada’s National Bird.
Maligne Lake is a turquoise coloured, glacier fed lake which sits in a valley surrounded by towering Rocky Mountain peaks. The lake is 22.5 km long and average 115 ft. in depth.
Top 3 Tips
- Pack some drinks and snacks, the top of Bald Hills is like no other and shouldn’t be rushed!
- This is a full day hike, make sure to plan accordingly.
- The Bald Hills is grizzly country that means each person should carry bear spray.