Maligne River (5th to 6th Bridge)
|Stretch:||5th bridge to 6th bridge|
|Flows:||No gauge. ~500 to ?,000 cfs|
|Gradient:||60 fpm average|
|Shuttle:||1.2 miles by trail, or ~3 km by road|
|Season:||Spring and Summer from snowmelt|
Jobless Summer 2019 Roadtrip - Day 33b:
Continuing on down from the section above, this section we knew was only one mile long. We had ridden this part of the river the day before on our bike ride, so I was surprised that the guide site said this run would take 30 minutes. I anticipated it only taking 10-15 minutes. It turns out I was right.
The run was basically just a continuous class II+ to III- rapid. The scenery is nice enough. It is a nice step up for a beginner who is getting more confidence, but the continuous nature of it would be tough for someone without a role. The downside of adding this section is having to get back to the car at the 5th bridge. Since I was the one that pushed to add the section, I ran the trail back and was back at take-out quick enough.
That afternoon, we drove back south on the Icefield Parkway headed back towards Banff. Our hope was to get the Mistaya Canyon which by all reports was supposed to be a fantastic river. Paddling maps had two sets of directions to access the steep canyon, I memorized the first, and apparently failed at memorizing the second. Once down at the canyon we found a beautiful slot canyon, but failed to access the river. That story will be in the write-up from the following day when we went back with more information. Instead, we hiked back to the car and headed toward Canmore. We stopped one last time, still hoping for one last run, on the Upper Kicking Horse. We found that river, but it honestly looked pretty terrible, so we opted out. We instead, continued on towards Canmore again, hoping to stay at Gerard's place again to get out of the pouring rain that had hit that night. It turns out he was at the Banff World Tour Film Festival showing though and did not respond so instead we got a campsite near Canmore and settled in for the night.
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- Boogie (II). Honestly, there is no reason for a mile by mile. It was all just boogie. If you are a class II boater, lower flow would be good as it was pretty continuous. Paddling Maps says you can spend 20-30 minutes on this run, that would certainly be milking the eddies.
Take-out: From the town of Jasper, head north on AB-16 for about 4 kms. Cross the river onto Malingne Lake Rd and follow this for 2.3 km, turning left towards the Athabasca River Loop. Follow this for 850 m to the then turn left towards the 6th bridge and follow for 750 km to the parking area. This is the 6th bridge (counting down from the top, but that is also the naming scheme on google). We actually didn't park here, we did the hike up the canyon, parking at the 5th bridge and then I jogged back to the car using the trail on the opposite side of the river which follows the river up the 1.2 miles to the 5th bridge.
Put-in: See my comment above about using the trail on the other side of the river. But if you want to drive shuttle, you can go back out to Maligne Lake Rd. Turn left, go a km and take your first left towards the 5th bridge and the Maligne Canyon Trailhead. Follow that road 750 m to the trailhead and bridge.
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