By John Korobanik
For many Edmontonians, Jasper National Park is their playground away from home. Thousands of local residents make the four-hour drive west to Jasper every summer to relax and enjoy all the area has to offer.
One of the more popular spots for Edmontonians is Maligne Lake, the longest and deepest lake in the Rockies and the second largest glacier-fed lake in the world. It is the home of Spirit Island, possibly the most photographed vista in the Canadian Rockies.
And beginning Aug. 13, they’ll again be able to visit historic Maligne Lake Chalet. After undergoing major rejuvenation for two years, the chalet is finally ready to once again welcome visitors.
“This will be an important day and a special moment for Jasper National Park,” said Pat Crowley, Maligne Lake Tours general manager. “The Maligne Lake Chalet is an essential piece of Jasper’s human history and allows visitors from all over the world to learn about the legacy and history of the first adventurers to this area.”
Local craftsman Floyd Coleman was in charge of the renovation work with Ambiance Design’s Johanne Roy taking care of decoration. Guests will get a glimpse into the chalet’s past with original furnishings, a period-style washhouse as well as hand-chinked logs.
Overlooking Maligne Lake the chalet sits on a picturesque knoll, and includes a guesthouse, washhouse and cache. The Rocky Mountain architecture evokes a time when wealthy, adventurous travelers trekked for two days to reach the desired wilderness retreat, originally the base of Fred Brewster’s Rocky Mountain Camps.
“In its heyday, the Maligne Lake facility rivalled Jasper Park Lodge as the largest and most luxurious accommodation in Jasper National Park,” Crowley said. “We undertook the re-habilitation project with the intention of making the complex’s interpretive messages new and accessible again.”
On reopening, the Maligne Lake Chalet will offer a private, wilderness setting for special events, reunions, small meetings and weddings, accommodating up to 80 people. The rustic chalet is built mainly from Lodgepole pine, featuring hardwood floors, a stone fireplace and a veranda which wraps around the chalet.
You can contact Tourism Jasper for more info.