The Mystery of Medicine Lake

We passed by Medicine Lake on our way to Maligne Lake of Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada.

I remember , the hubby and I wondered what happened to it.  There’s very little water on the lake. So we thought it has something to do with global warming.  We felt very sad too because we thought that water has receded badly, making the lake almost empty.

On our way back to Jasper, we decided to stop at Medicine Lake.  And that’s when we found out through the information provided there, that every autumn the water disappears.  The Indians who lived there in the past thought that the water’s disappearance has something to do with “magic” or by “big medicine”. 🙂

Research, recently though,  shows that this outflow goes down to Athabasca River, 17 kms away from Medicine Lake , through an underground stream.

It’s like a bath tub. While the water is flowing from the faucet to the tub, the water in the tub gets deeper. And when the faucet water stops, then the tub water recedes until it’s gone.

In this case, the water that flows to Medicine Lake comes from the glacial run off and/or melting snow. And when the snow has melted , the water stops running to the lake. And whatever is left there, drains to an underground river going down to Maligne canyon. And eventually to the Athabasca Valley.

The lake comes back again during spring time. Its depth during summer reaches to as much as 20 meters by then.

If that does not sound awesome to you, I don’t know what is!

Yes, science has an explanation why that happens. But only God can do something that wonderful.  And magical. Amazing right?! 🙂

So let me show you the photos I took last month. You can enlarge them by clicking on each picture.

The photos below were taken on our way back to the town of Jasper.  You know, the view going to Maligne Lake is different from the view going back. But one thing is sure, it’s pretty stunning both ways!

Maximum driving speed is 60 kms per hour.  There are wild animals in the area, so please be careful. Drive slowly and enjoy your trip. You just might be lucky and see caribous, deer, elks and bears, moose or mountain sheeps. 🙂

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At the Medicine Lake:

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And here we are, greatly enjoying the view. 🙂


I will always thank God for the opportunity of visiting Jasper National Park. More importantly, for giving me the chance to see such beauty with the love of my life. Cheesy huh! Just bear with me. I am just so grateful for all these blessings. 🙂

Like I always say, if you plan on traveling, do it now. While you still can. Share precious moments with your love ones (husband/wife/family) and make memories together that you will look back on, when you’re 80 or so….


Lea C. Walker