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Spirit Island Sunrise


Maligne Lake, in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada, is home to the tiny land-tied island known as Spirit Island. One of the most famous and photographed views of the Canadian Rockies, Spirit Island is well known, if not by name, at least by the photographs taken of it.

Elliot visited the region in June 2020 and had the area mostly to himself. Reaching the area where this shot was taken is not at all easy. As Elliot recounts, “You have two choices to visit here. You can either reserve a campsite eight months in advance, or canoe here. If you didn’t plan in advance, the canoe trip is your only option.”

The 17-mile canoe trip takes lots of planning and preparation, though. “You have to leave around 2 a.m. to get there for sunrise. If you’re not camping, you have to pretty much turn around and canoe back. We canoed in the dark for much of the trip before the sunrise began to lighten the sky. We made it to this location just in time to witness the most amazing sunrise we’d seen. We spent a while here as the sun rose above the surrounding mountains. Tour boats normally come into this area by about 10 a.m., long after the sunrise. To get this view you really have to come out early, or plan far, far in advance. It was an exhausting but absolutely worthwhile adventure.”

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Elliott Chau

@ lifewithelliott

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