Spirit Island

by Liam Costar


A place with an abundance of photos taken up ones Instagram feed, a must see location on a face book advert, a post card in a Canadian convenience store. Spirit island, Jasper, one of Canada’s many gems.

We had to see what the fuss was about…

Tourist boats cruise daily down maligne lake, filled with a magnitude of people from all over the world, all ready to snag that Instagram famous shot. We were a group of four Australians and one Canadian, the tourist boat just wasn’t an option.

At first, yeah it was a big hype to see spirit island but it became more and more about the experience and the trip out there. Two canoes and one kayak, entering the water at dawn. Visibility was zero, nothing but thick fog and the sound of our awes cutting through the lake. The vibe this was producing was some what eerie but yet surreal at the same time.

After paddling for hours, we really started to notice how small we truly were. By this time the fog had gradually lifted and the mountains had been reviled, it was truly a sight you’d have to see with your own eyes.

A few hours off dusk, we have the camp set up, the fire crackling and warming up our limbs. The howl of wolves echoes through the valley, a split second  your mind starts to freak and think how close was that? But then you appreciate how special that is, you sure realise how far from home you really are now.

Spirit island is just around the bend from camp, one last paddle before dark starts to set in. Not a tourist boat in sight, not one bit of breeze to be felt on the skin just pure calmness, something that money can’t buy you. It was as if we were staring at one big mirror, that took in the whole of what the eye could see. Spirit island was truly a gem but to experience it and having it all to our selves was truly something unforgettable.

Words and photography by Liam Costar