Medicine Lake - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Medicine Lake - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Medicine Lake - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Medicine Lake - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image
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Medicine Lake

Location: Jasper National Park, Southwest of Jasper Townsite along Maligne Lake Road, AB, Canada, UTM: 11U 445784 E / 5858232 N

Vital Statistics: Elevation: 1436 Metres (4,710 Feet)  

Formation Mechanism:  

Topographic Map: 83c13 Medicine Lake

Description: Located 21 km along the Maligne Lake Road, this ephemeral lake appears and disappears on an annual basis. As the Maligne River swells with spring runoff, the water backs up to form Medicine Lake. Observers will notice that the lake has no clear outlet, so where does the water go? The lake drains through an underground system of caves, resurfacing further downstream. Think of it like a bathtub with the plug pulled. If the water runs faster than the tub can drain, the tub will fill even though the plug is absent. Medicine Lake fills with the spring runoff, but as soon as the flow diminishes in late summer, it begins to drain until all that is left is a mud flat and a winding river course. It will replenish itself with next years runoff, only to begin the cycle anew.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005