Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park

#1 of 85 in Trails in Alberta
Hiking Trail · Nature / Park
Hike the scenic Johnston Canyon in the Banff National Park. A relatively easy trek, the route takes you along a well-maintained walkway with railings. Enjoy the picturesque view as you partake in the tranquil hike, and admire two scenic waterfalls along the way. You can continue to the meadow above the canyon to see six vibrant mineral springs known as the Ink Pots. In winter, parts of the trail can be icy or covered in snow, so walk carefully and bring suitable equipment. Plan to see Johnston Canyon and other attractions that appeal to you using our Banff National Park sightseeing planner.
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Johnston Canyon reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,486 reviews
  • Beautiful location with very interesting walk ways water falls and natural. It is a easy 5km 3m walk that is packed with interesting nature  more »
  • We very much enjoyed our stay in Johnston Canyon. The staff were very friendly and did everything they could to make our weekend in the mountains a beautiful one. Beautiful scenery and tranquil...  more »
  • Easy walking around to lower falls and it's beautiful. However, the upper fall is far and the road can be harder. For some reason the upper fall is closed and there is no notification till 100 meters....  more »
  • Very attractive scenic walks along creeks and canyon and waterfalls. Always busy with visitors no matter what day and time. Be there before 7 am for less people. Even when it rains it's still nice! The trail is easy and safe for everyone, families, seniors. Walk all the way up to Inkpots is very pretty too, not that far!
  • What CAN'T be said about Johnston Canyon? It's gorgeous. It's amazing. It's free beauty. You must hike to the lower and upper falls. The trails are well manicured, and the steel walkways are great. Take your time and soak it all in. You'll find yourself in areas that once were completely under water long ago, as you see the smooth cliffs that were carved out by the water and rocks. The colors are vibrant and the sounds are intoxicating, but the fresh clean air is even better. Most of the hike is uphill and but the payoff is worth every step. You will get a good workout going up, and coming back down. There's are lots of view points and places to sit and just gaze. Pack water and snacks so you can take your time, and get there early because the bus tours and crowds will have the parking lot full by 10am.
  • Beautiful walk through a canyon filled with interesting view points and also waterfalls. Good bistro at the entrance. Walk to the lower falls is easy but to the upper falls requires a little bit more effort. Too bad the secret cave part of the park is cordoned off for rehabilitation so do not attempt to go unless you want to risk being fined.
  • My only issue with this hike is that it was listed as easy. And maybe it is as I readily admit to being old. But we hiked several other easy trails in the Park and this was by far the most difficult. We did not go to the mud pots but did make it to the upper falls. It is also very crowded which all the literature claimed it would be. We were quite fortunate to find a place in the parking lot as there were cars parked along the road for probably a kilometer in both directions. There is a reason the place is so crowded. The scenery along the trail is spectacular. But there aren't many spots in the park that aren't beautiful. Given a redo I might look for someplace a little less crowded. It would be more enjoyable with fewer people. Maybe very early or late in the evening.
  • Its easy hike with little bit elevation gain in between. Total hike would be around 3.5 km. People usually take 2 hours to hike and spend some time taking pics. Hike is mostly through shaded area. Lower canyon fall has less height but volume is huge. Upper canyon fall is taller and landscape has more variety. There is big crowd at lower canyon fall compared to upper one as majority of the people decide to come back after shorter hike.

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