Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park

4.7
#1 of 82 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
2,473 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We rode our bikes along hwy 1a during the closure, from Castle Junction. Fairly easy ride, and fun to ride in the middle of the highway! We hiked to the upper falls, which is lovely, but going...  more »
  • Right from the parking lot and to the upper falls, this trail was just beautiful at every turn. From the babbling brooks, to the rapids as you get closer to the falls, and the the actual falls...  more »
  • We tried 3 times to get into this hike this summer, but with COVID they will not let people in. The best way to see it is take Bikes from the Castle Mountain Junction and then hike the 2-3 km to...  more »
Google
  • 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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Plans to Johnston Canyon by other users

3 days in Banff National Park BY A USER FROM CANADA October, popular sights Preferences: October Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 30 days in Canada BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES April, kids, popular sights Preferences: April, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 18 days in Banff National Park BY A USER FROM CANADA August, outdoors, romantic, museums, popular sights Preferences: August, outdoors, romantic, museums Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 13 days in Canada BY A USER FROM CANADA July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Canada BY A USER FROM INDIA January, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, popular sights Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Canada BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 15 days in Canada BY A USER FROM FRANCE July, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems Preferences: July, historic sites, museums Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 3 days in Banff National Park BY A USER FROM CANADA October, popular sights Preferences: October Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Banff National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 21 days in Canada BY A USER FROM PAKISTAN December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 4 days in Calgary BY A USER FROM CANADA May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 10 days in Kingston & Banff National Park BY A USER FROM CANADA November, popular sights Preferences: November Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
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