Johnston Canyon, Banff National 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
1,684 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Lovely walk. The visitor crosses a Canyon through which a river, going on seven falls, the last magnificent. The ride is great even with rain. Do not miss!
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  • We came there early on and then it was already very busy. Beautiful waterfalls but the marked hiking route was charming
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  • We ran out of time before the "curfew" of the Bow Valley Parkway closing overnight to help the wildlife, so as we wanted to drive that we only had time to visit the Lower Falls. These were impressive,...  more »
Google
  • I have been in both the summer and winter and it is definitely worth the trip. I have seen upper and lower falls but have not been to the ink pots from there. It is about a 2 hour hike round trip from the upper falls, if you hike at a medium to slow walking pace. The river, caves, and many small waterfalls are beautiful and well worth it. In the summer it is very busy, and there are lines to go into the main attraction areas ( a small cave in front of a waterfall which is stunning, and the upper falls lookout) the line goes by fast enough and it's worth the view, but if you don't like lines I wouldn't suggest going in the afternoon on a weekend in the summer. The parking lots were all full so cars just parked up the sides of the road, it just adds a few extra minutes of walking which isn't a big deal. In the winter, ice spikes for your shoes are a must, and dress in warm layers! It can be icy, but it is breathtaking to see in the winter as well. There are railings to hold onto in more dangerous areas, so this is a hike for everyone.
  • Beautiful sights, but way too busy on the trail. We got there after lunch so I get that it's the busiest time of the day during the busiest season but the trail up to the upper falls is wall to wall people. Don't even bother with the wait at the two prime lookouts if you intend to make it up to the ink pots, just leave the crowds behind and keep going. Hike is fine, fairly easy going not too long and the sights along the way are great. Long story short, well worth checking it out, even you do a quick visit to the lower and upper falls. But would recommend the trip to the ink pots, plenty of families, seniors, small dogs etc.. made it there and seemed to enjoy the sights. It seems like it should be said keep on the paths, so many people walking out near the various falls and dangerous areas for their vanity photo ops. It's a miracle there aren't more injuries.
  • I gave this a 4 only because of how crowded it is/was. At some of the other hot spots (Lake Louise, Moraine Lake...), there were a lot of people, but it never felt crowded. Hiking a narrow-ish trail out to the lower and upper falls felt extremely crowded because of how many people were on that trail. Some of it is more of a catwalk (walkway that has rails on both sides and is above the water) than a trail. There were waits to see both the lower and upper falls. The lower one we didn't bother waiting in line because you could at least see the falls from the main trail. We heard from people coming out that it was a 45 minute wait for them and that it wasn't all that worth it in their opinion. The wait was to go through a cave that gets you to a spot where you get a closer view of the falls. Sounds cool, but we didn't have that kind of time to spare. Continued on to the upper falls and found another line. This one luckily only took 20 minutes and we didn't have a choice if we wanted to see the falls because they aren't visible from the main part of the trail. Scenery is great though! I would give it 4.5 if I could.
  • What an amazing hike. This hike is filled with beautiful mountain scenery. The trials take you next to a river with beautiful views that lead to lower and upper falls. After you reach upper falls make sure you continue to the ink pots. The views you get at the ink pots are amazing. After lower falls you’ll notice less and less people. The trails are well hiked so it won’t feel like you’re the only one but many people don’t go past lower and upper falls.
  • An easy hike to two beautiful water falls. The path is fairly accessible to people with mobility issues. The place is very crowded on the weekends, especially during the day. Parking is somewhat limited. There is an extra parking lot just east on 1A. However, there seems to be quite a bit of turn over around 10 am. We got there around 10:30 and were able to snag a spot as someone was leaving. A great place to bring visiting guests too. You can continue on to the Ink Pots after you reach the top of Johnson's Canyon.
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19 days in Calgary BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in Canada BY A USER FROM BELGIUM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Banff National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Canada BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Redwood National Park & Calgary BY A USER FROM CANADA July, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Canada BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in Canada BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 14 days in Canada BY A USER FROM HONG KONG September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Canada BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES March, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 16 days in Canada BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Canada BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Canada BY A USER FROM CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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