Hiking Trail in Banff National Park

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon offers trails to waterfalls and the Ink Pots in Banff, perfect for hiking and wildlife spotting.

Johnston Canyon is a popular spot in the heart of Banff National Park that attracts people who enjoy the outdoors all year round. With its beautiful waterfalls, clear streams, and impressive canyon walls, this hiking area is easy to get to and offers an enjoyable experience through the Canadian Rockies.

Johnston Canyon was shaped over many years by the wearing down effects of water and ice. The limestone canyon is known for its two main attractions, the Lower and Upper Falls, which you can get to by following well-maintained paths and trails. In winter, these falls freeze into large columns of ice that bring ice climbers from around the world.

A path takes visitors through the woods, giving views of the canyon's blue-green waters along the way. The Lower Falls are a short, easy walk (1.1 km or 0.7 miles) from where you park your car, while getting to the Upper Falls requires a bit more walking (2.7 km or 1.7 miles one-way). If you want an even longer hike, the Ink Pots—seven cold mineral springs in a meadow—are farther along (5.9 km or 3.7 miles from where the trail starts).

Johnston Canyon isn't just beautiful; it's also home to many animals. If you're paying attention, you might see birds, squirrels, and sometimes larger animals like black bears. You should keep a safe distance from wildlife and not feed them to show your respect.

Johnston Canyon can get very busy during the summer, so coming early or at less busy times can make your visit better. It's good to wear solid shoes and clothes that are right for the weather, because the trails can be wet and the weather can change.

Johnston Canyon is not only a place for a hike but a place to really feel part of nature that has been important to First Nations people for a long time. You can find signs of their early presence, like pictographs, if you know where to look, showing that people have valued this area for a long time.

In summary, Johnston Canyon is an easy way to see the wild that impresses with its natural beauty and gives a glimpse into the geology and ecology of the Canadian Rockies. Whether you want a casual stroll or a challenging hike to places that aren't as busy, this place gives you a great experience with every step.

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