Explore the most popular birding trails near Banff with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful easy walk with a range of different views and landscapes.

What a beauty!

walking
7 days ago

Great for date night ❤️ nice and easy.

Nov 3, 2018
Johnston Canyon was awesome—is great if you love water. The river through the canyon was beautiful. Easy hike on paved trail. The trail to ink pots was a bit more difficult, but not too intense. We rented crampons and made heavy use of them (lots of steep icy inclines). The ink pots are nestled in a valley next to the upper river. While not as bright blue as we expected due to the cloud cover, they were still amazing. The surrounding mountain views are awesome too—we sat for a while and had a snack before making the trek back.

Actually been on the ridge above the'high point' and viewed on to the other side. Its lil steep but no dramatic cliffs until the ridge.

After seeing Johnston Canyon, you can continue the uphill and slightly monotonous trail to the Ink Pots. The Ink pots are pretty cool and there’s a steam near them, but I would spend time hiking elsewhere if I had it to do over again.

This this one about 3 weeks ago. Loved Johnston Canyon! Was a tiny bit disappointed with the Ink Pots, but still a very beautiful place.

Just wow...must-see waterfalls. The trail was good, easy peasy up to the upper water falls...from there to the summit, cardio-strength exercise...btw, it was a bit icy, but I made it with running shoes...from the summit to the ink pots, cleats must be worn, sharp slopes covered with ice. In total, I loved it :) take a look at photos I took

Beauuutiful hike! Did this one 2 days ago with a friend. Steep at the end but SO worth it for the view!!! Crampons were a must.. poles could be a good idea too. When you get to the rock boulders (about 3/4 of the hike) the trail is very difficult to find. There is a path on the far left but also some other scattered all over the place. Don't stop there even if it's hard to find... you have to reach the end of it!! You will have a spectacular view of Minnewanka lake, Canmore and all the mountains (180° view)
Really enjoyed that one, would do it again in a heart beat ❤

hiking
12 days ago

Amazing view at the end! Crampons and poles recommended if you want to go all the way up (the last km is really steep). Snow and ice covering the last third of the hike.

Easy hike. Most of the trail is paved (and not really interesting...). Canyon is cool but this interesting part of the trail is too short. (a LOT of mosquitoes in summer. be prepared!)

Great hike with amazing views
Last part is pretty steep but totally worth it!
The trail is icy and there’s snow at the end but completely possible and safe. Better with poles and crampons.

hiking
14 days ago

trail is a bit icy, gripons is recomended, managable in runners if you can balance well

hiking
15 days ago

Awesome hike great view from the top

Amazing view!!! Made it to the top this afternoon. We only had regular hiking shoes on, but would highly recommend using crampons....we underestimated how steep and icy it was. Totally worth it though!

hiking
23 days ago

Nice easy to follow trail. the dogs enjoyed it also. ì too would rate it easy moderate. snow packed Ì would recommend icer's.

This is a great trail to get some fantastic views of the waterfalls Johnston Canyon has to offer. The trail is improved/paved until you reach the upper falls and then it is a well marked dirt trail that is easy to follow. After the upper falls we needed hiking spikes as the trail was rather icy in spots and for the final descent into the valley that holds the ink pots. Overall a moderate hike if you go all the way to the pots. The views at the Ink Pots are worth the hike themselves but the waterfalls are spectacular and really offer some great views along the way.

25 days ago

Pretty cool trail. First part to Vista lake (not frozen) was muddy and easy. Second part, the real ascension, was icy and snowy but well tap. Second half of the ascending part was more steep. cleats and pole recommended! Took 1h45 to go all way up. You can continue 3km after Arnica lake (which was frozen) to Twin Lakes.

hiking
27 days ago

Such a pretty and peaceful hike. Great for those with less stamina or if you'd like to fit in a little hike. We were there before 10 AM and did not see one other person. Even though the trail was somewhat ice, it is completely flat, so was easy to traverse.

hiking
29 days ago

October 14 2018
Quite satisfied with this hike! Did it with crampons (pretty necessary) and poles (optional here), with a 8 month old toddler. We are a 32/30 years old couple with some hiking experience and moderate fitness level and it took us about 1h35 on the way up (without much photo stopping) and 1h20 on the way down. First half is easy, steady way down to the first lake, with some mud. Some pretty views of the lower lake. After the bridge the way up starts. Somewhat steep in the second half, especially at the end after you reach the dried up lake. There’s about 100m ascent left at that point over less than 500m. Then you reach the lake, nestled in the mountainside, which is quite pretty. On your way back the end of the route isnt that dispiriting since it’s quite a gradual climb. Met 2 groups of 2 in total during the whole hike, pretty deserted! Note that on the way down (or up if you prefer taking breaks) the view in the last 1/3 is quite pretty as well.

This is a very easy trail that is paved most of the way with handrails! The waterfalls are beautiful - however this is such a well know place make sure to get up super early to beat lots of crowds or try going during the week.

hiking
1 month ago

Snow was pretty set in when reached the cirque . Had to cut our own path towards the top (snow was above knee deep in places) hard work and a little sketchy but worth the views.

hiking
1 month ago

Family friendly up until the canyon, there is a bike rack right before you go through the canyon. FYI, Discovery Pass gives you free access to the Cave and Basin

Love hiking at Sunshine so peaceful and the views are amazing larch especially wonderful to watch as they turn golden and shed their needles flowers in spring and fall can highly compare to many other hikes but hard to compare Sunshine s Latches and trails

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

The trail is ranked as moderate and that's an accurate rating. I'm 62 and in good health didn't have any trouble complementing the hike. The highlights of this hike are the lower and upper falls and the meadows at the end of the trail. ( If you are exhausted from just hiking the lower falls then you should consider turning back. The trail gets steeper from there)

You'll need a tripod and perhaps a ND filter to capture both the lower and upper falls with the "flowing" water effect. You'll also need lots of patience as this is a very popular hike and there is very little room to setup a tripod without someone bumping into you. But if is worth the effort.

If you have made it to the Upper Falls and you still have lots of energy, then you should proceed to the "Ink Pots" . Personally I find the ink pots nit to be very photogenic but the valley/meadows they sit in is one of the prettiest I've ever seen. You have a large meadow surrounded by snow capped mountains with a glacially fed stream running through the middle. I spent two hours just wondering around shooting various compositions, having a great time.

One caution: These are the Canadian Rockies. You need to be prepared for cold weather even in the summer

Highly recommended.

Easy hike with spectacular views. The path along Johnston canyon was crowded but views are worth it. Strongly recommend continuing on to the ink pots as they are a wonderful natural phenomenon.

Easy hike, canyon was nice but all the way to the canyon is paved.

Johnston Canyon is always incredible to see. This time I ventured past the upper falls to see the Ink Pots. The trail is in a forested area so there’s not too much to see until you are almost at the Ink Pots. You will know you are almost there when you emerge from the forested area. You will be rewarded with an incredible view of an open valley with a river and mountains in the distance. The Ink Pots are lovely, and I think they would have been truly incredible had it been a bright sunny day. It was cloudy and rained for a good portion of my hike in late September. There are a lot of uphill and downhill portions on this hike so it can be challenging. Definitely worth the effort in my opinion. There are benches at the Ink Pots where you can sit and enjoy the view with a snack or lunch.

We went a little after lunch hour,the hike up to the lower and upper falls was a little busy but once you start heading towards the ink pots there was less traffic.The 5.7km hike was worth it after seeing the view.

Great hike, but we found ourselves quite tired and didn’t make it to the ink pots...probably better to acclimate to the higher altitude before a hike. That said, the hike was more like a stroll, but with wonderful views. The most novice of hikers will enjoy this hike.

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