Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

great hike the views at ink pots in the valley are spectacular. would like to try the hike from moose meadows instead of Johnston canyon as Johnston canyon is ridiculously over packed with people and iut takes away from the enjoyment.

Great trail. Great views. Highly recommended.

1 day ago

on a nice day you cant beat this

A beautiful hike no matter what time of year with amazing views!

Well worth the long trek in. First couple hours to Bourgeau lake is mostly covered with the odd views looking back down the valley. Once past the first lake, the views through Harvey Pass and the ridge to the summit will give you more than enough motivation to keep going! One of the best hikes I’ve done in the Rockies.

Easy hike for in shape people and worth the trip. Very touristy but that’s ok.

We got to Johnston Canyon at 9:00am and there weren’t many people on the trail. The trail to the Ink Pots is well marked and people were scarce on that part of the hike. However, on the way back the falls were packed with people so it’s best to start early.

There were some dips in the path which made for nice inclines so your legs can get a good workout instead of just walking on flat terrain.

The Ink Pots themselves were majestic and a great place to explore; the Upper and Lower Falls were beautiful and it was even better enjoying them without crowds of people.

Terrible marking. Zero signage. Wandered around could not find the trail. To bad it didn’t work out. But tons of mosquitoes. Just awful!

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked on 2018 July 17 with spouse, 12 year old son and Labrador Retriever. Hot and sunny. Trail was in excellent condition. Descent down to Vista Lake is steady and easy ( remember this as you come back up at the end of the day...). There is a wooden bridge at the end of Vista Lake for a break, which you should take, as it's all uphill from there. I'm 52 and I'm in relatively good shape, but the ascent up to Arnica Lake was a bit of a challenge. The trail is well marked, but fairly steep and narrow with loose footing in places. We had to stop frequently to catch our breath, which was fine because there were many spectacular lookouts along the way. You can look back and see your progress as Vista Lake and the trailhead parking lot are visible from several spots. As we finally reached a slight descent there was a dried up lake bottom which we very briefly hoped wasn't Arnica Lake ( that would have been a great cosmic joke ) but quickly realized the trail continued past this and, of course, upwards once again. The last section between the dried up lake bed and Arnica Lake seemed to be the steepest climb, but that may have simply been due to our fatigue level. Arnica Lake is quite pretty and surrounded by cliffs, however the mosquitoes were horrendous, even being saturated with repellant. We ate very quickly for this reason and started our way back to the trailhead. It took us about 3 hours to reach Arnica Lake from the trailhead and about 2:30 back with frequent stops, especially on the way in. Remember that last 1.5 km from Vista Lake back up to the parking lot? Yeah. That. We met a total of 10'other hikers all day ( Tuesday ). Stopped at Storm Mountain Lodge after for a nice cold drink. Enjoy!!

The first 3km on paved road are boring (even if we saw a black bear). The canyon trail is great but a LOT of mosquitoes so be prepared.

Incredible views from the end of the trail. Worth doing despite crowds.

You either have to do the 5 km hike straight up or take the 64 dollar gondola ride to the top to access this trail.

This is a great trail run or walk. Although the views on the trail aren't really remarkable given the location, the views from the top are unforgettable.
For a 1-2 hour run/walk, you couldn't choose a more convenient one with such great views. Also, there is a $35 buffet at one of the restaurants at the top in-case you need to fill up on energy.

Be sure to bring your own water or water bottle as the bottles at the base are sold for $3.

As an even better end to most hikes, you can go to the hot springs which are located at the foot of the trail. Bring your swimsuit and leave it in your vehicle!

-Will

As other reviews have said this is a busy hiking trail, great way for holiday hikers to be submerged in mountains and lakes! The view from the lookout was out of this world and the wild flowers throughout the meadows are beautiful. Recommend the detour to Monarch lookout, stunning views and next to no one else around!

We did this trail yesterday and we’d do it again. The paved portion of it is ok but once that stops and you begin hiking along the creek, it’s beautiful. We went through the interpretative at the trailhead and I’d recommend it. That surfer spring is where the entire Canadian National parks started. Pretty neat. Take bug spray for sure.

One of the most beautiful drives with plenty of stops and activities throughout.

Their is popular skiing and hiking place.
We took gondola and chair lift to go up there and went loop around lakes.
It was very beautiful views and lots flowers.
It took 42 dollar for gondola ticket.
But it’s worth it and save you time for this view and hikes.

10/10 views. Paved, very short trail with steep incline to the look out. Bathrooms in the parking lot. SOOO many people acting like fools.

Hiked July 13, 2018

This is an iconic mountain that should be a bucket list hike. The first 1/3 or the hike is groovy - a nice walk in the woods or a great warmup. Once you hit the gully, shit gets real. Real gains, real fast up the root staircase. When you get out of the tree line to the exposed scramble, the rocks get very loose, and it gets steep - 45* angle for 800m of gain over 2k push to the top. Extremely windy and cold at the top and not much shelter. The downhill over this exposed section is also challenging as the scree is very large and sharp. Took us about 6hr return.
*Local tip - go to Waldhaus for a Banff Springs Lager and nachos and enjoy looking up at the summit while you drink your celebratory beer

Today I did this hike with 3 of my kids age 8, 10 and 13. Trail is steep but I would still consider it moderate for difficulty. We got to the parking lot at 8:30am, lots of places to park, the hike took us just under 2 hours with lots of short breaks. Trail was mostly switchbacks and lots of trees so not a lot of open views, that being said the trails were wide and easy to walk on. We thought it was closer to 6km one way. I was super surprised to see how big the crowds were when we got to the top And it was only a Thursday. We did ride the gondola down just for fun. When we arrived back the parking lot was packed and so many shuttles of people.
Try this hike but do it early to avoid the large crowds!

We arrived at 7:30 to a parking lot with ~25 other cars. Very few people at the falls when we got there. The trail to ink pots was pretty easy too. All in all, took us ~2.5 hours start to finish. On the way back from ink pots the line for upper falls was ridiculously long and people were parking on the road outside the park. Definitely need to start early. If you start early bring a jacket. It was 4°C (39° F) when we began in mid July.

It was hard and very dangerous. It was moust extreme thing i had ever done. But the view was very good.

Went up the back route, was minimal traffic and pleasant scenery. Lots of chances to see the scenery from a wide service road which is currently in disuse. Lots of opportunities for pictures, rest, with a moderate incline that is consistent throughout. Came back down the front (75-90min) side which is very highly trafficked. Overall a decent hike.

Nice and easy hike on a paved path. If you find that it is a rainy day but still want to go hiking then this is a good choice since it is not in the wide open. Most of the hike is along suspended catwalks that lead through the forest and canyon.
The lower falls has a small natural cave that you can duck through to view the falls (you will get slightly wet with mist).
The upper falls are quite nice too but make sure you turn off the paved path on your right just before the upper falls. You will descend to the water where you can see a massive dugout, a large top heavy rock, and a waterfall that you can walk behind. Well worth it.
The crowds will be less busy in the mornings of course so make this your first “quick and easy” hike of the day.

Nice easy hike up a paved trail leading to an overpopulated wooden lookout. For an even better view with no one in your way, leave behind the crowds and continue on to a three-way junction. Left leads to the upper bus parking lot while the right and middle trails continue on to a Forest loop. Take the middle trail and continue on for about a kilometre where you will run into an unmarked dirt trail on your left. Take this switchback trail up to an amazing lookout with no one around. It’s well worth it, trust me.

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful lakes in the Rockies. The short uphill trail can get quite busy. But the view at the top is incredible.

We are not very fit at all, but we made it to the top in about two hours. Fantastic views from the top, especially from the Cosmos station. We did cheat and take the Gondola back down, which saved time and my wife's legs ;-)

It’s a great hike for beginners, bring water and a hoodie or light coat. AND GO EARLY!!!

Loved it. Not too bad of a hike. Very dog friendly. Amazing views

A tad bit more challenging than you would expect for the ‘moderate’ rating. Limited opportunity for views on the climb and the trail can be a bit repetitive given all the hairpin turns. But spectacular views at the summit.

Highly visited trail especially given the increase access due to the gondolas on site. Ok to do this hike solo - limited chance of running into wildlife.

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