Explore the most popular kid friendly 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.

Fairly easy hike, good for stretching the legs and getting some air, perfect for a smokey day. Lots of people! Recommend very early morning or very late in the evening to avoid the crowds. Views from the ink pots are nice. Wouldn't recommend this if the weather is good, spend the day elsewhere.

Nice easy trail. very few people past upper Falls on the way to the ink pots.

Pleasant hike. waterfalls are beautiful.

2 days ago

Very nice hike with some decent views. My 5 and 7 year old were able to do it no problem. Took us about 2 hours round trip from the bottom car park. A good workout for us not-so-experienced hikers!

Go early. Easy hike, i was really hungover and managed fine haha. It's mostly in the trees and the ink pots are pretty cool so it's worth doing. Make sure you get an ice cream from the little shed when you return from the hike, cheapest you'll find around Banff!!

The canyon was really cool, but crowded. There were lines by each of the falls viewpoints to wait to take your picture (about 2pm weekday), and some folks seemed completely oblivious to moving with the flow of traffic on the narrow walkways. Once you get past the upper falls, the crowd thins out a ton and it's a nice quiet hike to the ink pots. They were pretty cool and the surrounding views were nice, but if you're limited on time, I wouldn't consider the ink pots portion of the hike a must-see. Definitely go up to the upper viewpoint though.

The first bit is very crowded. Get there early to avoid the people and the full parking lot. The falls are beautiful though!
Once you get past the upper fall, it clears out. There are many switchbacks but the ink pots are a unique place to visit! Very cool place. We had lunch here then returned.

Nice hike but it was kind of late when we get there

We were inspired by a young lady who went all through the inkpots with crutches. We did the hike again after two years and the inkpots were much more beautifulthis year due to the amount of rain! It is a beautiful hike.

Very busy. It's a nice walk that you will enjoy.

6 days ago

Love this hike. We do it annually, preferably in the fall when the tourist season slows down. It’s worth the trek to the ink pots. Take a pic nic and plan on enjoying the view at the top for a while. I don’t recommend taking kids that need to be carried all the way to the top. The upper falls is fine for kids. Can get very busy on summer weekends making climbing and parking tough if you go mid day.

Wonderful scenery but very busy.

Did this hike on July 14 2018. The hike up took only 30min and the view of Banff was nice. To be honest, I would never do it again unless someone in my group really wanted this off their bucket list.

I actually saw a jogger train on this hike and the hike itself isn't really challenging. I wouldn't have put this hike as moderate. Saw lots of older people complete this hike and it can be done with any skill level as long as you pace yourself.

FWIW, the sign said it is normally completed in 1-2hrs.

Fun walk/hike! It’s paved most the way past the waterfalls before it turns to stairs and then into a trail. Would be great for people not huge on hiking but enjoys nature. Can be quite crowded and sometimes you must wait before you can start walking on the bridge just due to the sheer volume of other people. We tried to get to Mystic Junction through this trail for an overnight camping trip but only made it as far as Jo 9. Still an amazing journey!

This is too long to hike

Would suggest trying to go through out the week. It’s super busy on weekends. Definitely worth it . So beautiful !!!

We did this hike yesterday and because it was a Sunday long weekend. It was packed. We had to park about 15min walk away on the street. The falls are spectacular as always despite the crowd of people coming and going. We skipped the line up to all the fall viewing spots since the line ups were rediculous :) and we wanted to go straight to the Inkpots. There was a steady elevation up before descending down to the Inpots valley which was surrounded by the mountains. It was very beautifully peacful place. the inkpots were like a mini version of the ones in Yellow Stone. We saw lots of people young and old, kids as young as two to 8 on the trail. On the way there, we saw a lady with a walker ascending up the hill from the Inkpots and we were so inspired by her for going all the way. It was a very pleasant family hike, the boys (14-20 yrs old) enjoyed hanging out at the upper falls rocks. My oldest even jumped in for a dip. The rest of us soaked our feet. The water was refreshingly cold. It took care of our warm and achy feet from walking. We did this hike twice since the past 10 years and this was the first time we walked all the way to the Inkpots. I enjoyed it very much. We didn't mind the crowd. The falls and canyon are still magnificient and we loved the rumbling sound of the water falls along the trail.

12 days ago

Gorgeous views. Not a super long hike. Constant steady uphill.

12 days ago

Very easy and flat. Short hike and not much for views. See a bit of the river at points.

Easy, historic and have a great view!

This is a beautiful and fairly easy hike. We went on a Monday morning and the trail was only moderately busy down by the waterfalls. Once we started heading up to Ink Pots there were hardly any people on the trail. When you get onto the actual trail heading up to the Ink Pots there's definitely more of an incline, but if you're moderately experienced it's really nothing. The meadow, where the ink pots are located, has the most beautiful view of the river and surrounding mountains. My friend and I loved it!

Moderately easy and quick hike with great views!

Very rewarding and decently easy hike. We did this in Februray so there was quite a bit of snow, especially at the summit, but the views were stunning. The trail was very slippery, so it took us longer than it should have. The trailhead is close to Banff so it's easy to get to and convenient! I would definitely do this hike again.

Worth it, absolutely Busy, absolutely. tried to show up at 10 a.m. and parking was full / overflow on the road was crazy long. Went back next day at 730 am. Only a few vehicles in the parking lot. Hike up gets a little long towards the ink pots, steep without much for sights. The scenic view at the ink pots is amazing. Hike down was jammed with people coming up especially around the falls with lineups to see the features. Go early and spend time at all the sights on the way up.

Super easy I did it with a 2 year old on my back and a dog. Views are great! great for a beginner hiker!

16 days ago

This a a relatively easy hike with great views along the way up!

16 days ago

Go early to try and avoid the crowds. (It felt a bit like Disneyland at times) but that is a positive aspect of this hike- Anyone can get to the falls. The trail section on the way to the Inkpots is underwhelming but allows you to escape the masses of humanity.
When you arrive at the final destination, you will be glad you made the effort. It is beautiful, peaceful and a wonderful place to soak your feet in the icy cold stream and have lunch. Don’t miss the ‘cave’ just below the upper falls. About 40 ft before the trail Ts. Very beautiful hike high overall with lots of variety.

16 days ago

Nice super easy hike but way too crowded with tourists. Take the “more difficult” route as it’s basically just as easy, it’s a smaller trail, and there’s less people. Also, it puts you right next to the waterfall instead of above it, so if you want the Instagram pic that’s where you should go

Very busy around the Falls but gets better on the way to the Inkpots. Some steep areas but the trails are well marked and travelled. The view around the Inkpots is tranquil and beautiful. You can always bypass the crowds around the Falls a bit by taking the dog Moose Meadows trail from a different parking lot up and to the Inkpots.

17 days ago

This is great for newcomers to banff. Start with this as a build up. This will get you used to the change in altitude and fitness you’ll need for Rundle or cascade. It can be done in 45-1hour or a speed run of 20minutes.

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