Explore the most popular 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.

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Banff, Alberta Map
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Loved this trail! Great view and away from the large crowds.

Little slippery at the beginning of winter. well trafficked. Free gondola down in winter

I had pretty low expectations of this hike based on word of mouth reviews however it was pretty beautiful!
The walk from the cave and basin was along a paved walk way, agree with other comments that it can be a little boring however the couple of breaks in the trees give stunning views of the bow river and mountains behind. The canyon was partially frozen over with water running underneath! Beautiful and peaceful.
I couldn’t do the last 1km as it was really icy and had no micro spikes. Would recommend this as a longer and quieter Johnston Canyon.

#HikingWithHarri

Easy hike, lovely views in the canyon - get here early as the trail gets busy!

Loved this hike. I am out of shape so had to stop quite a few times but I plan to do it again. The view at the end was beyond worth it! We did have snow and ice after the first 30 mins so used our crampons for the rest!

We hiked to Arnica Lake today. The trail was hard packed snow cover the whole way. Great trail with a lot of great views along the way.

Took the fam here last year, was awesome, busy but awesome.

My first hike and I love it. Easier than we thought :) It took us 1,5 hours to get to the top.

Completed Nov. 12-18, mild winter conditions.

Epic trail for advanced hikers. (See bottom to skip details and for conclusion)

Easy to get to, park at bow falls parking lot and walk past the golf course and head right to start. The beginning 1/3 of the hike is very easy, trail is obvious and easy to follow. Moderate incline.

The next third spices things up, trail starts to go up and down before hitting the switchback portion. Once at the switchbacks the intensity increases and the incline gets much greater, but the views get better!

Then you hit the last third and this is where things get seriously real. Once you go through the gully and onto the dragonback, the trail gets extremely intense. Gets difficult to follow the trail (especially with snow on the ground), but all you’re really doing is scrambling up so it’s not a big deal. Lookout for the yellow markers on the trees.

At this point, be prepared to be on all fours for the last 1.5hrs as you get closer to the top. This is a real scramble and NOT good for the faint of heart. As you reach the peak the incline nears practically vertical. You are on loose rock and footing is tough. Every 10 steps you’ll need a break. The peak will appear close, but it’s a tough and draining couple hundred meters.

Conclusion: Epic hike, epic views. Don’t go with your fam for a casual sightseeing hike, or if you’re not confident in your abilities. This is a hike for those who want to conquer. Plan for a 6-8 hour round trip in the winter. Hiking Boots mandatory, spikes are a good idea. Pack for wind/cold at the top. Bring lots of food. Have a blast, it’s a hell of a hike.

Fantastic hike! Definitely one that will take some work, but it’s more than worth it for the views all the way up!

This should really be rated as easy- if you can do it in jeans it’s not that difficult. Beautiful views of Banff at the top, great hike if you want to squeeze something quick and easy into your day. Wise to bring spikes in winter- there were a couple sections where they would have been appreciated.

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

What a beauty!

walking
11 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.

nice hike.

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.

We had heard that making it to the summit in the snow is a different story and it's all true!! we had no issues until amphitheater and then lost the trail afterwards as there was 1.5 feet of fresh snow covered the trail. We made our own trail and reached the false summit instead of getting around it and that's where we noticed we need to descend the icy steep rock of the south face of that false summit. very scary!! After this point we manage to continue about 500 m where I suggested to turn back due to high risk of slip and fall hundreds of feet. You will definitely need crampons, axe and the experience of hiking this trail in summer to give it a shot in winter.

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
17 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.

hiking
17 days ago

Great walk with stunning views! Icy a bit but it was fine! Weather was foggy a bit but we all enjoyed it!

Easier than we expected. Beautiful view!

Great walk, icy from the about half way up, would recommend using cleats from there on up even if you have good hiking boots, great views from the top.

hiking
19 days ago

Not the most interesting hike but the view at the end is incredible. Moderate hike, steeper near the end. Cleats and poles recommended in late fall/winter/spring. Not worth it if the cloud are low in the sky! you can ride back the gondola for free in winter (or half price in summer).

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.

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