Explore Banff - view 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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Completed this hike on the 15th of October. Provides some breathtaking views, and only takes 30-45 minutes to reach the peak. Great reward for little effort! :)
As mentioned, it can be a bit slippery. However, no ice cleats needed, just take care.

hiking
4 days ago

Did this hike at sunrise 10/13. We had yaktraks but didn’t need them. Quick little summit great for a morning hike from lowed by breakfast in town.

5 starts for the lake itself but too crowded for my liking.

Did this hike on 10/9/18 lots of ice because of the Early snowfall this past week the hike was easy and the views were spectacular a great in town hike if you just have a half a day and need something fun to do.

V nice super easy slipped a bunch icy as tits.

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.

Really enjoyed this hike not to difficult and had great views at the top we hiked on 10/8/18 in a light snow fall lots of ice so crampons were needed to be safe.

hiking
13 days ago

Family friendly hike, a view of the Banff townsite at the end.

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 up, even with the snow. A little slippery in places on the way down but round trip including stops for photos only took 1 hr 40 min. Beautiful views, moderately trafficked on this weekday afternoon.

Very pretty view of Peyto Lake right after the snow storm. Please wear the proper gear as we saw people slipping all over the place. Take the trek up to the left to view beautiful snow covered forests.

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.

The view is a 5 star, but the crowd is a 1. It's a steep incline up and today when we went it was a little slick from snowfall. The view was beautiful and it's short walk to get to. However, the tourist were rude and it was elbow to elbow on the lookout. The best views are if you escape the crowd just a little going beyond the lookout platforms to the right and take photos with no one rushing you and even better views...this will require a slight adventure but nothing that was difficult to do.

Heavily trafficed is an overstatement! It is basically a narrow paved trail the entire way where you are weaving in and out of tourists walking at turtle pace like they do not have the entire Canadian Rockies to explore! Once you actually get to the lookout, you cannot get a single good picture because someone else is always there. I don't think I need to see this lake again, but was glad I braved the crowd to at least see it once in person.

By far one of my favourite hikes! The scenery was absolutely amazing throughout the entire trip. Some of the switchbacks were intense, and the initial incline was a bit tough but overall not bad! I highly recommend this hike to anyone! I do suggest poles this time of year, when we were descending the summit it was quite slippery!

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.

It was a fantastic day to get out and enjoy the hike to Lake Annette and then on to the Giant steps. There’s been a fair bit of snow so things were muddy and icy in areas but it definitely eliminated any tourist traffic. I only ran into 7 people on my way out. The majority of the trail along paradise creek is fairly low angle and in good condition. I took some video of the falls but can’t seem to get the uploaded. Loved the hike.

This is a wonderful hike that I would do over and over again. The view from the top is amazing, but I actually enjoyed the hike itself more than just the view at the top. Several times throughout the hike you get gorgeous views of Lake Louise. Not to mention you pass by several other places like: Mirror Lake, Lake Agnes and Lake Agnes Tea House. We stopped at the Tea House for tea, wraps, and talked with some of the staff and other hikers. The next part of the hike was my favorite. I loved the hike around Lake Agnes and the switchbacks leading up to the beehive. Some of the best and most scenic switchbacks, in my opinion. There were other hikes, but it wasn’t overall busy. I’d say the hike was moderate. It took us about 5 hour round trip including the hour stop at the Tea House. We are in average shape. The incline at certain parts did get somewhat intense. It was worse in the beginning, for me, than at the switchback area.

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.

hiking
23 days ago

the ink pots were really cool, well worth the hike

A little tougher than we thought but had two seniors along and they made it to the summit! Great views... best to do this hike on a clear day if possible.

26 days ago

Busy and tight some places but after upper falls to Ink Pots it clears out.

on Tunnel Mountain Trail

hiking
27 days ago

Snowy today and a bit slippery in parts. Be sure to wear layers, hat, gloves, proper hiking boots, and bring poles if you are not steady. Was able to complete the hike in an hour. No views today because of the weather.

A nice walk on a paved path through a lovely canyon. Don’t go looking for a hike, but the scenery is nice. It was a rainy day and still there were many people on the trail, don’t want to imagine it on a sunny day. The trail to ink pots is much better - packed dirt path and less people. These are definitely worth the walk, beautiful mountain backdrop and the ink pots are beautiful.

Short, Steep hike up the road from where the cars parked. Buses were allowed all the way up. Crazy, pushy tourists crowded onto the icy trail from the buses to the view of Peyto Lake.

Pretty easy trail. The trail is well travelled so it's nice and wide open. Great views from the top. Good short hike if you're looking for something that's not hard but still gives great views

awesome hike mainly due to the snow. the view of Lake Agnes is amazing as well

hiking
1 month ago

Gave it a 3 because it was so snowy/cloudy/foggy that we couldn’t even see the water. Trail was snow/ice covered and very slippery. Definitely not worth the drive when it is snowing as the roads were snow covered with sheer drop offs with very few guard rails. People were driving with their flashers on and cars/buses were backed up (ie, at a stand still) trying to get up the mountain road. Cars were turning around to go back to Banff on a very narrow mountain road with curves and very limited visibility. We made it to The Crossing, spent the night, and with more snow being forecasted decided not to continue onto Jasper, but to go back to Banff. Disappointing.

hiking
1 month ago

Rather boring thru unimpressive Johnston Canyon and the lower/upper falls. Paved path good for families and seniors. Lots of people dropped off by buses. We continued onto the Ink Pots via a rather steep hike (dirt trail); the crowds thin out. The Ink Pots are very interesting and worth the hike.

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