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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hiking
21 hours ago

Beautiful the whole way up. Not too hard. Took me an hour and a half to get to the top.

Amazing!!! Great place to train! Took us approximately 1-1:10hr fairly easy pace. Amazing in winter!

Easy hike but truly stunning!

I did this hike in 2017. The waterfalls are cool, but it is highly trafficked by tourists. Once you pass the upper falls and start on the trail to the ink pots, it is much nicer. Steep climb. When we reached the valley where the ink pots are, it was amazing. It felt like we had just stepped out into a beautiful valley from a short hike from our car, not remembering that we had hiked many kilometres to see it.

This is an amazing hike in Banff , just by the Gondola and Hot Springs facilities.
It is a easy-moderate hike (a bit long and steep for beginners, but still easily doable).
1,5 - 2 hours hike with beautiful sightseeing and amazing views from the top.
In the winter, they have free Gondola trip (only the coming down trip) if you get there before it closes.
I think it is also free in summer after 7.00 pm
Parking facilities are good either in the Gondola parking lot or Hot Springs one. Very rewarding if you end up your experience in a relaxing bath at the Hot Springs next door.

Great hike with an incredible view at the end. If you are looking for a moderate winter hike in the area this is a great choice. The path to the falls had several groups on it and was busy for a winter trail, but once you passed the upper falls the trail was empty. The view of the mountains from the inkpots was perhaps more incredible than the inkpots themselves. The snow was packed most of the way. Ice cleats were helpful, especially when going down.

Easy hike for the whole family with fantastic view of Peyto Lake at the overlook.

Amazing in the winter, especially when the gondola is under maintenance. I did it last year my team and I were the ONLY ONES on top. Amazing!

Absolutely gorgeous, one of the best views I've ever seen. Very easy. The trailhead is at the north end of the first parking lot. It was not too busy since it is winter, but there were more people here than most prefer places (except Lake Louise).

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

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!

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.

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

It looks photoshopped in real life.

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.

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

hiking
1 month ago

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

Did it Oct23. From the top of Paradise Valley entrance, the path for the top is not hard to miss (missed it so I made another hour in the wood on wrong side od the mountain...). The view is magnificent, the at the time I did it, the last 200m of hike was in 100% snow/ice. Cleats were a must have. I met people without and they didn't make it to the top, too dangerous. I found it technical.

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
1 month 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).

Do it in early or late summer. There is a bit of a false peak at the top but don’t be discouraged, keep going the view is worth it.

Great trail. A bit of ice right now but did not use spikes. Lots of switch backs. Some areas are quite steep but overall would rate as moderate. The view at the top is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. We hike s California frequently, and mammoth. The services in Canada by far exceed California. Very nice restaurants at the mountain top and the weather station view also.

A must see if you are in and around Banff .. short drive up and the scenery is spectacular .. I’ve has started to build up sonic you have some cleats handy, make sure you bring them along .. ok, lookout does get crowded however, not a reason not to miss out!

hiking
1 month ago

Ahahaha, the map says it all. That’s not a child scribbling or your lie detector test! This hike is a griiiind of relentless switchbacks. Can’t beat the views at the end though (for the most part there are not a lot of views on the way up due to the forest), and also the option for the free ride back down in the gondola (in certain parts of the winter season). Nice to have a restaurant option and little museum/shop also.

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