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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Beautiful, quick hike. Directions within this map take you right to parking lot. Wasn't busy today and not too too much snow/ice. Some of trail was even dirt. Girlfriends managed to do without crampons, we saw a girl with uggs managing, however for piece of mind, I slapped on microspikes on way down. Lovely views at top.

Excellent in the winter.
Even got to see people ice climbing

Easy hike but truly stunning!

November 25, 2018
My boyfriend, dog and I did this hike on a Sunday early afternoon and only saw 3 other people. It was a gorgeous day and amazing views at the top! The trail was packed down with snow but some icy spots closer to the top, was easy enough doing it in some hiking boots with little spikes or my bf only had hiking boots.

*All trails and the castle lookout sign say 3.7km one way or 6.4km total however my Fitbit said 5km one way or 10km total so the trail took longer than we thought but was all worth it when we got to the very top! Also, more likely 600m incline too. Definitely would keep this rated as a moderate trail! Our dog loved it as well ;)

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.

walking
22 days ago

Nice walk around a lake, especially on a summer day. Can be busy, but still enjoyable.

Easy hike really close to Banff town.
No longer than 1 hour, not very steep but amazing views from the top both to the valley and the town.
They have several viewpoints along the way, and reaching the summit is easy. Great for beginners.
You can leave your car at the beginning of the mountain just by the cabins (free parking) and hike the road that leads to the actual trailhead for 10 minutes.
Totally worth the effort.

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.

24 days ago

Frozen lake was amazing!

Nov 17, 2018. Decided on this shorter hike while staying up the road at Baker Creek. Approx an inch of fresh snow all over the trail, but not quite deep enough for snowshoes to be required. I completed this one in hiking boots, but microspikes would be handy towards the end of the trail.
Beautiful bluebird day with a chilly breeze at the lookout. Views were great with all the fresh snow covering everything. Saw about 8-10 other people during the day, but relatively quiet.

Can get icy spikes are recommended for the winter if you head past lower falls. I usually stop here and then head to the upper falls. Lots to see at Johnston Canyon

Always one of my favourites to do especially in the winter!! Will have to go up to ink pots in the summer

Loved this trail! Great view and away from the large crowds.

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

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

hiking
1 month ago

November 11, 2018. Beautiful canyon/river trail. Man-made trail structures throughout. If you have hiked before, this trail will not be a challenge except for the sometimes icy conditions. Good traction hiking boots are a must or a traction device (spikes/cleats) if you are not used to packed snow/icy conditions. This trail is pretty busy so do not expect to be alone with nature. Crowds aside, the canyon and falls are worth it. Enjoy!

Nov 10 2018 - beautiful views of the mountains while hiking the ridge and a larger 270 degree view at the trail end.
You can hike the trail with good hiking boots, but snow cleats would make some spots easier. Can be windy at the top as its an open area.
No washrooms on site.
Minimal hikers for a Saturday afternoon.

Nov 10 beautiful frozen falls. I recommend crampons. Even good hiking boots still slip in some areas.
Washrooms are on site..

hiking
1 month ago

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.

I’ve hiked up to mountain summits, but I promise you nothing will take your breath away quite like walking through those trees to the lookout point. This is a great hike, it’s quick and challenging. Gaining elevation practically the whole way up. Hikes this nov 4, 2018 and the path is fairly clear. Only a small amount of snow closer to the top. Definitely do not need winter boots or crampons to do this one...yet.

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 views, but the high amount of tourists ruin this “hike.” I’d go elsewhere if your looking for something peaceful and remote.

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.

Definitely worth the trip!

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.

late fall is great for serenity, as I heard it gets quite busy.

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.

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