Explore Banff, Canada - 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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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.

I climbed the rocks but there is a path behind it as well. Beyond belief beautiful.

I was very disappointed with the zoo. We did not see any animals but many bunny tracks. The snow gave it a nice touch but was confused why there was so much more snow the higher up we went when we were getting closer to the sun. It makes zero sense. It should be warmer.

The hike isn't that long and is very easy and the views are absolutely breathtaking!! Definitely the most beautiful and crystal clear lake close to Banff!! My oldest son even drank water from the lake.

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.

hiking
8 days ago

Nov 4, 2018
This was a great hike! Mostly uphill with a flat spot in the middle, pretty difficult I would say for inexperienced folks like us. My wife and I did Lake Agnes on Friday and Ink Pots via Johnston Canyon on Saturday, then ended with this on Sunday. Even with all the hiking we had already done, we went out and back in about 4.5 hours, but we didn’t make it all the way to the second lake (it was pretty snowy and that last push up the hill was a bit much for our inexperienced and tired legs). Wonderful views of the backside of Castle Mountain, and lots of snow-covered valley.

Thanks for the recommendation, G&J!

Got here right after sunrise and finished right as the bus loads of tourists arrived in the parking lot. Very pleasant surprise and absolutely gorgeous. Saw only 2-3 other couples hiking. Ends with a waterfall but that’s not even the best part of the trail. One of my favorites.

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.

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

Did this as part of our yearly trip in September 2018. Was an amazing day and the weather was beautiful family friendly hike for all skill levels

hiking
20 days ago

Awesome hike!

hiking
20 days ago

This is not an easy hike .. moderate at least .. especially at the moment since you spent the entire time trudging through snow and ice .. must have cleats or poles to get to the top .. well marked but thanks to AllTrails map for helping us though this route .. the view? Stunning. The experience? Absolutely worth it!

I would definitely do this again, but there’s a rushing waterfall you have to pass so I’d go next time even earlier in the morning (~8am) to avoid jumping across wet rocks. Also bring gaters depending on the weather! Helen lake is pretty, but make the extra trek up to Cirque peak and have lunch up there if you can. Although it’s usually snowy up there.

hiking
23 days ago

Hiked this on October 20th with a few friends, and we enjoyed it! The views of Taylor Lake are cool, backdropped by Mt. Bell and Panorama Peak. The trail was very easy to follow, and for the most part winded through forest, with glimpses of Mt. Bell on the ascent and Castle Mountain on the descent. The trail was icy this time of year though, we managed without spikes but they'd be helpful!

Just before reaching Taylor Lake, the trail opens up into a meadow, which leads up to the lake with great views. Once you reach the lake, there are four picnic tables for a lunch stop, with options to extend the hike to Boom Lake and O'Brien Lake. We crossed paths with a half dozen groups on the way up and down.

Total time round trip: 3.5hr

This is a great trail to get some fantastic views of the waterfalls Johnston Canyon has to offer. The trail is improved/paved until you reach the upper falls and then it is a well marked dirt trail that is easy to follow. After the upper falls we needed hiking spikes as the trail was rather icy in spots and for the final descent into the valley that holds the ink pots. Overall a moderate hike if you go all the way to the pots. The views at the Ink Pots are worth the hike themselves but the waterfalls are spectacular and really offer some great views along the way.

hiking
25 days ago

Sep 17, 2017 - awesome hike !

hiking
28 days ago

Amazing trail. Was very snowy, but the lake is incredibly pretty. This is a very long hike so bring lots of supplies. The fog that was over the lake came in and out of view, so you do have to wait until for a picture perfect moment!

1 month ago

Did this hike on October 6th. Had cleats and poles so it was manageable. The hike to the lake is pretty much all uphill so be prepared for that and bring lots of water. The trail is mainly in the forest so it only offers a few mountain views but once you get to the lake it is worth it!!! I plan on snowshoeing this one soon.

Favourite lake in Banff!! ❤️

Loved this hike! Falls were breathtaking. Started mid morning and passed a few people on route going to and from- shared the falls with only one other couple. If you’re in the area, this hike is a must!

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.

Awesome hike. A nice gradual incline with incredible views once you get through the forest. Did it in early October and it was quite snowy where snowshoes were needed for the last quarter of the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. Easy to navigate

If there is one must do hike in the Canadian Rockies .. must be this one for the view .. easy, short, breathtaking view!!

Love hiking at Sunshine so peaceful and the views are amazing larch especially wonderful to watch as they turn golden and shed their needles flowers in spring and fall can highly compare to many other hikes but hard to compare Sunshine s Latches and trails

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 walk to the top

Easy walk with exceptionally stunning views!

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