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Must go early to avoid the mass amounts of tourists at Johnston Canyon! Easy track overall.

Its hard to capture the beauty of this place with pictures

Fairly easy hike, good for stretching the legs and getting some air, perfect for a smokey day. Lots of people! Recommend very early morning or very late in the evening to avoid the crowds. Views from the ink pots are nice. Wouldn't recommend this if the weather is good, spend the day elsewhere.

Can anyone tell me if you need a park pass for this trail? Will delete this after I possibly get a response :) thank you!!

An excellent hike although the first part is through the trees so really nothing to see but forest. Once you get up to Mirror Lake the views get better. Still a bit icy and slippery in the upper sections. Staff at the tea house were busy getting the place ready for opening in June, but even though they were not officially open they were selling tea and other goodies out of the back door. The tea was perfect after the hike up. Excellent views of the lake and mountains.

This was our first full day in Banff National Park (Aug 17th) and got a later start than we’d like, but decided to visit Lake Moraine and begin our hiking adventures with an easy hike in preparation for the rest of our stay. Parking: of course no parking is available after 7am, but easy enough to catch the shuttle bus at the overflow parking at 11:30. The 10 min ride or so drops you off at the Rock Pile overlooking the lake. The lakeshore trail was easy and offered beautiful views of the turquoise water and had a waterfall at the end of trail. Unfortunately the views of the mountains were distorted by the smoke from ongoing fires in British Columbia but we still enjoyed the beauty and look forward planning another trip in hopes of clearer skies. Took about an hour with lots of other ca and a stop to eat a sandwich on the trail overlooking lake. We were there about 2 hours including a climb to the top of Rock Pile to take more pictures! Gorgeous place!

Nice easy trail. very few people past upper Falls on the way to the ink pots.

Awesome trail, made it about 50m from the summit, had to turn around due to weather but incredible views.

nature trips
2 days ago

Great hike, challenging for beginners, with lots of switch backs. The incline is consistent throughout. Even with multiple short stops/breaks it takes about 2 hours to get to the top. If you want to eat, buy the all you can eat voucher for "Northern Lights Cafe" at the bottom BEFORE you begin the hike (you cannot buy it at the top).

hiking
2 days ago

Great little trail that ends at the teahouse.

Although it can get super packed the views are definitely worth it. It's only unfortunate that you will have to line up at the viewpoints to get your chance to see the lower and upper falls. There are a bunch of nice areas past upper falls with less people and you can sit beside the water. We came at 2pm on a Monday in mid-August and by then the early people had left so there was parking in the parking lot!

Pleasant hike. waterfalls are beautiful.

The crowds and lines on this trail made me feel like I was at Disneyland. It was seriously crowded on a Wednesday early afternoon. We waited 30 minutes to enter the cave at the lower falls. Not worth it in my opinion. There was another line at the upper falls. My favorite part of the hike was the views of the river as it carves through the rock passage way. The water is so clear and crisp looking. Avoid this hike during peak season if you hate crowds. Otherwise, the views are worth it if you can stomach the crowds.

hiking
3 days ago

We arrived at the Lake Louise parking lot by 7am and there was plenty of parking (Note-Lake Moraine lot was already full). Give yourself time to take lake photos because the light in the lake and surrounding mountains will be different when you get back from hike. We started the hike uphill by about 7:20 am and arrived at the tea house by about 8:40. We were with 3 kids ages 6, 7, and 11. They were more upset about being up at the crack of dawn than about the steep incline. There were quite a few groups passing us on the ascent. The trail is even and wide for the most part. There are areas of rocks and roots where my 7 year old tripped and skinned his elbow while running. Beware of horse poop on the 2nd half of the trail. There is not much of a view during most of the hike. Save some energy before the tea house to climb the steep 60 step staircase. We were lucky to grab one of the last tables in the tea house. The staff was busy unloading goods that were just unloaded from the helicopter. Once they were done unpacking more tables became available. A long line had already formed by 9am. The oolong tea and biscuits were delicious. BRING CASH (they accept US dollars). The views from the tea house are beautiful (tables are located inside and outside). Overall the hike was definitely worth waking up early for. The hike back down took our family of 5 one hour. We wanted to grab a shuttle to Lake Moraine but at $30 per person we opted to save our money and enjoy drinks on the patio at one of the Fairmont outdoor restaurants.
Tip: if you want to see Lake Louise and Lake Moraine park early (7am the latest) at LL. When ready take a free shuttle to Overflow parking lot where you can pay $15 per person for shuttle to Lake Moraine. If you take Shuttle from LL Fairmont it will cost $30. You can always chance it and try parking at Lake Moraine. But they only let cars in once 10 cars have exited. They refuse all cars from entering otherwise (not even to drop off people).

Amazing trail. Did it on a sunny July 11th. Very pleasant climb through a pine forest, followed by increasingly steep portions. The dragon's spine bears its name well: it's hard, but the surrounding views will give you all the motivation you could ever need. The summit has epic views 360 degrees, and a sheer cliff which is as beautiful as it is impressive. Very much recommended!

Great views and enjoyed having the summit to ourselves. We took a wrong turn here and there, but if you pay close attention to where the trail is the hike isn't as tough!

Go early. Easy hike, i was really hungover and managed fine haha. It's mostly in the trees and the ink pots are pretty cool so it's worth doing. Make sure you get an ice cream from the little shed when you return from the hike, cheapest you'll find around Banff!!

this was a great first day hike in Banff. did this last Saturday before all the smoke came in and saw a grizzly bear and her two Cubs! we took the trail over to lake Agnes on our way back which was a lot less crowded.

This was a back-to-back for me, after hiking Corey Pass the previous day, it was a tough hike up and down, and I imagine would be with fresh legs too, but worth it for the view at the top. The first part is a long, steady grade, basically an approach to the second part, which is where the real hike begins. Be prepared for leg burning/deep breathing steepness all the way up to the summit from there. The scramble after the trees was a challenge but sticking to solid sections of rock was helpful and riding the smaller loose rock on the way down was fun.

Recommend an early start, as this trail is quite busy since it is coming from Lake Louise.

Completed in 5 hours, would do again.

The canyon was really cool, but crowded. There were lines by each of the falls viewpoints to wait to take your picture (about 2pm weekday), and some folks seemed completely oblivious to moving with the flow of traffic on the narrow walkways. Once you get past the upper falls, the crowd thins out a ton and it's a nice quiet hike to the ink pots. They were pretty cool and the surrounding views were nice, but if you're limited on time, I wouldn't consider the ink pots portion of the hike a must-see. Definitely go up to the upper viewpoint though.

We joined up with this hike after starting at lake Agnes/big beehive. The trail offers some really beautiful views and the teahouse is fun, but the crowds take something away from the experience. I found myself getting a bit frustrated by lines of super slow hikers, especially on the way down. Definitely worth doing the hike - just be prepared to be patient if you're used to a quicker pace and a quiet trail

hiking
5 days ago

Very nice to sit and enjoy a cup of tea at the top while taking in our beautiful surroundings. We got to the top at 8am and crowds weren't an issue at all yet, but it was pretty packed by the time we left. We continued up to the big beehive - even if you don't want to hike all the way up, I highly recommend walking around to the other side of the lake - the view looking back at the teahouse is really pretty

Good Trail. Lower falls is must see if you can't climb all the way to upper falls...

Strenuous but amazing hike with great panoramic views, especially at the top. First hour of switchbacks is the toughest part followed by a lovely walk through the Larch Valley. Take your time going up the final section and you’ll be rewarded with jaw dropping views at the top of the pass.

Amazing reward for a hike that doesn’t take very long. Took about 2.5 hours to ascend at a brisk pace. 1.5 hours coming back. The views from the top are incredible.

Recommended starting early so that while you are hiking up you can enjoy the sunrise and have the summit to yourself. Great hike

great hike. Did this may long weekend, so many places had avalanches and it was hard to pass. the last avalanche shoot we couldn't pass it was really steep and we had no equipment to get safely across as it was step, slippery, and scary!

One of the most amazing hikes I have ever done and also the most difficult. My Strava marked the hike at closer to 10 miles but it’s usually off. Total hike took 8 hours from leaving Lake Louise, stopping at the tea shop for a little while to try it out, and hanging at the top for 30-45 mins making some food.

BRING A RAIN COAT. It started to rain on and off from sunny skies 3 times but never a downpour

NOTE: upon starting the actually difficult part of the trail (black line) it becomes quite a scramble. FOLLOW THE BLUE FLAGS. When traversing around to the back of devils thumb you will meet a new tree line that starts the real scramble on the way up. Stay to the left as far as possible do not try to climb straight up it is way too steep

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