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18 hours ago

By far my favorite especially during the summer. Keep in mind, different ppl like different things. Is good to leave in the morning and take time to explore when you get to the 2nd Lake to go on top of the side of the mountain to experience the amazing views.
Did the hike the 1st time during winter on November the 11th. it's a nice
workout, exept the last part before you get to the 1st lake you have to walk on
beaten path as the snow was 1m high. also a little chalanging to get to the 2nd Lake. We spent only 10 minutes at the 2nd Lake, it was very difficult to walk around, almost impossible due to high snow. You definitely need spikes to get to the 2nd Lake.
I would say that pictures don't do justice to this place.

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.

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.

Completed Nov. 12-18, mild winter conditions.

Epic trail for advanced hikers. (See bottom to skip details and for conclusion)

Easy to get to, park at bow falls parking lot and walk past the golf course and head right to start. The beginning 1/3 of the hike is very easy, trail is obvious and easy to follow. Moderate incline.

The next third spices things up, trail starts to go up and down before hitting the switchback portion. Once at the switchbacks the intensity increases and the incline gets much greater, but the views get better!

Then you hit the last third and this is where things get seriously real. Once you go through the gully and onto the dragonback, the trail gets extremely intense. Gets difficult to follow the trail (especially with snow on the ground), but all you’re really doing is scrambling up so it’s not a big deal. Lookout for the yellow markers on the trees.

At this point, be prepared to be on all fours for the last 1.5hrs as you get closer to the top. This is a real scramble and NOT good for the faint of heart. As you reach the peak the incline nears practically vertical. You are on loose rock and footing is tough. Every 10 steps you’ll need a break. The peak will appear close, but it’s a tough and draining couple hundred meters.

Conclusion: Epic hike, epic views. Don’t go with your fam for a casual sightseeing hike, or if you’re not confident in your abilities. This is a hike for those who want to conquer. Plan for a 6-8 hour round trip in the winter. Hiking Boots mandatory, spikes are a good idea. Pack for wind/cold at the top. Bring lots of food. Have a blast, it’s a hell of a hike.

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

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.

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.

hiking
16 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!

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.

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.

Hiked on 11.1.18
Microspikes and poles up to the tea house. Heard multiple avalanches..Attempted to walk to the lookout point but turned around about 3/4 of the way due to high snow, unsure footing and avalanche risk.
Overall excellent hike had the whole area to ourselves just be prepared.

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

Beauuutiful hike! Did this one 2 days ago with a friend. Steep at the end but SO worth it for the view!!! Crampons were a must.. poles could be a good idea too. When you get to the rock boulders (about 3/4 of the hike) the trail is very difficult to find. There is a path on the far left but also some other scattered all over the place. Don't stop there even if it's hard to find... you have to reach the end of it!! You will have a spectacular view of Minnewanka lake, Canmore and all the mountains (180° view)
Really enjoyed that one, would do it again in a heart beat ❤

hiking
21 days ago

Amazing view at the end! Crampons and poles recommended if you want to go all the way up (the last km is really steep). Snow and ice covering the last third of the hike.

Great hike with amazing views
Last part is pretty steep but totally worth it!
The trail is icy and there’s snow at the end but completely possible and safe. Better with poles and crampons.

hiking
23 days ago

Awesome hike great view from the top

Went to do a sunrise hike Oct25 th and the trail is closed due to blasting. :(

Great trail. Definitely need shoe spikes, can rent in town for $9.00.

Amazing view!!! Made it to the top this afternoon. We only had regular hiking shoes on, but would highly recommend using crampons....we underestimated how steep and icy it was. Totally worth it though!

hiking
29 days ago

Hiked up clockwise to the steep downhill rock band at kilometer 4. However the trail was amazingly dry all the way to this point, we decided to turn back due to the steep icy rocks and higher risk of slip and fall. It would have been nice if there was a chain installed at this point to increase safety of this beautiful trail.

This was one of the first trails I did, and it was a wonderful introduction into hiking. Go early in the morning as it gets very busy (there’s a teahouse up there - not Agnes teahouse, although that’s close by) and make the extra 1km trek to go have lunch in front of lefroy and upper Victoria glacier. You’ll see a few avalanches for sure.

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
1 month ago

Sep 17, 2017 - awesome hike !

1 month ago

Amazing trail, as everyone has said it's not easy. I took the clockwise route up to cory pass but the snow was so thick at edith pass I couldn't tell where the trail was. if you're going to attempt this hike in this season I would strongly recommend crampons and poles. the elevation gain is intense and coupled with snow and ice it makes for quite a treacherous climb. the scrambles in the snow were interesting but definitely manageable. again. crampons, wouldn't have been able to complete this hike without them. No bears but saw lots of tracks!!

I was here yesterday before sunrise. Unfortunately the bridge was blocked off with closure signs. I thought it was opened up again for winter, I guess they have more work to do? the trail head was closed at the time I went.

Arrived a few weeks ago at 630am on a Friday. Parking lot was full at that time. Amazing views of the peaks. Some of the most scenic backdrops I have seen in a larch forest. Make sure to continue to Sentinel pass for more amazing views.

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