Explore Banff Trip - 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.

hiking
20 hours ago

Awesome hike with killer views! I hiked it this past weekend as part of my training plan for Mt. Aconcagua in January. I climbed it with ease with 40lbs pack weight and my altitude training mask setting at 12,000ft. My moving time was just over 4hrs. Will easily shave off 30min with knowledge of the route and better planning.

The trail is not difficult at all. The reviews make it sound much more difficult than it really is, which is probably due to the distance and wind people experienced.

Has a good mix of climbing- that is, forest trails, rock trail, and tundra.

This is not a technical trail. It’s a trek needing only minimal equipment.

Do bring:

1. Micro spikes (at minimum) crampons do nicely. -Throw the yak tracks in the trash.
2. Trekking poles
3. Be ready for heavy wind
4. Helmet is a nice touch if you’re climbing solo
5. Warmer gloves than you expect

I highly suggest climbers unfamiliar with layering to seek advice before attempting. The temperature swing from the saddle to the summit is substantial. During my hike there were 45kt (52mph) winds. I saw a few groups of people who were inappropriately dressed and definitely put themselves at risk for frostbite.

All in all, a great mountain to hike and train on. Will do again soon!

hiking
1 day ago

This is a heavily advertised, short hike right off of Hwy 89, so you are going to have lots of company. It's a short hike to some interesting stuff. You can wander around quite a bit in various directions, which I am sure is an ecological disaster, but that ship has sailed, so to speak. The hoodoos at Wahweap are more interesting, but you have to walk 4.5 miles to get to those, so this is a lot more accessible.

hiking
2 days ago

Busy but worth it! Stay hydrated ok

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

Amazing. We saw it in the snow. It was a winter wonderland in September.

Loved it. Surrounded by pines, some great views, nice rest area at top. The pup loved it too!

Easy, beautiful hike with tons of wild flowers in the Summer!!

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.

Great stroll.

hiking
6 days ago

walking
6 days ago

Nice to see! We made this a pit stop on our drive from Flagstaff to Zion. We had a 10:30 am antelope canyon tour so stopped by here before. It was cool to see but not the best lighting yet at 8:30 in the morning. It’s a quick pit stop. Spent about 35 min here. Came back after our tour finished at noon because we weren’t in a hurry to get to Zion. Lighting was much better. Would recommend to see if you’re in the area. Not something I would go out of my way for though.

This trail has it all. Views, elevation, good coverage, rocks, snow & ice. Bring poles and micro spikes. It’s gets very icy and technical after the trail splits at the saddle (11,4000) prior to final ascent to Humphrey’s peak. Not safe without proper gear. Beautiful 360 degree views from the top. Gorgeous sunsets from AZ Snowbowl parking lot of you time it right.

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
9 days ago

Hiked on 11/3 still lots of snow and ice but it’s pretty well packed, micro spikes are a must. I’m in pretty good shape and hike constantly, the elevation will kick your butt here, be prepared to go slower than you ever thought you’d need to, especially in the last mile. Last mile is very steep, the wind is serious and brings the chill well below freezing any time of day. Hike is worth every step, views from the top are to die for, Grand Canyon and Sedona can both be seen and it’s a 360 degree view of the world around you.

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.

hiking
10 days ago

Amazing views but as of 11/2/18 there was too much snow to get to the peak without crampons or microspikes. We were were able to get to the 2nd false peak with just trekking poles and our regular hiking boots but as the temp dropped the snow began to turn too icy for us to continue. If you are going to try to make it to the top without proper equipment (which i do NOT recommend) then make sure you go within the next few days on a WARM day and get to the saddle by noon so that way the snow on the exposed portions of the trail on your way to the peak will be slushy enough for you to really dig in and make it to the top and back before the temp drops at 3/4pm and freezes over making it too dangerous to traverse.

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.

Crowded but worth it.

Go for sunrise! View is amazing, tourists are not.

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.

The view of the lake is spectacular...I was lucky to take some nice photos in a sunny-cloudy day. Make sure to stop after the bridge to view the lake kind of from the top (good for photo shooting). You will feel the spirits of Minnewanka! :)

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

Fun stop at sunrise. Trail is sandy and descends to the viewpoint and is great to fly down. Canyon rim will be filled with photographers, but plenty of room to wander. Fairly flat areas to just run free and explore on the red rock await at the end of trail.

10/26/18 I completed this hike left trail head about 7:30 am and hit the summit around 12:00 pm what a hike their was a lot of snow thankfully I was properly equipped the most rewarding hike I’ve done to date if you can only get to the saddle you would still love the view

I had to dig deep in the mind to finish this one I’m not sure if I want to ever go back this close to November but I will try it in summer

walking
15 days ago

Showed up for sunrise. No disappointment here. If in the area definitely worth the stop!

The views and surrounding areas of the toadstools was well worth the hike.

Absolutely beautiful. Challenging, breathtaking, perfect

Loved this trail!

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