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Let's Do It! Map

Absolutely phenomenal views of Mount Smuts, Mount Birdwood and Mount Fist. One of the most spectacular views I've ever seen in a day hike. Highly recommend. A little bit of exposure at the first climb to the left ridge but definitely pretty mild. Can't wait to do it on a non-smokey day!

14 hours ago

We did this hike about 3 weeks ago and it was great. I would consider it a fairly easy hike with a steady incline the entire way and nothing too challenging. The most challenging part of this hike was on the way up there is little tree cover at some points so definitely bring sunscreen and a hat. The bugs are really bad this year too on this hike so it was a quick lunch and go at the top. There are 4 lakes so make sure to keep going (as we missed the last one). This is a great spot for fishing and you can see right through the lakes they are so clear! One final recommendation is go early! It is a popular spot for family’s and pets so if you don’t want to be annoyed by crowds aim to get there for 8 or earlier.

I highly recommend this hike for beginners or anyone who has had a few months off hiking and needs an easy hike to get back into the swing of things! Round trip 5 hours with stopping for lunch.

20 hours ago

Nice hike and not very hard at all. About 5km to the first lake with the next three lakes not far from the first. We hiked to the end (4th Lake) and decided to go back to the first lake to camp. Spent one night and it was very quiet with almost no other visitors on a Wednesday.

Lots of wildlife on the trail. We heard a bear or two when we stayed the night and if you know what to look for there are a lot of signs of bears in the area. Bring spray with you.

Definitely one of the coolest hikes I’ve ever done! It was reaaaaally smokey but we got some good shots still! When you find the parking lot, definitely start with the trailhead on the LEFT. I would not want to do the loop starting on the right. Cant wait to do it again when there’s isn’t so much smoke and we can see all the mountains!

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

Pleasant hike. waterfalls are beautiful.

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!!

July 17, 2018

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.

The first bit is very crowded. Get there early to avoid the people and the full parking lot. The falls are beautiful though!
Once you get past the upper fall, it clears out. There are many switchbacks but the ink pots are a unique place to visit! Very cool place. We had lunch here then returned.

Nice hike but it was kind of late when we get there

We were inspired by a young lady who went all through the inkpots with crutches. We did the hike again after two years and the inkpots were much more beautifulthis year due to the amount of rain! It is a beautiful hike.

Very busy. It's a nice walk that you will enjoy.

5 days ago

Love this hike. We do it annually, preferably in the fall when the tourist season slows down. It’s worth the trek to the ink pots. Take a pic nic and plan on enjoying the view at the top for a while. I don’t recommend taking kids that need to be carried all the way to the top. The upper falls is fine for kids. Can get very busy on summer weekends making climbing and parking tough if you go mid day.

If you want to climb the very top and see Two Jack lake + Minnewanka lake, be ready that it is a short yet extremely steep climb. If it is a cloudy day, you won't be able to see that emerald water reflecting from the sun making it a less of a view. The top of the hike is challenging due to small rolling rocks. Saw some beginners falling, so have some good shoes:) Other than that, the forest is beautiful, full of mosquitoes, make sure you have a bug spray!

Wonderful scenery but very busy.

I’ve done this hike twice now: late spring and mid summer (last week). The first time the trail was still snowy but still great; this time it was like completely different hike since there was no snow. Beautiful well-marked trail through the forest. Easy elevation. Unfortunately there was a grizzly near the lake so we had to turn back.... snow and bear, have yet to see the lake :(

Fun walk/hike! It’s paved most the way past the waterfalls before it turns to stairs and then into a trail. Would be great for people not huge on hiking but enjoys nature. Can be quite crowded and sometimes you must wait before you can start walking on the bridge just due to the sheer volume of other people. We tried to get to Mystic Junction through this trail for an overnight camping trip but only made it as far as Jo 9. Still an amazing journey!

8 days ago

Saw many dogs mastering this trail like it was a walk in the park! Very fun scrambling at the beginning (going clockwise), and the spot at the top near the radio tower; I could make my home there and never leave. We were hiking in the middle of June so it was quite hot and not much shade or protection from the sun. Some parts of the slope going down we’re still snow ridden so we had some fun and “Skied” down some sections.

Great trail. If you push right at the beginning of the trail you get to have a more challenging start with a scramble with some climbing which gets up in elevation faster. Took us 2 h to get to the top and an hour down. Great view overall

Would suggest trying to go through out the week. It’s super busy on weekends. Definitely worth it . So beautiful !!!

10 days ago

Another great ridge walk & hike. 2018 August long weekend (Monday), so it was rather busy, most likely due to the Facebook factor (thanks Hike Alberta FB group (¬_¬)) We started clockwise, as suggested here in other reviews. After the first few Km's in the woods, you start the scramble up to the ridge. There are a few exposed areas that those afraid of heights might balk at. Once at the radio tower, it's an easy descent down the saddle and then another grind up to the next peak. The longer ridge walk was great. The descent took a while, but I'm glad we were going down it, rather than up.

on Pickle Jar Lakes

11 days ago

We hiked this trail on the August long weekend Monday and it was pretty busy. We started around 1:30pm so most of the people were on their way down by then and when we got to the lakes we had them pretty much to ourselves. It’s about 5k from the parking lot to the first lake and we are not in the best shape so going slow and steady took us about 2.5 hours going up. We only went as far as the third lake since reviews said it was the nicest of the four. It took us just under 2 hours going back down but we stopped a few times for photos. We had our large dog with us and the trail was fine for him but as others said it does get quite narrow in some places and if your dog can’t walk over large rocks it might not be a good option for you. There was a few little streams for him to drink on the way up. We had great weather but I wouldn’t want to do this trail if it was wet.

We did this hike yesterday and because it was a Sunday long weekend. It was packed. We had to park about 15min walk away on the street. The falls are spectacular as always despite the crowd of people coming and going. We skipped the line up to all the fall viewing spots since the line ups were rediculous :) and we wanted to go straight to the Inkpots. There was a steady elevation up before descending down to the Inpots valley which was surrounded by the mountains. It was very beautifully peacful place. the inkpots were like a mini version of the ones in Yellow Stone. We saw lots of people young and old, kids as young as two to 8 on the trail. On the way there, we saw a lady with a walker ascending up the hill from the Inkpots and we were so inspired by her for going all the way. It was a very pleasant family hike, the boys (14-20 yrs old) enjoyed hanging out at the upper falls rocks. My oldest even jumped in for a dip. The rest of us soaked our feet. The water was refreshingly cold. It took care of our warm and achy feet from walking. We did this hike twice since the past 10 years and this was the first time we walked all the way to the Inkpots. I enjoyed it very much. We didn't mind the crowd. The falls and canyon are still magnificient and we loved the rumbling sound of the water falls along the trail.

good scramble. super easy to get lost on the way down so try and bring a map. it took us 1.5 hours up and 2.5 down (we got pretty lost) overall great hike!

first time doing this hike. it was a good short hike...took us 1hour to get to the amphitheatre which was nice. When you start the hike about 15 mins in, once you pass the graffiti houses take a right at the turn off to see lake minnewanka. beautiful views!!

just a side a note...steep hike...so wear proper shoes! and sticks would be nice if it's your first time!

Breathtaking views but very, very easy to lose the trail on the way back down. We got incredibly lost in the scree near the top and it took us hours to find our way, with the sun going down - just pay attention on the way up, and your descent will be much easier.

12 days ago

This was a very cool hike. The first few kms were in the trees with a easy-moderate incline. You then hit an opening in the trees with a view of a mountain with a huge rock slide down the middle. You will continue up to an area with huge boulders where a lot of hikers will sit and have lunch. Don’t quit there, the next kilometer or so get very steep and quite difficult. The view from the top of Lake Minnewaka is beautiful and worth it. Well then we decided to take a little adventure and head off the left side instead of going back down the trail and we hit the scree slope which was much faster getting down but was quite technical. The rest of the descent down was easy and fast. Total hike time for us was approximately 3.5 hours.

Great hike. The trail to the cirque is a long trek and has some decent incline, but it seemed to go on forever because you’re in the trees the whole time. The cirque is pretty but definitely continue up for the real reward. It is a slog from the cirque to the top but it’s 100% worth it for the view. We stopped at the pond on the way back. It took us 5 hours at a moderate pace with 30 mins at the top and a few more stops for photos. Bring bug spray!

Good quick hike, I did it solo on a Friday after work and it took me about two hours. Had the place entirely to myself. Nice walk through the trees to start and then it’s a good incline with switchbacks to the top.

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