Explore To Do - 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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hiking
10 hours ago

Completed Oct 31 and a not recommend.
The trail is a long, grueling uphill ascent that stays within the trees the entire time. There are no lookouts or landmarks along the 2hour climb. It's incredibly monotonous. Taylor Lake itself is now completely frozen, and the meadow is heavily snowed in. The view of the mountains is often fogged in. At 2100+ meters, I experienced mild altitude sickness. On our descent, we noticed fresh Grizzly tracks on top of our ascending footprints. No sitings, but the big bears aren't necessarily asleep yet.
This is not the worst hike ever, but in Banff this time of year, there are dozens that offer better views, with less work in more frequently used parts of the park.

Always one of my favourites to do especially in the winter!! Will have to go up to ink pots in the summer

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
7 days ago

November 11, 2018. Beautiful canyon/river trail. Man-made trail structures throughout. If you have hiked before, this trail will not be a challenge except for the sometimes icy conditions. Good traction hiking boots are a must or a traction device (spikes/cleats) if you are not used to packed snow/icy conditions. This trail is pretty busy so do not expect to be alone with nature. Crowds aside, the canyon and falls are worth it. Enjoy!

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.

Nov 10 beautiful frozen falls. I recommend crampons. Even good hiking boots still slip in some areas.
Washrooms are on site..

Beautiful easy walk with a range of different views and landscapes.

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.

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.

Nice views, but the high amount of tourists ruin this “hike.” I’d go elsewhere if your looking for something peaceful and remote.

hiking
15 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!

Definitely worth the trip!

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.

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

October 27
10/10 waterfalls!! we went all the way to the Upper Falls. there's some icy patches to watch out for, but we did fine wearing blundstones and runners. arrived by 10AM and the parking lot still had 40% of its spaces remaining :) would go again

Great shoulder season hike. Gets steeper as you get close to the lake. Managed to do Harvey Pass as well but it is challenging with the snow. Make sure you are prepared if you go past Bourgeau Lake.

Did the hike a week ago. It was fairly hard in my opinion. Lots of shale and deep snow in places. There are ribbons marking the path but we lost the ones going into the trees at the end. It turned out to be a yellow faded ribbon we found it on the way down. View up top was incredible but definitely not a winter hike.

Excellent hike. One of my favorites

hiking
28 days ago

Should have listen to the guy who commented (only for the sure footed) the entire hike is tippy creek rocks and scree! Slippery in the shadows. But the view was incredible. Took ~2.5 hours to make it the the pass. No obvious trail but there are ribbon markers. Wouldn’t recommend as a winter hike. Saw remains of an avalanche already. Wouldn’t be a safe place to be if an avalanche went down the creek! Hike starts at the end of a flooded out creek, hard to find!

hiking
28 days ago

Didn't end up doing the entire trail. We only got to the bridge (Steward Canyon). I'd reckon it about a 2 km in (at most) to the wooden bridge and then back. I went with older parents with bad knees and they were able to do it. Pretty easy up to that point. Nice views of the lake. We ran into about 10 people (one couple hiking with 2 young children and 2 mountain bikers) on the trail on a Friday morning around 8 am.

hiking
29 days ago

made up to to the edge of the treeline before the storm caught up to us. had to stop just short of the pass. still, awesome trail, had lots of fun doing it. there were people there, but it was mostly empty

hiking
29 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

hiking
30 days ago

It was a beautiful and not super challenging hike. I’d like to go again on a day where it wasn’t too cold and pouring rain, but what can you do! The weather is the only reason I’m giving it a 3/5. I’m sure there’s a beautiful vista we could have looked out over had it not been grey-out from the rain. Also a squirrel tried to drink my beer. Minus one star for the thief squirrel.

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 !

hiking
1 month 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!

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