Explore To Try - 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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One of my favorites, generally not busy either.

2 days ago

incredible walk/hike. this is just beautiful.

hiking
snow
3 days ago

It was a great little hike with the family. Our 4.5 and 2.5 year old came along. We brought a sled and had fun with that as well. Really packed trails, this is a high traffic trail but still lots of fun. We found one troll, the kids loved it. Looking forward to do this trip in the summer as well! Jan 2019

Was packed with people and not a place for snow shoeing. My hopes were let down:( Hope the people I saw that were walking had a healthy time but again for myself I am happier with less people and using my snow shoes.

Good for everyone, great practice hike. Beautiful frozen waterfalls at the moment.

For a decent walk with a foot problem it was a beautiful place and not too difficult of a rise. Good muscle ache after the icy in places hike. Jan 2019

Crowded but safe. easier trail for friends

hiking
6 days ago

I've done this hike many time! It is a great hike for everyone! Very easy and family friendly to the first waterfall. The upper falls take a bit more effort but are equally as wonderful. Lovely views, flora, and fauna to be seen!

The guides kinda just rush you through. The canyon is gorgeous but I didn't get to really take it in.

beauty of a trail. we headed up there yesterday too the "road" side first to the top, went to the fire lookout and then down the other side (jewel pass) was crazy to see the different conditions. felt like we did all 4 seasons in 1 day!! in total the hike was 16.5km

off road driving
10 days ago

Love the trail! Was my first time actually “off-roading” with my Tacoma. It’s 2wd but still had no issues doing this trail! Couldn’t find a way to get down to the water at the end but still was a blast! I plan on tackling Moab later this year with my Tacoma!

Great hike. Path is snow packed with very little ice right now, so could probably do it easily enough without spikes, but certainly easier with them. Get up there early to avoid the crowds, and you're in for a treat! Some amazing views on the way up, and the crowds really thin out once you get past the Upper Falls and head to the Inkpots. When we got to the Inkpots there was only one other couple there, so very peaceful! I just started hiking this past year, so certainly not a strong hiker, and this trail took us about 3 hours, including stops for photos and lunch.

off road driving
11 days ago

An easy trail with one way traffic only. Driving with relax.

12 days ago

Great little hike. Easy to do with kids. Beautiful waterfall. Keep your eyes out for the troll! :)

off road driving
12 days ago

Great high speed trail. A short hike is required to get to the river’s edge. Worth the trip and plan to go again.

completed this hike on January 12th. Great hiking conditions for this time of the year. Did the hike up to the fire lookout, views open up to the west if you do this extension.

hiking
14 days ago

Great for a beginner!

did this trail on one of my last days in Banff and it was really beautiful!

Not a challenging out and back trail. I did this twice over Christmas in a Jeep Wrangler and a friend in a 2wd Tacoma. Never needed to put the Jeep in 4wd. A little sandy in spots but as long as you keep your momentum, you’ll be fine. High clearance recommended for a couple of tight spots but otherwise pretty easy. The view is ok but gets better further into the trail. The reward is getting to the riverside. Very peaceful, clean and secluded. I’d love to come back in the summer and jump into the river to cool off. Will definitely do this again.

Easy hike with a beautiful waterfall at the end!

nice, easy trail to do with a toddler in backpack

17 days ago

Fun, easy walk with the family. Nice place to bring a small camp stove and make hot chocolate at the falls.

The hike to the Ink Pots starts along Johnston Canyon and is around 10 km round-trip. I arrived to the Johnston Canyon parking lot early in the morning (around 7 am) and was one of the first people there. I hiked here in July 2017.

Hiking Johnston Canyon was gorgeous in the morning and it was so peaceful being almost completely alone with nature on the trail. It was a challenging but rewarding hike to natural bubbling pools of water and amazing views.

After the Upper Falls, the trail began to climb out of the canyon. It was a pretty steep incline for most of the way to the Ink Pots and since this was my first major day hike upon arriving in Banff from the Canadian Prairies, I found it to be quite challenging and exhausting. The trail continued to gain elevation as it passed through the dense and lush forest which was beautiful and so peaceful. I was alone on the trail for most of the hike which was amazing. There was an opening in the trees at one spot along the trail which provided incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

From this point to the Ink Pots (about 1.4 km), the trail leveled out and then descended to the final destination which my legs were very thankful for!

The trail then opened up to a beautiful meadow surrounded by mountains with a river flowing through it and a collection of natural pools of turquoise coloured water, which bubbled up from deep inside the Earth’s core called the Ink Pots (you will see circles in the sand at the bottom of the pools which look like blots of ink and this is where the water bubbles up from). There were some wooden boardwalks and trails through the area leading to each pool, where you could get a variety of amazing views and great photo opportunities. The scenery was breathtaking!

I found this hike pretty challenging and strenuous, as it was mostly a steep and gruelling uphill climb after the Upper Falls to the Ink Pots, but definitely worth it. Hiking downhill most of the way back to the trailhead felt AMAZING.

The trail along Johnston Canyon to the Upper Falls gets quite crowded and busy around late morning during the summer season but very few people continue on to the Ink Pots, so hiking this trail will likely be a peaceful experience. I would still recommend starting early though in order to get a parking spot at the Johnston Canyon trailhead (be there for around 7 am or 7:30 am), as it took me a good 4 to 4.5 hours to complete the hike including the MANY stops that I made along the way to catch my breath, take photos and enjoy the scenery.

Make sure to bring a snack to enjoy at the Ink Pots and lots of water!

17 days ago

Nice enjoyable walk with beautiful frozen waterfalls

Hiked to Inkpots via Johnston Canyon. Trail is well packed. Bring microspikes (no need for snowshoes just spikes). Falls were busy. I didn't stop just went straight to the Inkpots. Beautiful views today. I would recommend going through Moose Meadows if you're looking to avoid the crowds (not sure on Moose trail conditions there though)

Very few people beyond the upper falls. Had the trail to myself for portions. Overall easy hike if you are an avid hiker. You can hear avalanches in the distance which is cool.

Hiked down to the rock. Make sure you have spikes on to prevent a fall. Cool to see it up close.

walking
18 days ago

Not challenging enough for me personally but a beautiful walk on a sunny day in the winter. Will definitely do again.

Great hike and awesome views from the top. Definitely worth the extra hike to the fire lookout station, incredible views! If you’re short on time just do the prairie view track (go counter-clockwise along the loop) then head back down the same way. The back half of the loop was alright but quite a bit longer and a lot of just walking through the trees. Jan 4, 2019 trail was good the whole way, lots of hard pack snow but hiking boots and poles were fine, a couple spots would have been nice to have crampons/spikes but nothing too slippery.

Fun little trail. Very smooth for riding side by sides which makes it enjoyable. Will definitely do it again.

Top safety rating for me; trails are well defined and signs are everywhere, it’s definitely worth the hike down to the famous rock located at the second right down closer to the water, you’ll know it when you see it. Photos are great but not as astonishing face to face. The trail up to the Ink Pots is well worth dodging the crowds for a moderate to easy treck up to the Ink Pots where you can eat lunch or just to wander some more. Kind of sucks you gotta pay the Banff Parks Fee just to go to the canyon. Still a top notch hike and definitely one I recommend for most ages and hiking abilities. I will do it again!

My husband, son and 5 year old grandchild and I hiked about 2km out and back again. Beautiful views, blue skies but lots of snow. Rolling hilly path which was a bit of a challenge for a 5 year old. We will definitely be back to hike it again and hope to complete the full loop! Trekking poles were helpful. We hiked to Rawson Lake in the summer so seeing part of the path in winter was a beautiful change.

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