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Crowded but safe. easier trail for friends

Great hike! Went on Saturday. Snow is pretty deep when you get close to Lilian lake. Make sure to bank on an extra 45 minutes compared to what you would normally hike it in. Great weather though - all in all a solid 4 hours in total. We used winter hiking boots and that’s it - no poles and no snowshoes

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.

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

snowshoeing
14 days ago

hiked this on jan 7 with snow shoes-didn’t need them though as hiking boots would be fine. we hiked up to ink pots and then on the way back down took the johnston canyon turn off, saw the upper falls, and took a detour to get back to the moose meadows trail lower down. all up was 14.2km, nice to get the extra kms with the johnson canyon detour. although this trail that cut through had not been walked for a while so we were knee deep in snow

Hiked today, 7th Jan. Well tracked trail, I did in my hiking boots, no micro spikes needed. Only passed one person before the turn off for Johnston Canyon, met a couple people snowshoeing after.
Gradual incline most of the way with final downhill before the ink pots but not too strenuous. Ink pots are partially frozen so didn’t get to see the colours but a beautiful winter hike.

Takakkaw Falls is a powerful and amazing waterfall to see in Yoho National Park. I visited in August 2017.

A winding and narrow paved road leads from the Trans Canada Highway cutting through the park to the waterfall which is located at the very end of the road. The drive was incredibly scenic as the road passed through beautiful lush forests with mountains all around and openings in the trees providing amazing views of the landscape. There was a series of intimidating-looking switchbacks up a steep mountainside along the road which were somewhat difficult to maneuver even with a small car (a 2-3 point turn is required), but a fun challenge. I even saw remnants of a recent avalanche along the road with huge piles of snow and broken trees.

It took roughly 30 minutes to arrive at the Takakkaw Falls parking lot along the Yoho Valley Road from where it stemmed off from Highway #1. The parking lot was small mostly full and I was lucky to find a spot in the afternoon. I could see and hear this powerful and spectacular waterfall and couldn’t wait to get closer!

From the parking lot, there was a short and well-trafficked paved path which crossed a bridge over a rushing river and wound through the trees with great views of the falls along the way before arriving at the base of Takakkaw Falls (it took about 10 minutes to get there). The waterfalls got louder and louder as I got closer and they were so powerful that I could feel the mist long before I even reached the base. The mountainous scenery surrounding the waterfall was so gorgeous and there were lots of places along the pathway to take photos of the views and the waterfall. The water plummeted at high speeds off the edge of a tall vertical cliff and into the river below. It was super windy, cold and wet standing at the base that I could only stand there for a few minutes before turning back as my camera was getting soaked. The sound of the falls was like thunder and it was incredible to experience and admire the waterfall while being SO CLOSE to and literally right in front of this breathtaking natural beauty! There were lots of large boulders off the main trail on a slope beside the falls that you could climb to get even closer, but I chose not to. The trail to the waterfall was quite crowded during my visit but not too overwhelmingly busy that it detracted from my experience, but if you arrived early in the morning you would probably be able to enjoy this place in peace.

Takakkaw Falls were a very impressive and stunning tall waterfall to see and there were plenty of great viewpoints of the falls for some amazing photos. This waterfall is definitely a must-experience when in Yoho! There are some picnic tables and washrooms near the parking lot of the falls as well. Make sure to wear a rain jacket because you will get wet at the base of the waterfall.

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!

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.

snowshoeing
19 days ago

Went up to Lillian Lake last weekend and trail was all good, didn't need snowshoes until maybe 3 minutes before we got to the lake, I'm sure with a little more time there will be enough snow to pull them out earlier. Didn't get to see too much, it got pretty white out but I'm sure its gorgeous! With a little more time we might have made it up to Galatea. Trip for another time but definitely worth it!

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!

Super fun trail and stunning views. Did it in the winter with hiking boots, did not use micro spikes. Very much worth it.

I’m not entirely sure why this is such a popular hike. Maybe it’s because it’s not too challenging. Maybe it’s because the falls are pretty, or maybe because it’s not a terribly long “hike”.. The worst part of the experience is that you’ll be fighting crowds for views and hiking space. At least until you move on toward the ink pots. Likewise, the ink pots were not overly thrilling either, even if neat and hypnotic.

After the falls, you won’t get great views until you descend into the valley where the ink pots are. From there it is significantly prettier, and I think I’ve read that there are trails beyond. I’d recommend seeing the ink pots if you’re already tolerating the mass of tourists at the falls. It’s a good hike to get your legs and lungs adjusted before tackling harder hikes.

Was a last minute hike that we didn’t prepare to do, but was worth ever minute. Fair amount of tree coverage and wide path. Very hilly most of the way.

Same comments as the others. The first section is too busy but the frozen waterfall is worth dodging the traffic. Heading to the ink pots is more like a typical walk in the trees and good exercise. The ink pots themselves are neat but not nearly as interesting as previous comments would suggest.

Did this hike on December 22nd. Ice cleats were enough as the snow was fairly well packed. Didn’t see a single person until the intersection with the Johnston canyon trail. Some of the pools were frozen but the rest were pretty.

Was up there on December 16th. Everything was in good condition. Only went as far as Lillian Lake. Spikes were definitely an asset. Snow shoes not required up to that point.

Winter wonderland! Completed on December 2nd, no need for spikes or snowshoes. If anyone spots my gray merino knit touque please let me know! :D

been a few times and been great in all weather. little disappointed people graffiti such unique things though

Easy hike but truly stunning!

No Widlings or Whitewalkers to report. A small contingency of the Knights Watch ventured out along the beautiful river and rustic bridges. Not too much traffic and made it half way between Lillian and Lower Galatea Lakes. The views are probably much more rewarding in the summer. Brace yourself....winter is coming.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views, easy trail to follow. Ran into deeper snow at the final approach to the summit lookout. No problem with spikes. Good hike if you want a mix of terrain and a hike in the 4 to 5 hour range.

I did this hike in 2017. The waterfalls are cool, but it is highly trafficked by tourists. Once you pass the upper falls and start on the trail to the ink pots, it is much nicer. Steep climb. When we reached the valley where the ink pots are, it was amazing. It felt like we had just stepped out into a beautiful valley from a short hike from our car, not remembering that we had hiked many kilometres to see it.

amazing hike! Unbelievable how beautiful the hike is and I definitely recommend it. Make sure to pack a good lunch because you're going to need it. A lot of incline thigh but Adobe waterfalls on the way and just beautiful in the summer!

really great trail. set out by myself and didn't see anyone else the whole day. lots of sharp rocks and lots of ice. views from the top were worth the trip. yaktracs and trekking poles definitely recommend. even though mine broke on the way up. I imagine that it only gets harder from here on out and soon a 4x4 will be need to get to the trail head safely. Great day.

Great hike with an incredible view at the end. If you are looking for a moderate winter hike in the area this is a great choice. The path to the falls had several groups on it and was busy for a winter trail, but once you passed the upper falls the trail was empty. The view of the mountains from the inkpots was perhaps more incredible than the inkpots themselves. The snow was packed most of the way. Ice cleats were helpful, especially when going down.

2 months 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.

Stunning hike, easy terrain. Beautiful after first snowfalls

hiking
2 months ago

Nice and simple hike. My boyfriend, dog and I hiked out to the 3rd waterfall which is about 8km from the trailhead. Great views the whole way and easy trail to follow along the river. Recommend this hike to anyone!

hiking
2 months ago

Well that was a hell of a hike. Beautiful day. My dog and I set out, microspikes and Ruffwear boots. Took a few breaks for food and water for my dog. So windy at the false summit and didn’t think I would even try to make it to the lookout tower but some awesome ladies with dogs who were experienced hikers ventured up there so we followed. Worth the views. Would have stayed up there longer but the windy was terribly cold so we trekked back down. Road up was very slippery so keep that in mind at this time of year. A lot harder than I expected. If you bring a dog make sure they have boots if you go to the top. Very sharp rocks.

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