Explore the most popular snowshoeing trails in Banff National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

A great alternative to Johnston Canyons Trail if you any less traffic and don’t mind skipping the waterfalls. We did run into an adult black bear coming back to the car at the parking lot. It ran the other way and we made lots of noise. Has been reported.

Beautiful views at both falls, upper definitely worth the trip and the crowds thin out.

This was a great trail to hike. The waterfalls were the highlight of this entire trip. They are beautiful!! My husband and I opted to hike up to the ink pots which took us another Hour and twenty minutes to hike back to their location. The trail was mostly up hill going out with a downhill decline to the ink pots. We aren’t your everyday hikers and we managed to complete the entire trip from start to finish in about five hours with a few rest breaks here and there. You know the saying curiosity kills the cat? Let’s just say we were whipped!! Although very interesting to see the ink pots I think anyone could enjoy this hike just viewing all the waterfall stops and views of the canyon along the way!! Have fun out there be safe and enjoy Gods creation!!

Heavy traffic with people that do not grasp the concept of single file, but the Ink Pots were beautiful as usual. Ignore or shoulder check the ones that won’t walk single file,

Such an amazing trail for the whole family. My 9 year old did just fine. Agree with other reviews: go early to avoid crowds. We were there about 830, still fairly busy. People with toddlers: bring skinny strollers. The trail gets narrow and will not accommodate wide strollers.

Pros: beautiful views of the water the entire length of the path, with several waterfalls and lovely overlooks. The forest here was also magnificent, the moss on the trees makes it look unreal. Ice cream afterward at the stand on the way back was a great treat. Cons: crowded until lower falls, not too bad afterward. The "trail" is all paved / manmade, but the views were so nice that it was worth it. Better off in sneakers, though there are some steep areas and wet areas.

hiking
4 days ago

Got to the parking lot by 8:30 AM-only 5 cars in the lot! Beautiful hike, busy trail. Both parking lots were full when we left at 11:30.

Love this little gem in the mountains lots to see and explore have done in all seasons its one of my favs, ink pots are beautiful good for kids but wear good shoes lots of photo opportunities

Family vacation brought us here. Great times and not terribly taxing. Make sure to take it slow and explore bits not quite on the beaten path. My favorite experience from the hike was around the corner of a fence and down from the path.

Once you pass the upper falls it's a fairly steep climb to the ink pots. The trail is very well maintained, with just a few small, muddy patches that were easily avoidable. Even though the trail is mostly forest there are wonderful views the entire way. My partner did the whole trail in running shoes with no complaints. The ink pots are cool and the view there is amazing. Very satisfying!!

It was a nice hike. Never anything really hard for any length of time. Pet and kid friendly. The sign at the trail head says its a 3.5 km hike which is actually only 2.2 miles. The view from the "top" was decent. We could have kept going up the mountain if we wanted to in to a more advanced area, but we had already spent time walking straight up Cory Mountain that morning and we really weren't up for the challenge after that. Castle Mountain has always been a landmark for me as I pass through the mountains so it was pretty cool to walk up it. The trail starts off wide and eventually goes down to single file. The top is a concrete "thing" with no sign so I had to check and make sure that was it, but it was.

There were a lot of tourist that don’t actually hike. I literally saw a lady wearing heels. After about two miles of that, the herd thins out and you pretty much have the trail to yourself. There are some great views right before the ink pots as well. Worth the hike on a rainy or overcast day.

Completed this trail in May 2018. Extremely busy with traffic to upper falls . Less so to the ink pots. It’s a climb up but a walking climb, no scrambles. Prepare with lots of water, had a lovely lunch at ink pots and bring stuff for feet if prone to blisters. Beautiful scenery.

This trail is extremely busy up to the “Upper Falls”. Having a baby backpack-carrier was kind of a challenge because the walking path is so narrow and because most visitors have little to no trail etiquette. It was sad to see how much plastic bottles and coffee cups (from the bistro at the trail head) that were thrown by visitors who do not care about nature. Still, beautiful sights. If you love calm nature and you still want to do the trail, you might want to continue to the “ink pots” and avoid the annoying crowds.

Nice for a short and easy hike

Mega easy, really busy but good for family’s and small kids

Beautiful gorge but very very busy. The trail is also quite narrow so there’s a fair amount of bumping into people and waiting for slower walkers. I’d highly recommend trying to get there first thing in the morning to try to avoid the crowd.

If you are a somewhat avid hiker I suggest going early in the morning or late in the afternoon once the crowds have thinned out. The trail to both the Lower and Upper Falls is very narrow, and there are too many people who do not understand hiking etiquette since technically it is more of a walk on a paved trail. Once you get to the Ink Pots trail, the crowd vanishes and you can actually hike. The Ink Pots were not as impressive as the waterfalls so unless you feel like getting in a somewhat longer hike, don’t feel like you’re missing out on much if you decide to skip this trail.

Did this trail as the end part to our beehive loop today. Thankful it was so flat and partially paved as it made it a lot easier for our sore legs. The lake is beautiful and an amazing shade of blue, however this is all you see for the entire almost 4 mile hike is that one lake. And it’s very crowded as it is so easy many people from
The chateau come out and hike it. I wouldn’t do it as a stand alone hike but it was the perfect flat way to end our loop.

Very busy trail but beautiful!

Amazing! You really have to do the full trails to Ink Pots: worth it!

We went in late September on a weekday, lower falls was still crowded but once you got past the upper falls, the crowd had almost completely died down. Shared the ink pots with about 8 other people. Loved having the last km or so being downhill...not so much on the way back when we had to go back up haha

This hike was beautiful! I would recommend starting early about 8am because the trail does get crowded. We went in early June. This was a good hike to do on a misty cloudy day. Pictures of the water falls were still amazing. Just off the main trail after the lower falls there is a cool cave to go into. If you are tired after the first couple of miles and have seen the water falls you can always turn back. The hike up to the ink pots was a pretty steep hike. The path was mostly completely paved to the top. I love hiking but am not used to the steep gradients so it difficult on my legs, but the views were worth it at the top! The ink pots are very beautiful and clear. You can stop to have lunch along the blue beautiful waters that feed the waterfalls before you go down with the mountains in the background. The hike down was pretty tough on my knees.

Quick and easy. Beautiful views! We went on a Monday morning expecting it to be fairly empty, quite surprised to see it so busy on a weekday! But definitely worth it.

The first half of the hike to the Upper Falls get’s 2 stars from me. The trail is very busy and narrow until the Upper Falls, so be prepared to wait behind large groups. The paved trail until the Upper Falls takes away from the feeling of being in nature. The hike after the Upper Falls to the Ink Pots gets 4 stars from me (for an average of 3 stars). Fewer people continue on to the Ink Pots. Pack a lunch to enjoy in the river valley at the Ink Pots. Great first hike of the season. Probably won’t do the hike again in the summer (too many other hikes I want to check off the list first), but will likely do the hike to the Upper Falls in the winter, when it’s less busy.

We visited Johnston Canyon yesterday, June 2. Great trail for a quick walk into the area to see the waterfalls and canyon. There were people of all ages enjoying the walk along the paved and well defined walkway and stairs - lots of families with young children and seniors. This would be great for people who want an easy half day outing while visiting the Banff area. I would highly recommend planning to go early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the mid day crowds (literally).

Would suggest going early morning, it gets very busy. Once you get past the upper falls on your way to the ink pots traffic becomes lighter

hiking
14 days ago

I love this hike. The trees are moss laden, and a little eerie, but on a warm sunny day the dappled light is magical. Ends behind the ski lodge at Norway.

Great hike to start the season off. Just be ready for a super busy trail until after the upper falls. Once you get past that spot, it’s an easy and enjoyable hike up to the ink pots.

Was pretty busy heading up to the lower falls. Tapered off going to upper falls. After the upper there were very few people that made the trek to the ink pots. The ink pots were nice but it was definitely a long one for the reward on this.

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