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Johnston Canyon to Ink Pots is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.3 mi Elevation gain 1,994 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Snowshoeing Cave Forest Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Snow
Description
Waypoints (4)

NOTE: As of September 2020, the road leading to the trailhead is still closed due to COVID-19. You may still park elsewhere and walk/bike to the trailhead. Please check with the park for more information. Great views and a really unique walk up to the falls along the canyon on a well kept trail. Be aware that the trail is narrow at times and can be extremely busy. It is best to get here super early as getting a parking spot later in the day is difficult. The ink pots are a great place to eat lunch along the river as the mountains in the background are very scenic.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1784)
Photos (2081)
Recordings (1097)
Completed (5385)
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Mark Johnson
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Hiking

Almost had the entire hike to ourselves. Very cool to have a short 6.5 km bike before the trailhead with no vehicles on the road. Took us 3 hours round trip including biking portion and stops for pics etc. Be sure and park at the Castle Junction end of hwy 1A

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Josh VanderWal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 24, 2020
Hiking

Ink Pots definitely worth seeing once. Next time here I will definitely go to upper falls, probably not ink pots again. Had a reservation at the Black Swift Bistro which meant we were able to drive right up to the trail head and not have to worry about walking or biking from the road closure (hint hint). Food there was excellent as well.

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Edyta Wiacek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 22, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful

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Lidia Couture-Perron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 22, 2020
Hiking

Nice hike! I parked to Castle junction, there wasn't a lot of people (a bit before 9am) I did the 6,5km in an hour, but on the way back, after hiking all the way to the ink pots, I thought I wouldn't make it! I went through Moose Valley to shave a bit of distance, and it was a beautiful forest, I recommend going through there (if you have bear spray, just in case)

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jenni routhier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
HikingGreat!

This is a great hike. Easy to the upper falls, and then a bit more work to the Inkpots, climbs are short but well maintained throughout. views are great and the trail is wide. found a little off road trail through the trees on the way back (there are some spots marked that you aren't allowed to walk in so be aware of that) short switchbacks til the decent into the hotel/cabin area. would be nice to go through moose meadows next time!

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Ashley Nicole
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 21, 2020
Walking

The added walk to the actually hike is brutal. Not too bad I’m the way there, but after you’ve hiked and have to walk 6ish km back to the parking lot, your feet and body will be dead. It is beautiful though! We did it back in July, but love to do it again when the road is back open!

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Marisa Mustard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
HikingGreat!

Did this hike in June, the road was closed and the walk to the park was long. It was worth it because we ended up being the only group on the hike while we were there. Sad we couldn't get to the secret cave, but glad to see reforestation being done to protect the environment!

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joel Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 21, 2020
Hiking

Straight uphill after the regular hike. extremely challenging and not for beginners. I had a rough hike as it was pouring rain as well. Ink pots were nice but not really worth the climb imo

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Chantal Larouche
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking

Bonne rando, bon cardio, belle chute et il faut entrez dans la grotte pour voir le débit, respect de la distanciation. Réservez au bistro du lodge pour éviter de marcher le 12km aller retour, route fermée Covid si vous souhaitez faire le 11km jusqu’au bout . Rendez vous de la fin, paysage magnifique. Je recommande. Pas de monde ce samedi 19 sept .

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Avery Cornelius
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Hiking
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Amanda S
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Hiking

Awesome hike, especially for a cloudy day. On the east side of moderate. The ink pots are really unique and pretty – great spot to eat a snack. The path to the “secret cave” is closed for habitat preservation and off-trail hiking is subject to a $25,000 fine

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Atinini Atiatia
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Hiking
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Joanna Stich
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HikingClosed

absolutely beautiful views and a lovely lovely area. I'd classify it as medium. be aware road leading up to it is currently closed -- you will need a bike to get there or walk! we had to walk 7km one way, so we ended up doing over 20km walking return trip.

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Pauline Huang
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Hiking
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Joshua Caputo
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Hiking

Nice Walk!

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Christine Madigan
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Road is currently closed to get up there. Unless your biking or willing to walk in, wait for the Covid to end

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Abdul Zia
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Hiking
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Ilaria De Campo
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Hiking

Very busy until the upper falls. Make sure you make a reservation at blackswift bistro otherwise you will be walking 5km before you even get into the trail head.

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Raquel K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking

Wonderful trail on the easy side of moderate. Some incline once you get past the falls but well worth it. Also much less busy than non-Covid times so it's a nice time to go. As other people have said, highly recommend making a reservation at Blackswift Bistro so that you can park. You can enter the gate up to 4 hours before your reservation (we did the full hike with stopping for lots of pictures in almost exactly 4 hours). We ate at the Bistro after our hike and it was a great reward.

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Dustin Lalonde
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Hiking
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Catherine Leverne
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HikingFee

Petite randonnée touristique. Les photos publicitaires sont trompeuses. Les endroits où les photos sont prises sont interdits aux randonneurs!

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Trevor Finlay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

The trail was great! Well worth it.

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Carl Pepin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020
Hiking

Simplement Wow...le classement de sentier "modéré" est à mon avis un peu exagéré...c'est un sentier magnifique pour les 2 premiers kilomètres....on passe sur des passerelles de ciment directement dans le canyon...c'est magnifique les chutes Lower et Upper sont simplement superbes. Accesible pour tous. le sentier est asphalté. le reste jusqu'au Ink Pots est aussi très large et sans difficultés. Seul la montée est "un peu" essouflante mais nous sommes des randonneurs d'occasion et tout a très bien été.. La route pour se rendre à Jonhston Canyon est fermée...mais une réservation pour déjeuner au Blackswift bistro vous permet de passer sans encombre les gardes parc. sinon vous devez marcher ou faire à vélo 5km pour accèder au départ de la trail. pour reserver le bistro vous faites en ligne a https://tableagent.com/calgary/blackswift-bistro-johnston-canyon/ voilà Bonne Randonnée

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Tania Montminy
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Hiking
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Farhang Farid
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 9, 2020
Hiking

Biked to the canyon on the bow Valley and did the short 4k out and back to the upper falls. Good day.

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Danaa Dapearl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

Really nice hike, the canyon is beautiful! The ink pots are interesting, but it worth it mostly for the view ( mountains ). You have to make a reservation at the bistro on the website table agent to acces to the parking.. If not, it’s 5 km on foot. It’s really not crowded as the parking lot is closed. With not covid it’s probably the hell.

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Josh Norquist
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2020
Hiking

Due to Covid, the Bow Valley Parkway is closed to vehicles. Parks Camada will allow you to drive to the trailhead if you have a reservation at Blackswift Bistro! Had an awesome breakfast there then went up the trail. Very few people and a beautiful hike!

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Mike Lindsay
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Hiking
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lilic balic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

We did this hike few years ago. It was an easy hike but long. Nice scenery on Ink Pots.

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Sarah Goose
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
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