Johnston Canyon Trail to Upper Falls

EASY 218 reviews
#8 of 128 trails in

Johnston Canyon Trail to Upper Falls is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Massive, Alberta, Canada that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
770 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wildlife

snow

With over one million visitors per year Johnston Canyon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Banff National Park. The lower falls is very powerful and can be approached via footbridge and pedestrian tunnel, while the upper falls is highest and can be taken from a platform at the base or top of the falls.

1 day ago

Beautiful!!

nature trips
4 days ago

early walk in the morning with friends so great, love the nature so much!

6 days ago

Nice views but a little touristy.

hiking
7 days ago

Incredible scenery!

7 days ago

Very busy. Not really a true hike since they are paved but still a very pretty walk with lots of great views.

hiking
9 days ago

The path is paved so I can't call it a hike.
However, for visiting friends or those not wanting something strenuous it is a nice walk to the falls.
However, if you want to skip the crowds, go up to the Ink Pots.

15 days ago

Great track

hiking
16 days ago

Our first hike while visiting Banff. Still decent amounts of ice on the trail in early May. Glad we went earlier around 10am as there were less people on the way up. Walkways got a little crowded on our way down as more people got there. ~2 hr round trip including plenty of time to take pictures.

hiking
16 days ago

Completed this back in early June. Very busy trail but beautiful hole as we followed the side path down to the lower falls right next to it.

hiking
17 days ago

We did the lower falls in April. Still lots of snow, crampons very useful! Pretty easy hike.
We did the upper falls in May. Still a bit of snow where the sun doesn’t hit, but nothing too major. The trail did get quite slick.
Planning on doing ink pots in June.

walking
27 days ago

A good quick walk to stretch your legs if you’ve been driving a lot or a must-stop if you’re visiting the Bow River Valley. Was really nice in the winter with some parts of the waterfalls frozen.

1 month ago

Quick traditional first warm up hike of the season. Beautiful easy walk to upper falls before too many tourists make this family friendly hike too crowded. Still some beautiful ice formations to see but melting fast. As of 4 days ago when we were out recommend ice cleats between Lower and upper falls as trail was pretty slick but shouldn’t need for long with the recent warm weather.

hiking
1 month ago

A lifetime of unforgettable images of God’s Creation will forever be engrained in my soul. The most beautiful hike. Fulfilled my desire to bathe in nature.

1 month ago

Hubby and I took our Australian Shepherd to the upper falls on Monday (April 2) the trail is very well done, perfect those wanting a nice leisurely walk. Not really a hike, and unfortunately far too many people on the trail, way too crowded!!

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favourite hikes. Have been 8 times now. To avoid even the spring crowds go early or around 5 pm. Ruins it when you have hundreds of people on the trail with you.
If hiking in the spring you will have difficulties if you go in runners or flip flops or any of the other summer shoes I have encountered people struggling with on the trail. Buy or rent crampons/cleats and enjoy the steady climb up the canyon :)

hiking
2 months ago

Fun winter hike! Absolutely beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful and easy walk in -30 weather

hiking
3 months ago

Did the trail to the Upper Falls on February 8th right after the snowfall. Beautiful hike. Used yaktrax’s to help steady myself on the trail. Probably didn’t need them. Highly recommend for beginners

3 months ago

So beautiful! Definitely take shoe spikes in the winter! Lifesavers!

hiking
3 months ago

Easy family trail/walk. It's crowded even in winter, I couldn't imagine during summer with strollers... Cleats recommended. Nice view and fun for kids.

hiking
3 months ago

Feb 04.
My phone died, so the recording is inaccurate.

-15, still comfortable temperature as long as the appropriate clothing is used.

Some steeper parts, but has rails almost the whole way along, handy. Hiking sandles would be comfortable in the summer. Saw several kids around 5yo doing just fine. Path is narrow especially with heavy traffic, strollers not ideal.

Completed this in 1hr at a moderate pace, plenty of stops for photos.

VERY busy in the summer until past the upper Falls.

4 months ago

great winter hike! so beautiful.

4 months ago

Nice leisurely walk for all ages, beautiful scenery busy during the day with lineups on the foot bridge near the lower falls.

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Dec 9/17 - we started out around 1130 and the trail was not overly busy. The weather was mild and the trail was very slippery in many areas. Though many other hikers were struggling and having difficulty with the trail, we had purchased Hillsound Crampon Pros and had no traction issues, even on the icy inclines. We ventured up above the upper falls towards the ink pots but turned back as my girlfriend had a recent knee injury that was starting to flare up. It was a very enjoyable hike. Without the cleats it would have been very difficult and a good way to risk injury.... as we saw from one of the more unfortunate people who were coming back with facial lacerations and a bruised ego.

5 months ago

Good beginners hike or if you only have a little time in the Banff area.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice walk, not really a hike. Wouldn’t recommend in the winter, it was super icy; If so you definitely cleats. It Was busy even in December.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike! The trail was a bit icy in places but with cleats it was no problem. The falls in winter are something to see.

hiking
5 months ago

Great views. Make sure you have spikes for shoes. Trail gets very slippery and difficult but worth I️t for the views and experience. We hopped the rails at both waterfalls for some incredible views.

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