Johnston Canyon Trail to Upper Falls

EASY 362 reviews
#7 of 130 trails in

Johnston Canyon Trail to Upper Falls is a 3.1 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
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
774 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.

6 minutes ago

Good Trail. Lower falls is must see if you can't climb all the way to upper falls...

walking
1 day ago

Amazing view. Easy trail. Totally worth doing it! And my winner dog did it also!

hiking
1 day ago

A busy trail but the waterfalls are worth the wait.

5 days ago

Arrive extra early to get a parking spot in the lot, otherwise you’ll have to park along the road and walk in. It’s extremely busy and populated. Its become more of a tourist spot. It’s a very easy trail, good to do with kids or the family. There is a “hidden” cave which is fun to find and explore.

hiking
6 days ago

Pretty easy hike the hardest part was avoiding crowds. We arrived just before 9 and got a good parking space. If you are trying to do photography I would highly recommend arriving around 8 to avoid crowds.

hiking
6 days ago

Sooo crowded! Not a nature hike. So many people we could barely walk. Do not take dogs for this same reason. Maybe if you when at 6am it would be cool but with a fence and a paved trail it was not my kind of hike. Many other options in Banff.

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful falls, but many, many people. We went just a little beyond the upper falls and found some quiet spots next to the water to eat lunch and hang out, and that made it very worthwhile!

hiking
10 days ago

Awesome trail for beginners! (Crowder than I thought) Great views. Love it.

10 days ago

Not too buggy, beautiful. Tho heavily trafficked, it is a well constructed trail and not bad. We went around 4pm. Be warned: ice cream stand at top. Use as incentive for reluctant walkers!

hiking
15 days ago

Easy hike, very beautiful and well maintained trail.

hiking
15 days ago

Go early in the season or in the fall to avoid the crowds. I’ve hiked part of this trail in the winter and it was quiet, peaceful.

hiking
15 days ago

The amusement park of hikes. Grandparents, toddlers and even people in dress shoes standing in line to get to the end of the platform to snap a pic and leave. We arrived at 4 pm to easy parking, but the trails were still very crowded. It was better when we left after 6 pm, so if you don't want to rise at the crack of dawn, try an evening visit. The crowds really do detract from the beauty of the surroundings. Some unmarked trails to the river were the highlight of the trip and the only reason the rating wasn't lower.

15 days ago

It is a fairly easy hike. The river, falls and canyons are awesome.

16 days ago

Perfect distance, loved the views along the trail. Manageable for my 9 yr old, paved paths are nice. They are narrow at times, and the hike is quite busy.

hiking
20 days ago

Narrow path the whole way, highly recommend to go in the early morning or late evening to beat the crowd. I went at 530pm and there was at least 20 people in line waiting to get a picture at the lower falls, upper falls wasn't as bad. Be sure to check out the cave inbetween the upper and lower falls not many people go down there. Other than the traffic of people this time of year it's a great park to see with friends and family.

23 days ago

A gorgeous ravine with a surreal blue river complete with waterfalls and boardwalks o we the edge of cliffs. One of my favourites in Banff.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful trail but negative side is crowded... avoid weekends. I have been hiking for a while first time I noticed people on this trail are rude and don’t move to side for faster pace hikers. Most people on this hike for photos

hiking
25 days ago

We arrived at the trailhead at 8:00 and there wasn’t that many people there yet - maybe 30 cars in the P1 lot. Hardly anyone on the trail at that time and we had the cave area just below the upper falls all to ourselves for about 15 min. By the time we made it to upper falls, the trail was jammed. Like others have pointed out, highly recommend starting as early as you can. Beautiful hike and the cave area is awesome.

hiking
28 days ago

Wonderful hike. 4 stars only because it was busy. Kids 7 and 10 did fine-just complained near the top. My phone says we went 6k there and back. Started at 830. Definitely best to start early.

hiking
29 days ago

Went early at 6:30 am and glad that I did! It was a beautiful hike, but on the way down saw tons of people on their way up. Go early so you don’t have to fight the crowds!

30 days ago

Getting an early start is key. The falls were beautiful and going the extra steps to the ink pots are worth it!!!!

hiking
1 month ago

General walking shoes are fine, no hiking boots required. All trails are paved and very well maintained. Some of the surfaces are wet from the river, but all and all a very easy, scenic walk.

hiking
1 month ago

I had never seen a trail this busy till I did this one. There were too many people unto the lower falls. Later the crowd started thinning out as we header for the upper falls. Had to wait in a line to get closer to get a view of the falls.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is really nice however it is so busy with people it was almost like waking through New York City. People in the way all the way up. If you don’t like the crowds get there super early.

hiking
1 month ago

Very busy trail! Beautiful falls

1 month ago

Such a pretty hike! The hike is along the water throughout, great views! The lower falls was the best, especially when you can get up close to the waterfalls! Although you can't get very close to the Upper falls, Upper falls overlook is worth the extra climb.

hiking
1 month ago

Super easy hike with a great view of the waterfalls. The smell of the air was filled with pine and the water is incredibly blue.

It was a beautiful hike, with beautiful views! The bugs were not bad at all, and there was so much to explore. My friend and I went past the ink pots and farther into the open valley, there were foot prints but we didn’t see anyone, it was very quiet and peaceful, it was my favourite part of the hike. I highly recommend this trail!

hiking
1 month ago

Great walk for any ages! Only walked to upper falls due to limited time. Awesome walking along the walk ways built into the side of the canyon. Can be extremely hard to park, recommend avoiding on weekends and try to arrive as early as possible to try beat the crowds. Well worth the visit!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail for the family to enjoy. You have to find the little paths that can lead to some incredible views. It gets really busy. On the way back, I felt like I was in Disney.

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