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“All seasons hike” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon
Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: Scenic wooded canyon with trails for hiking and biking.
19 reviews 19 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“All seasons hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2015 NEW

This is a very busy attraction and rightfully so. We have done this trail 5 or 6 times in summer, fall and winter and it doesn't get old. The trail is a mix of earth paths and narrow metal walkways which are anchored to the canyon walls. Many squirrels and chipmunks will poke their heads out of cracks in the rocks as you head up to a series of waterfalls. Very exciting for the dog.

There are excellent view points from which to appreciate the power of the falls and feel the cooling spray. Neat cave to duck through, but you will have to wait your turn as space is limited and people are everywhere.

In winter, the spray from the falls freezes and creates an ice wall for people to climb. Gear and experience required. Cool to watch for a few minutes. Trail has slippery sections, but walking slightly to the side of the beaten path seemed to make it easier.

Continuing past the falls a few km is a nicely groomed trail that leads to beautiful green, turquoise and blue paint pots (small springs) with wooden boardwalks to connect them. Nice flower meadows and mountain backdrop.

Parking lot fills before noon so you'll probably have to park on the side of the 1A highway along with dozens of other vehicles. Great drive in if you take the 1A from Banff as there is no wildlife fence to keep the animals back from the road (like there is on highway 1). We almost always see a bear and some elk along this road.

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618 reviews from our community

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Alberta, Canada
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
74 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“One of the best hikes for beginners”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2015

Johnston Canyon is a beautiful destination for anybody, and probably offers the most bang for your buck if you're new to hiking and want to try something easy to start off. Be sure to go in the winter when all the falls are frozen and watch the ice-climbers. One of my favorite places to visit in Alberta!

Visited December 2014
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Windsor, Canada
Top Contributor
308 reviews 308 reviews
148 attraction reviews
Reviews in 122 cities Reviews in 122 cities
155 helpful votes 155 helpful votes
“Amazing canyon and waterfalls”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2015

This is a wonderful hike although at times it can be crowded. There are two waterfalls one of which the trail gets really close and the trail at times turns into a pathway on the side of the sheer cliffs made of wood. The scenery beyond the end of the trail is also rewarding.

Visited July 2014
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Duncan, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Beautiful and Interesting Hike, my mind was wondering!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015

The hike up Johnston Canyon was just great. The hike is not difficult, and you can go at any pace you like. When we went the crowd was light and we were mostly to ourselves. I found that walking through the canyon, even through a short tunnel carved by the water, my mind was wondering. I kept thinking about the discovery and name of Johnston Canyon which I understand has to do with miners who made their way up the canyon. The trail includes wooden walkways that keep you close to the water. It must have been treacherous for the original men that climbed up the slippery rocks with gear and supplies and equipment. The sounds are awesome, and you should have a rain slicker even if you think you don't need it, the water is cold and there are a few places that are damp with spray. I very enjoyable hike!

Visited August 2014
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great day out! ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015

This is a fantastic short walk up that anyone can tackle. The walk through the canyon is superb however the views from the top are unbelievable. Me and my friend are both experienced hill walkers so we continued up towards the pass and summit one of the adjacent peaks. It's one of the best days out of my life although anyone trying this should ensure they are better prepared than us. It became dark at 8 so we had to run the last 8km to make it to the car park before dark. All in all a great day!

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