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“Not to be missed”
Review of Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon
Book In Advance
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$58.53*
and up
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
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$132.55*
and up
Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Day Trip from Banff
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$40.99*
and up
Hop-On and Hop-Off Banff Bus
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Scenic wooded canyon with trails for hiking and biking.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

We hiked up to the Lower Falls on a snowy Boxing Day. Advice from other reviewers about suitable footwear should be heeded as we saw many struggling with unsuitable shoes, though my climbing boots were OK as the path is mostly level or gently sloping. The Upper Falls may be a steeper route and something to save for a different season. However, the beauty of the ice made the walk a delight, all the way to the cave at the end opening on to the frozen waterfall. The walkways attached to the canyon wall make for a safe, easy trip. However, the wash-rooms at the start of the trail are best avoided.

Thank Tim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,106 - 1,110 of 1,588 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2014

This is a two hour round trip walk - just long enough that you don't start to get tired of walking. Much of it is along a boardwalk, and relatively flat. We took longer on the way there as there were so many beautiful sights to see along the way. Along with the Tunnel Mountain hike, this was one of the favourites of our trip, and up there with the most scenic walks we have ever done. Thoroughly enjoyable. If you do the walk in winter, be sure to hire crampons or ice cleats from the GearUp Mountain Sports and Rental store in Canmore, currently $10 per day. Our trekking poles also came in handy as the ground is slippery - some people were really struggling with regular sports shoes on, and we were shocked that some of them appeared to be Canadian?!! You would think some people would know better. We wore winter hiking boots and our winter snow gear, taking off layers as we started to warm up. In winter there are no cafes open at the end of the walk, I recommend taking water, a thermos of hot chocolate and a high energy snack like muffins to keep you going. Be sure to keep going to the upper falls after you have reached the lower falls, it is well worth it and not too much further. In winter the canyon looks somewhat surreal with the ice formations, but I wish I could also experience Banff in the summer! Oh, and you don't need to do this with a tour company if you don't have to. It is just a walk, you don't have to pay someone to take you. Maybe we were lucky, there weren't too many hikers on the day we went.

1  Thank KatrinaKitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We did this tour in the first week of December with Discover Banff tours and were so glad we did. The company was excellent, and our guide was extremely knowledgeable. The views of the ice canyon in winter are absolutely amazing and we got some brilliant photos. Ice cleats were provided but do wear good thermal socks, snow boots and mittens if you're doing it in winter. We wore our extreme weather gear and felt fine but a few of the party felt the cold in their inadequate footwear, even though everyone had been advised on clothing and boots. The hot chocolate and maple cream bikkies were also much appreciated at the end of the trail.

Thank Kate W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013 via mobile

Twas an awesome view, i enjoyed a lot eventhough im tired walking its make me sweat..the tour guide was so knowledgable enough and very caring to her tourists..thankz MAGZ for bringing us there.thats a best gift i received on my bday on that day itself. T'was so fun and awesome scenic spot....

Thank habibirenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

It's a 3 mile round trip hike to the upper falls along Johnston Canyon. The trail was covered in snow when we visited in December and majority part of the creek was frozen over. A few hikers were there without using any crampons or cleats and they were slipping and having problem getting traction in the snow. If you don't want to join a guided tour which crampons is a part of the deal, you can go to a local gear rental shop (eg. GearUp Mountain Sports and Rental in Canmore) and rent a pair of crampons for $10 per day.

The view of the canyon in the winter with iced over creek and frozen falls was absolutely amazing. The all natural ice formation was breathtaking but unfortunately some were destroyed by the ice climbers. Go early if you want to enjoy this hike in peace and quiet, even in the winter you will find crowds of people coming here for the beautiful hike.

Thank ITYU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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