Johnston Canyon (Banff National Park): Trail Report

This extremely popular hiking spot offers upper and lower falls through the canyon, however once you start hiking towards the ink pots the crowds significantly diminish. The ink pots, and the valley, are in my opinion, the wow factor on this hike.

Suggested Stops

Time with timings, we rushed out of Johnston Canyon and straight to Rocky Mountain Bagel in Canmore to fuel up properly before heading to the airport. Ugh, this place is good. And now they have a second location in Canmore! Actually the growth in Canmore year to year blow my mind. I don’t think everyone’s fave little mountain town is going to ever be small again. Condos sprouted up, the Grizzly Paw Brewery, Beamers Coffee, and Rocky Mountain Bagel opened multiple locations…growth baby. Thankfully it still has a small town vibe.

Important Insights

Extremely busy during peak hours (after 9am) and during good weather days.

Land Acknowledgement

These are the lands of the Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ (Blackfoot / Niitsítapi ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ), Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis, Stoney, Tsuu T'ina, and Michif Piyii (Métis) people.⁠ It is important as avid hikers and stewards of the land, to acknowledge and understand the full story our surroundings along with the people that care for her, both past and present. As sourced from native-land.ca, if there are corrections please send to victoria@girlgonegood.com.

Land Management

Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park is managed by Parks Canada.

Suggested Stops

Time with timings, we rushed out of Johnston Canyon and straight to Rocky Mountain Bagel in Canmore to fuel up properly before heading to the airport. Ugh, this place is good. And now they have a second location in Canmore! Actually the growth in Canmore year to year blow my mind. I don’t think everyone’s fave little mountain town is going to ever be small again. Condos sprouted up, the Grizzly Paw Brewery, Beamers Coffee, and Rocky Mountain Bagel opened multiple locations…growth baby. Thankfully it still has a small town vibe.

GPS Coordinates

51.245650168828924, -115.8398762437151

Street Address

Bow Valley Pkwy, Alberta T1L 1K2

Directions

17.8 kms on the Bow Valley Parkway (west). It’s a short 25km drive from Banff. Once on the Bow Valley Parkway, abide speed limits and keep an eye out for wildlife. This time around we saw a herd of elk and I’ve seen bears on previous trips. Parks Canada were out at 10am helping direct traffic and parking, we arrived at 6am avoiding the crowds and any access issues. The tour buses usually arrive around 9am.

Parking

Large parking lot at trailhead.

Cell Reception

No

Washrooms

Washrooms available at the parking lot.

Accessibility

Yes (for a portion of the trail)

Trail Details

Entrance Fee

Hours of Operation

All seasons. Open dawn to dusk daily.

Trail Map

Available from the Parks Canada.

Trailhead

Located at the parking lot.

Number of Trails

2

Total Distance (km)

5.5

Elevation Gain (m)

608

Cell Reception

No

Features

Activities

Hiking

Dogs

Permitted on-leash