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Johnston Canyon
Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon

Free admission
Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta

The Basics

Coach tours from Banff and Calgary typically stop at Johnston Canyon and other beauty spots in the Canadian Rockies, such as Moraine Lake, Victoria Glacier, and Takakkaw Falls. While many travelers hike the trail independently in summer, in winter it’s better to go as part of a guided tour, as you’ll need special equipment to navigate the trail safely. Many multi-day excursions exploring Banff, Jasper, and Yoho national parks also visit the canyon.

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Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
$70.34 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Amazing Hike
The Johnson Canyon Icewalk was one of the highlights of our trips. Our guide Nick was great and very informational. I would highly recommend the guided tour as you learn all the facts and history of the canyon and the Bow Valley Parkway. You can always go back for a second look on your own. Highly recommend! The scenery is amazing.
SAS, Feb 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Banff

star-5
Night tour of the canyon
Marwa_S, Feb 2021
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk
Neil was our guide! Every knowledgeable and engaging. Despite the cold weather the canyon was much warmer with no wind. It was beautiful to see the canyon at night.
star-5
Great Night Experience
Brenda_R, Feb 2020
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk
Our guide was Andrew and he was awesome! Very knowledgeable about the area, astronomy and wildlife. Made sure we experienced the beauty of being in an area where no artificial light impedes the ability to see the stars-so many could be seen it was amazing! I would highly recommend this to anyone!
star-5
Fun Experience
Amir_C, Jan 2020
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
The ice walk was a fun experience. It was truly a winter fantasy. I would only caution that people who are not physically fit take their time. There is a lot of uphill climbing and with temperatures below -20 this can be a problem. It was for me! We had such an excellent guide! He answered all of our questions and had a great personality. I would come back as the whole experience was very pleasurable.
star-5
Breathtaking
Michael_T, Jan 2020
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Beautiful attraction for the whole family. Absolutely breathtaking. Would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Banff
star-4
Ski then stars
suzanne_r, Feb 2020
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk
Hugh was lovely and enthusiastic. It was a unique experience. Happy we did it. Saw a few things I never would have seen at night.
star-5
Truly a winter wonderland!
Christian_R, Dec 2019
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
We took this trip with Matt.....he is an EXCELLENT guide....absolutely fantastic. He picked us up and we drove for a bit while he told us all kinds of things about the area.....history, geology, biology. It was great. The hike also was terrific. Beautiful scenery all around, and Matt guided us perfectly. Highly recommended.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The trail to Lower Falls is wide, paved, relatively easy, and accessible to wheelchairs.

  • There are two viewing platforms at Upper Falls: one overlooking the bottom of the falls, and one at the top of the gorge looking out across the top of the falls.

  • You’ll find restrooms at the parking lot, and a gift shop and restaurant in Johnston Canyon Resort (summer only).

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How to Get There

Johnston Canyon is about a 30-minute drive from Banff along the Bow Valley Parkway. Buses run a seasonal route between Banff and Johnston Canyon. The trail starts behind Johnston Canyon Lodge.

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When to Get There

The Johnston Canyon trail is one of the busiest in Banff. If you’re going in summer, prepare for crowds—the trail usually has fewer hikers before 9am and just before sunset. For a more serene experience, opt for a nighttime winter tour, when the frozen canyon is silent except for the sound of your footsteps on the snow.

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Hiking at Johnston Canyon

Choose from several Johnston Canyon hikes. A round-trip walk to Lower Falls is about a mile (1.6 kilometers), with an elevation gain of around 164 feet (50 meters). The round-trip trek to Upper Falls is about 3 miles (5 kilometers)—the path gets steeper after Lower Falls. More experienced hikers might continue another 2 miles (3 kilometers) to the Ink Pots, shallow mineral springs bubbling to the surface in a high mountain meadow.

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