Johnston Canyon, Banff Park, Canada in Winter ☃️

Johnston Canyon is a MUST SEE attraction for visitors to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies.

On a summer day it is packed. Narrow trails with far too many people.

Recommended is to do the hike very early or late in the day. Avoid the crowds.

OR do Johnston Canyon in the winter with some kind of ice traction or micro spikes for your shoes. The access road is closed each winter, further reducing the traffic.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I took the bus from Banff ($10 return) end of April 2023. Too late, in my opinion.

I still needed my YakTrax. But it was far too crowded.

The highlight for me were the catwalks between narrow canyon walls.

Seeing the frozen waterfalls up close is cool — but they were looking quite dirty end of April. These will be gone in a week or two.

A minority of hikers carry on up to the “Ink Pots“, mineral springs that differ in colour because each pool fills at a different rate.

Distance: 5.7 km (3.5 miles) one way

Elevation gain: 330 m or 1,083 feet

Time needed: 2.5 – 4 hours to do the return hike

Difficulty: Easy

Read more on Hike Bike Travel – Ink Pots hike via Johnston Canyon

#2 best hiking region in the world is the …

South West USA

Capitol Reef, Zion, Bryce, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Glen Canyon, White Sands National Monument, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. This part of the world is awesome.

We hike the SW USA every year and have yet to be disappointed.

Fascinating, diverse and mind-boggling. The best WOW geological zone we’ve seen anywhere.

More correct would be to call this region the Four Corners.

The high desert plateau intersection of the four U.S. states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado Plateau is not the deepest nor largest, but it’s by far the most stunningly beautiful on Earth.

Most of the best slot canyons and natural stone arches in the world are here. A desert, your views are unobstructed. The light is perfect for photography.

The best weather is Oct-Nov, Mar-May. Summers are too hot for most hikers.

Most of the hikes in the Four Corners are short due to lack of water and the real risk of getting lost. People die in this wilderness every year.

Our favourite hike in the Four Corners region is Paria Canyon on the border of Arizona and Utah. You enjoy many days beneath huge walls in a slot canyon.

more from our Paria photo set

if you hike Paria you’ll certainly add on a nearby day hike called The Wave.

more Wave photos

More information on on dozens more great adventures on our new SW USA information page.

Hiking Caminito del Rey, Spain 2022

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

In the early days of YouTube I watched videos of the most dangerous trail in the world.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

This unofficial via ferrata looked like my kind of adventure. 😀

Sadly — before I got there — it was shut down following five deaths in 1999 and 2000. The final incident was when 3 local men tried to do an unofficial zipline across the gorge. Simultaneously. The cable broke and all were killed.

It didn’t reopen for non-climbers until 2015.

I finally got there in 2022.

Today it’s super safe. Everyone must wear a helmet AND hair net to keep the helmet clean(er).

Originally, a walkway was built to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls with access. Families of those workers lived here and also used the simple paths.

You can still see remaining sections of the old walkways.

King Alfonso XIII actually did get off his private train and walk a short section in 1921, hence the name.

Construction of the railway is impressive, too. Here’s one of many bridges.

It is a fun half day — though crowded.

If you have a fear of heights, this might not be the best adventure for you. There are many OTHER great hikes in Spain.

The cliff walls are steep. This is one of the most popular rock climbing areas in Spain. Unsurprisingly, the climbers were not all that keen to have tourists return in 2015.

You can do this hike on your own — but since I didn’t have a vehicle, instead I signed up for a group tour from Málaga for about €60. And it was quite good.

Read more on our Caminito information page.

Maligne Canyon, Jasper, Alberta

One of the must do day hikes in the Canadian Rockies is Maligne Canyon close to Jasper, Alberta.

… the canyon measures over 50 metres (160 ft) deep. Popular for sightseeing and exploration, the area contains waterfalls, underground stream outlets, birds and plant life. …

Best is to start from the main parking lot close to the tea house and the Hi Maligne Canyon Lodge.

The canyon is deep here.

The canyon was named by a zealous Jesuit missionary, who called the canyon “la traverse maligne”, after his horses were swept away by the swirling waters. There are six bridges built across the canyon to help one explore this magnificent work of nature : the first bridge was built in 1914.

I’d recommend you hike at least to the point of seeing the 5th bridge.  From there you could loop back on the cycling / horseback trail.

There are interesting interpretive displays en route.  This hike is great for kids.

With each bridge, you get closer and closer to the water.

When the river freezes over in winter, the experience is completely different.  If you are one of the brave venturing to Jasper National Park in winter, consider doing a guided ice walk in Maligne Canyon in winter. It is an out of this world experience.

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