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