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Johnston Canyon
Travel Guide

Walk a trail suspended over Johnston Creek and admire the waterfalls and dramatic cliff faces.

Johnston Canyon is a popular destination in Banff, thanks to its rugged beauty and easy access. Johnston Creek runs through the canyon and has waterfalls and blue pools. Walk beneath overhanging rock faces and lean out over the roaring water as you walk along a steel walkway built onto the side of the sheer canyon walls.

The 1.7-mile (2.7 kilometer) trail runs from a resort and camping ground at the start of the canyon, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) from Banff. The main attractions on the walk are two large waterfalls: the Lower Falls and the Upper Falls, but there are plenty of photo opportunities along the way. .

The Lower Falls are about 0.7 miles (1.1 kilometers) from the car park. Stand on the bridge crossing the creek for the best vantage point. A tunnel through the canyon rock will get you closer to the waterfall, but be prepared to get wet. Some visitors choose to turn back after the first falls.

The Upper Falls are another mile (1.6 kilometers) further up the trail. The 100-foot (30-meter) waterfall is well worth the trek if time permits. There are two different vantage points: one from a platform at the bottom of the falls, and another overlooking the top. Water roars over the falls in summer. In winter, the frozen falls are just as spectacular, although the path is icy and can be dangerous.

Summer is the busiest time to visit. Come in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. The return trip to the Upper Falls is close to two hours, so leave plenty of time to do the walk before nightfall.

Adventurous hikers can continue past the Upper Falls to the Ink Pots. These small, cold mineral springs are set in open meadows surrounded by mountains, located another 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) from the Upper Falls.

Johnston Canyon is about a 30-minute drive northwest of the town of Banff along the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A). There is no fee to access the canyon and there is free parking at the trail head, although a space can be hard to find as this is one of the most popular hiking spots around Banff.

Johnston Canyon Travel Guide Video

Top hotels in Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon Resort
Johnston Canyon Resort
2.5 out of 5
Hwy 1A, Box 875, 25km west of Banff, Johnston Canyon, AB
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Situated in the mountains, this resort is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Johnston Canyon and within 12 miles (20 km) of Vista - Arnica Lake Trailhead and Kootenay National ...

3.4/5 (19 reviews)
A beautiful location in nature

"We love this place. A great place to get away. Very cozy cabins. The cafe and restaurant served good hearty food, but the staff had a bit of end-of/-season familiarity with each other, and casuality that seemed to make them indifferent to guests in their care. Still, we'd go again."…"

Reviewed on 4 Oct 2014

Johnston Canyon Resort
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
3.5 out of 5
521 Banff Ave, Box 1070, Banff, AB
The price is £62 per night from 3 Mar to 4 Mar

Located in the heart of Banff, this spa hotel is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Cave and Basin National Historic ...

4.1/5Very Good! (2,061 reviews)

"The Caribou was very welcoming with amazing staff. Having booked access to hot tub and gym services worked very well for us and made us feel safe and well-care for. Would definitely recommend for a well-priced weekend getaway!"…"

Reviewed on 1 Mar 2021

Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Moose Hotel And Suites
Moose Hotel And Suites
3.5 out of 5
345 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £106 per night from 18 Mar to 19 Mar

Located in the heart of Banff, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Banff National Park Information Centre and Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau. Banff ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,868 reviews)

"Convenient location, very easy to get down town."…"

Reviewed on 2 Mar 2021

Moose Hotel And Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Johnston Canyon

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
3 out of 5
1029 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £62 per night from 3 Mar to 4 Mar

This family-friendly Banff condominium resort is located in a national park, within 3 mi (5 km) of Canadian Ski Museum West, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity ...

4/5Very Good! (2,399 reviews)

"We liked the location and the full kitchen. The room was a little dated and the beds were too small and uncomfortable. Otherwise it served its purpose."…"

Reviewed on 1 Mar 2021

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Hidden Ridge Resort
Hidden Ridge Resort
3.5 out of 5
901 Hidden Ridge Way, Banff, AB
The price is £102 per night from 16 Mar to 17 Mar

Situated in a national park, this condominium resort is within 2 miles (3 km) of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff National Park Information Centre ...

4.2/5Very Good! (2,387 reviews)

"The property location is really good. I love the hot pool it’s perfect location. It feels good soaking after ski trip from Norquay! Due to Covid protocol"…"

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2021

Hidden Ridge Resort
Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets
Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets
3 out of 5
525 Tunnel Mountain Road, Banff, AB
The price is £94 per night from 3 Mar to 4 Mar

Located near the slopes, this Banff condo is in the mountains, within 1 mi (2 km) of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau, ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,769 reviews)

"Great place to stay for families! Loved having the kitchen"…"

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2021

Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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