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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
$71.06 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Incredible
Excellent guide Melanie. Fabulous and beautiful nature. Enjoyed the hot chocolate and the good company
JIMMY_S, Jan 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Banff

star-5
Wonderful experience
Wei_L, Jan 2022
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Our guide Erin was wonderful and very knowledgeable. In the van on the way from Banff to the Johnston Canyon, she talked about the city of Banff and the Canyon. During the icewalk, she paid attention to everyone in the group even helped to attach the snow cleats to our daughter's boots. She carried the cookies and hot cocoa to the upper Falls for everyone to enjoy. The hot cocoa tasted especially good in the winter wonderland! We loved this tour thanks to Erin.
star-5
Breath taking
Sian_J, Jan 2022
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk
This was incredible, so beautiful and the moon was so bright we didn’t even need to use our head torches for most of it. Heidi our guide was amazing she had so much knowledge about the area and some great stories she was lovely to be on the hike with, we would definitely recommend this and will be back again.
star-5
Gorgeous and fun family hike
Ronna_K, Dec 2021
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
The canyon was gorgeous. Gina our guide was so friendly, and extremely well informed. Overall the entire hike was simply amazing
star-5
Winter Hike with Incredible Views
Katie_S, Dec 2021
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
We had a great time on this hike excursion through Johnston Canyon. Our guide was Andrew and he was knowledgeable and friendly. The views were incredible throughout the hike and we definitely appreciated the hot chocolate and maple cookie treat when we made it to the upper falls. We even saw a fox on the trail. The hike was easy to moderate as advertised. Highly recommended for anyone visiting Banff!
star-5
Beautiful!
Hannah_R, Dec 2021
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk
Seeing Johnston Canyon at night was truly amazing! Rob was a fantastic guide and was very knowledgeable of the area.
star-5
The tour was amazing. It...
Caro_A, Dec 2021
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk
The tour was amazing. It was just two of us and Andrew made the tour fun and informative. We really enjoyed the hike and the view.
star-5
The scenery, our guide...
Araceli_V, Nov 2021
Winter Banff/ Johnston Canyon/ Lake Minnewanka 1 Day Tour
The scenery, our guide and hiking were incredible. They would ask for our opinion, how we were doing. Bob was very professional and nice.
star-5
A must do for Banff tourists
Rafi_A, Dec 2021
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
An Excellent Icewalk. A must do for anyone visiting Banff. Andrew was very friendly, cooperating, considerate and informative.
star-5
Fun and interesting walk through the Johnston Canyon.
Peter_C, Dec 2021
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
It was an amazing trek through the canyon, seeing all the incredible ice formations and learning a bit of the history. It was also a decent workout to travel through the snow-packed trail.
star-5
Night tour was amazing!...
Amy_K, Dec 2021
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk
Night tour was amazing! Great views, interesting history and hot chocolate and cookies in the dark! Made a lasting memory.
star-5
Beautiful, great activity in Banff
Quinn_K, Dec 2021
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Jeff was an amazing guide! Pick up and drop off was super easy, and I really enjoyed the cookies and hot chocolate at the top. I learned a lot about the history of the town and the wildlife.
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.

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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