The Johnston Canyon Trail is a humbling trek through one of Banff’s most dramatic canyons. You’ll begin your adventure on a series of well-maintained catwalks that hug the side of the canyon’s jagged cliffside and overlook a pristine babbling blue creek below. Over the course of the first 2.75 km (1.5 mi), you can expect to be surrounded by a unique mix of limestone rock that form the canyon walls.
After trekking for approximately 1.1 km (.68 mi), you’ll be rewarded with the canyon’s first lively waterfall, Lower Falls. From here, you can hike another 2 km (1.24 mi), passing a series of other pristine falls and continue on to Upper Falls. Shortly before reaching Upper Falls, however, there is a small unmarked trail that travels to the rocky canyon floor. If you decide to make the detour, you’ll discover a ‘secret cave’ boasting a massive moss-covered rock and waterfall that have been popularized by Instagram.
Johnston Canyon is also a popular hiking attraction during winter months. So if you’re visiting Banff National Park in the winter and want to witness a landscape that resembles Narnia, strap on some crampons and hike the Johnston Canyon Ice Walk.
Keep in mind, Johnston Canyon receives over 1 million visitors a year, so if you’re hoping to visit this
iconic canyon trail in solitude, you’ll want to get an early start.
5. Bow Summit and Peyto Lake.