Johnston Canyon Trail


Trail Length: 6km and 3.7m

Difficulty: Easy - Family
Park Amenities:
Dog Walking

Johnston Canyon Hiking Trail

Waterfall Adventure in Banff National Park

Johnston Canyon Hiking Trail is a beautiful hike year round however there is something even more magical when experiencing the snow-covered trails, cantilevered catwalk trail and frozen waterfalls for the first time, again.

Trail summary
Distance - 6 km (to the Upper Falls)
Route Type - Out & Back
Elevation Gain - 206m
Difficulty - Moderate
Time Needed - 1.5-2 hours.
Trail Surface - Be prepared for a snowy, ice-covered trail in the winter.
Trailhead - Johnston Canyon Parking Lot
Dogs - Allowed and must be on leash.
Permitted uses - Hiking, walking.
Note: Drones are not permitted in Banff National Park
Amenities - washrooms

Before you hike Johnston Canyon Hiking Trail

Johnston Canyon is located in Banff National Park therefore a Parks Canada pass is required. The 2024 rate for an adult day pass is $11 and can be purchased at the park Gates. There are no additional charges to hike the Johnston Canyon Trail.

Hiking Johnston Canyon in the winter can be slippery as the trail is frequently covered in snow and ice. Ice cleats are recommended.

The weather in the Canadian Rocky Mountains can change quickly. It is a good idea to check the forecast before you head out and dress appropriately.

The Hiking Trail in the Winter Season

Hiking Johnston Canyon Trail in the winter is a very different experience than hiking it during the summer. The canyon transforms itself into a winter wonderland. Frozen waterfalls, deep blue pools of water contrasting against the mountain side and snow-covered trails are breathtaking. The trail first winds through the alpine forest before reaching the entrance to the canyon. It is here that the cantilevered catwalks begin, first low to the ground before climbing its way up along the canyon wall to reach the Lower Falls. From here, the trail continues for a few more kilometers deeper into the canyon making its way towards the Upper Falls where a spectacular winter scene unfolds. The falls are truly remarkable.

Cantilevered Catwalks

Hiking Johnston Canyon in the Winter in Banff National Park is truly spectacular. Becoming very narrow there is no longer any room for the trail to fit in between the cliff face and the water. Therefore, the trail becomes a little bit more adventurous as it continues to wind its way through the canyon on cantilevered catwalks suspended from the rock.

Waterfalls of Johnston Canyon in Banff

There are two sets of waterfalls along the Johnston Canyon Trail. As such Hiking Johnston Canyon in the Winter has a high reward to effort ratio. After only of hiking adventurers will reach the Lower Falls. Across a bridge is a small cave that opens up to a nice view of the lower falls. The trail through Johnston Canyon continues an additional 2.7km to the Upper Falls. The Upper Falls are even more impressive than the lower falls and are worth the little bit of extra effort it takes to reach them.

Johnston Canyon Hiking Trail

Waterfall Adventure in Banff National Park


Johnston Canyon Trail
AB-1A, Banff, AB T1L 1A9

How To Get ToJohnston Canyon Trail

Hiking Johnston Canyon in the Winter is a short 25km drive on the Bow Valley Parkway. During the winter the road is open for vehicles. Alternatively, route 9 on Banff's Roam public transit system transports hikers to and from the canyon on weekends during the summer. In 2024, a round trip adult pass between Banff and Johnston Canyon costs $5.
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