Johnston Canyon

Travel Guide
Johnston Canyon showing a river or creek, landscape views and rapids

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 Resort
Johnston Canyon Resort
2.5 out of 5
Hwy 1A, Box 875, 25km west of Banff, Johnston Canyon, AB, T1L1A9
The price is CA $227 per night from Jun 1 to Jun 2
Stay at this resort in Johnston Canyon. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Popular attraction Johnston Canyon is located nearby. Discover genuine ...
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 Oct. 4, 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, T1L 1H8
The price is CA $239 per night from May 29 to May 30
Stay at this 3.5-star spa hotel in Banff. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the bar and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4/5 Very Good! (2,463 reviews)
"Property was really nice and quiet. We really enjoyed the spa, it would be nice if there was a separate pool for the spa. We missed out on some of our VIP perks as they were not explained properly to us so when we checked in. We were only able to use one day of credits which was too bad, as i guess ..."

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
3 out of 5
1029 Banff Ave, Banff, AB, T1L1H8
The price is CA $299 per night from May 29 to May 30
Stay at this 3-star family-friendly hotel in Banff. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 spa tubs. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,358 reviews)
"The resort is located at a very quite place right next to Banff town. Loved the accomodation"

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
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.
Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets
Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets
3 out of 5
525 Tunnel Mountain Road, Banff, AB, T1L1B2
The price is CA $181 per night from May 29 to May 30
Stay at this 3-star ski condo in Banff. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a free ski shuttle. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy rooms in our ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,928 reviews)
"Great quiet setting. Loved the Murphy bed but found it cold with only 1 small blanket provided Fireplace was wonderful Kitchen was well stocked"

Reviewed on May 27, 2022

Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets
Hidden Ridge Resort
Hidden Ridge Resort
3.5 out of 5
901 Hidden Ridge Way, Banff, AB, T1L 1H8
The price is CA $299 per night from May 29 to May 30
Stay at this 3.5-star aparthotel in Banff. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 spa tubs. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our reviews. Popular ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (2,819 reviews)
"Hreat place to stay, 3m awsy from downtown. Oudoor pools are great. Friendly staff. Loved our stay at Hidden Lodge."

Reviewed on May 22, 2022

Hidden Ridge Resort
Storm Mountain Lodge Cabins & Dining
Storm Mountain Lodge Cabins & Dining
3 out of 5
Highway 93 South, Castle Junction, AB, T1L 1C8
The price is CA $295 per night from May 30 to May 31
Stay at this 3-star cabin in Castle Junction. Enjoy free parking, breakfast, and daily housekeeping. Popular attractions Vista - Arnica Lake Trailhead and Stanley ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (33 reviews)
"Awesome place to stay. Amazing food!"

Reviewed on Feb. 21, 2022

Storm Mountain Lodge Cabins & Dining
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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