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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
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
$73.19 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Amazing Hike
The Johnson Canyon Icewalk was one of the highlights of our trips. Our guide Nick was great and very informational. I would highly recommend the guided tour as you learn all the facts and history of the canyon and the Bow Valley Parkway. You can always go back for a second look on your own. Highly recommend! The scenery is amazing.
SAS, Feb 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Banff

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.
star-5
Great Night Experience
Brenda_R, Feb 2020
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk
Our guide was Andrew and he was awesome! Very knowledgeable about the area, astronomy and wildlife. Made sure we experienced the beauty of being in an area where no artificial light impedes the ability to see the stars-so many could be seen it was amazing! I would highly recommend this to anyone!
star-5
Fun Experience
amirchaudhry, Jan 2020
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
The ice walk was a fun experience. It was truly a winter fantasy. I would only caution that people who are not physically fit take their time. There is a lot of uphill climbing and with temperatures below -20 this can be a problem. It was for me! We had such an excellent guide! He answered all of our questions and had a great personality. I would come back as the whole experience was very pleasurable.
star-5
Breathtaking
lnsexton, Jan 2020
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Beautiful attraction for the whole family. Absolutely breathtaking. Would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Banff
star-5
Nice hike with great views
Katharina H, Jan 2020
Johnston Canyon Icewalk from Banff
This tour is really cool. We went to the canyon with George, who was sharing lots of facts and interesting stories along the way. With the ice cleats, it's an easy hike up the canyon where you can enjoy amazing views and breath in a lot of fresh air.
star-4
Ski then stars
suzanne_r, Feb 2020
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk
Hugh was lovely and enthusiastic. It was a unique experience. Happy we did it. Saw a few things I never would have seen at night.
star-5
Truly a winter wonderland!
Ratch138, Dec 2019
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
We took this trip with Matt.....he is an EXCELLENT guide....absolutely fantastic. He picked us up and we drove for a bit while he told us all kinds of things about the area.....history, geology, biology. It was great. The hike also was terrific. Beautiful scenery all around, and Matt guided us perfectly. Highly recommended.
star-4
Really amazing trip to a beautiful...
ipeters1, Dec 2017
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Really amazing trip to a beautiful place! Guide was great, the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because even though the company had 2 other tour buses I was put on a tour with a 9-person family. I feel like they were on their own schedule entirely and did not care about holding up me and the 2 other people on the tour who were outside this family. It's not the company's fault how rude they were, but I do wish the tour company had made them take a private tour.
star-5
Our guides were really wonderful. No...
Prozzz, Jun 2017
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Our guides were really wonderful. No one was left behind and everyone was given the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of ice landscape.
star-5
We loved this tour! Our tour guide...
JENNIFER S, Dec 2015
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
We loved this tour! Our tour guide was awesome! She knew a lot and made it fun even though we were freezing! The hot cocoa and cookies hit the spot!
star-5
I highly recommend this tour to...
rachellewrq, Feb 2017
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
I highly recommend this tour to people who may be afraid of driving in the snow or on slippery surfaces, and people who may have a hard time exploring Johnston Canyon on their own. My husband and I booked the 8:30 tour, and our tour guide picked us up behind the Mount Royal Hotel in DT Banff. We picked up 2 more groups of guests and hit the road to the canyon. On the way there, we spotted a white-tailed deer, a family of elks 7 of them, and an owl. Our tour guide stopped the engine and gave us time to take pictures. The ride was about 45-minutes to one hour. We were given snow cleats and hiking poles by the entrance. Our tour guide gave us detailed instructions length, time, physical demand, bathroom etc, and everyone was clear what to expect. Do note that the hike is very simple for physically active people, but not so for physically inactive ones. I run 7 miles a day, and the hike was a piece of cake. My husband is on the large side physically, and he doesnt exercise often. The hike was difficult for him, as he had to stop and take mini breaks here and there. The scenery was so beautiful, so I would still recommend everyone to join the tour and try it. There were two water falls, one small and one big in scale. It took about 45 minutes to hit the first water fall, and another 45 minutes to the second one. Everyone in my 11-person group made it. We embraced the amazing view and had hot chocolate by the second water fall. Really good experience. Highly recommend!
star-4
Mick was our guide who is a...
peter h, Jan 2017
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Mick was our guide who is a geologist in his spare time, he was very informative and entertaining encouraging crowd participation. We were issued our crampons for our boots and of we went. frozen waterfalls walking through snow covered forest was enchanting, learning a bit of history along the way also. You turn a corner and again WOW! you just are presented such natural beauty. And before you return back to the bus a nice hot chocolate and bickkies to get you back. Thanks for the experience Mick

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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