Are you visiting Calgary or Banff and looking for an family friendly hike in the summer or winter? The Johnston Canyon Hike is open year round and is free admission to the hike, and is also located in Banff National Park.
Johnston Canyon Hike is the busiest hike you will most likely find in the Banff area, both in the summer or winter. During the summer months the board walks contain lots of people, and sometimes their dogs. If you are looking for something a little quieter, we would suggest first thing in the morning or the later evening/night hours. Again it’s open 24/7, just pull into the parking lot and start hiking.
The lower falls are very easily accessible by everyone in the family, and is wheel chair accessible too! This board walk to the lower falls is only 1/2 mile (800 meters) and only takes a short time to walk. The upper falls are another 1.5 miles (2.4 km) and takes a little more time to reach, and includes a little more of climb then the lower falls.
During the cold winter months in Canada the temperature can get very low and will freeze the falls to look like they are stuck in place! The lower waterfalls are beautiful to look at, but the upper falls will take your breath away. At the upper falls is where you will find those crazy adventurers ice climbing on the frozen ice. Hiking Tip: We would highly recommend purchasing or renting some ice cleats when visit in the winter. The pathway/boardwalk is not maintained, and because of the mist and other factors can make it extremely slippery. But if you are still young at heart, or for the kids the slipping and sliding around is an absolute blast!
How To Get To Here: You need to purchase a Banff National Park Pass to stop in all National Parks in Canada. Johnston Canyon Hike is located on the Bow Valley Parkway. To access this road, head west from Banff on Hwy 1, until you see the sign indicating the merge lane off of Hwy 1, follow the Bow Valley Parkway for 17 km. From Lake Louise the Bow Valley Parkway entrance is almost located right in town, and offers a very beautiful drive. Or head east on Hwy 1 towards Calary, turn off onto Banff Windere Parkway, and then on to Bow Valley Parkway 6km down.
Banff National Park is full of many summer and winter activities to do year round, also has something for the young to old, and everyone else to enjoy. It’s worth the trip to visit this part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, it’s also less then an hour from Calgary.