Discover Johnston Canyon in Banff Alberta

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I’m finally starting my series of posts about where we went in Canada! I wanted to write about Johnston Canyon first as I think it might have been my favourite place that we visited. It was lightly snowing and we were surrounded by beautiful forest as we walked along the side of the river. Walking through the canyon amongst the snow-sprinkled trees was a true winter wonderland.

We had thought about walking all the way up to the Ink Pots but we started a little later in the day than intended and by the time we go to the Upper Falls we were pretty ready to head back. I had carried my Bronica in my bag the whole journey which I usually avoid doing and didn’t want to carry the weight any longer. Even just going to the Upper Falls was amazing though. I couldn’t recommend visiting Johnston Canyon enough. It’s a nice easy walk, but I have to admit that I did get a bit scared of the catwalks from time to time where they got narrower and higher. I’m not great with being on the edge of things.

We went in late Septemeber and didn’t find it too busy. There were certain parts with a lot of people but then other parts seemed like everyone disappeared and we had the whole path to ourselves. It was a little bit cold but nothing that keeping moving didn’t solve. As you can see from my photos there was a nice amount of snow around. It dusted the trees but there was none on the path to hinder our way. Pretty ideal if you ask me. The signposts suggested it would take an hour to do the walk up to the falls. For us, it took most of the afternoon to walk the path and back. We stopped a lot to take photos though, of course.

The only part of our visit to Johnston Canyon that I regret (other than carrying my Bronica when it was too dark in the canyon and forest to take photos on 160 film) is not going down to the fork in the river/cave part that so many people photograph. We only noticed it on the way back and there were a few people struggling to get back up because it was so muddy and slippery. I wasn’t fully aware at the time that it was the spot that I’d seen lots of photos of so I said we’d give it a miss. At least we didn’t get covered in mud.

Keep an eye on my travel page to see my other posts from places we visited in Canada!

 

Johnston Canyon Info

Time to allow – around 3 hours depending on how often you stop for photos and/or food.

Parking – we arrive around midday or a bit later and had no problem finding a parking space, it was raining when we arrived though. It was also very easy to locate from the road.

Ease of walk – very easy path to walk along, elevates gradually.

When to go – Late September seemed to be pretty good, though it does look incredible in the snow!

 

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