A canyon carved by a river with rocky faces. A trail that winds along the river for a few miles to view different waterfalls of aqua blue water rushing over rocks and cliffs. Sounds appealing right? Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park is gorgeous no matter the season.
I spent my USA Thanksgiving days off to explore some of the Canadian Rockies. After a 11 hour drive from Washington, I was able to experience my first time in Alberta. There are many winter activities that get you outside to explore this beautiful landscape.
Johnston Canyon Trail Information
With microspikes in my daypack in case of icy trail conditions, I was prepared for what the trail may present. Only a 3 mile round trip hike, I only needed my mountaineering boots on the snow packed trail.
Walking along the Snow Covered Trail
The trail had metal bridges attached to the canyon walls. With ice frozen to many of the walls, the color contrasts of whites, greens, blues, and browns made for great picture taking. About halfway up the canyon, I arrived at the Lower Falls. After ducking through a tunnel for an up close view, I continued the trail to the Upper Falls.
Getting to the Lower Falls
Icy Lower Falls
After getting to the base of the Upper Falls, you can turn around or continue to the top of the falls. We chose to go to the top to make sure we did not miss any views.
Icy Upper Falls
We were not disappointed as we saw some little snowmen on the rail, along with some sun poking through the clouds.
I was walking in a winter wonderland! There are tours available if you prefer to hear more of the history and geographic information of the area. The canyon is beautiful no matter when you go but make sure to be prepared for any conditions, especially if hiking in the winter season.
Snow Covered Trail
There are signs off Highway 1 for Johnston Canyon, along with the lodge. There is a trailhead to park at if you are not staying at the Johnston Canyon Resort.
Would you hike in the winter? If so, where?
More in this series:
- Banff Instagram Photo Essay
- Must See Banff Winter Attractions
- Lake Louise Alpine Skiing World Cup
- A Canadian Experience in Banff
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