About 18 kilometers off the main throughway in Banff National Park, is Johnston Creek, a tributary of the Bow River. What is spectacular about this small creek is that it has formed a canyon, cut through limestone walls, over thousands of years. The park has paved a walkway through Johnston Canyon for most of the gradually ascending trail to the lower and upper waterfalls. The trail takes visitors around rock faces on metal walkways built into the gorge wall – allowing for exceptional views and an exciting experience.
This wasn’t my first trip, many years before I did the entire 3 kilometer hike including the ink pots, but on this visit our time was limited so we turned around at the lower falls, .5 of a kilometer into the hike. Here the trail crosses the creek, you walk through a rock cut and can feel the spray of the water on your face. The hike was the highlight of our day in Banff National Park.
A restaurant and store are located at the trailhead, so you can stock up on water and snacks before you go, or sit down and fuel up when you return.
If you are visiting Banff during the winter, you can still hike this route as ice walks are offered. Sounds like another beautiful way to see the frozen falls with metal cleats on your feet. Night tours are also available.