Johnston Canyon – Banff National Park – Hiking Alberta

 

Johnston Canyon is a unique winter wonderland in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

Johnston Canyon is a popular destination, east of the Town of Banff, along the Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A).  In the wintertime, the Lower and Upper Falls are impressive and complex pillars of ever-changing artistic ice.

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Castle Mountain in early sun from the Johnston Canyon trail-head

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada The Lower Falls in Johnston Canyon

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Lower Falls in Johnston Canyon from trail above

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Lower Falls in Johnston Canyon, Alberta Canada

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Cascading waterfalls in sun and shade

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Approaching the Ink Pots

 

The Ink Pots are a group of mineral-rich springs, a significant hiking distance past the Upper Falls and adjacent to Johnston Creek in a broad valley surrounded by spectacular mountains.

Today is a wonderful, sunny day at +10 C.  Return distance is 12 kilometers (7½ miles) with about 244 m (800 ft) of gross vertical elevation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada The valley view at the Paint Pots on the other side of Johnston Canyon

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada The Ink Pots in winter - source of water is unknown - fragile ecology

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Runoff from the Ink Pots creates colorful mats in the snow

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Ink Pots and surrounding views - Johnston Canyon, Alberta, Canada

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada The Ink Pots

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Valley view at the Ink Pots

 

Hiking crampons are important in the wintertime.  Much of the trail between the trail-head and the Upper Falls is coated with potentially dangerous ice from spray and mist.

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Return hike walls of ice entering Johnston Canyon above Upper Falls

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Upper Falls in Johnston Canyon, Alberta, Canada

 

Johnston Canyon – Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta, Canada Final spectacular view in Johnston Canyon

 

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