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Johnston Canyon, Canada

Johnston Canyon, Canada: Our most recommended tours and activities

Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

1. Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

Start with pickup from Banff and travel in a modern minibus along the Bow Valley Parkway to the Canyon. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the moderate 2.7 kilometer hike with 135 meter elevation to the Upper Falls. Walk along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way you'll learn the clues to how Johnston Canyon was formed and stop at the Lower Falls, where you'll have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view. At the Upper Falls, enjoy a brief stop on the upper deck with a small refreshment break to enjoy the views. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns. Once you've finished your hot chocolate, hike back down and your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Banff National Park: Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Day-Pass

2. Banff National Park: Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Day-Pass

Maximize your time in Banff National Park with this Hop-On-Hop-Off Pass and see all the main sights at your own pace. The stops include Johnston Canyon, Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and the Lake Louise Gondola (admission is not included). There are 3 departures from Banff, so you can start early and see everything, or sleep in and enjoy a tour along the famous Bow Valley Parkway to Moraine Lake before your return to Banff. • Stop 1 - Banff - The tour departs at 07:45 AM, 9:30 AM, and 12:15 PM daily • Stop 2 - Johnston Canyon - Hop off here to hike up to the beautiful Upper and Lower Falls or even go all the way up to the famous Ink Pots • Stop 3 - Lake Louise Gondola - Soar by gondola or chairlift to the most stunning views on the Lake Louise Gondola • Stop 4 & Stop 5 - Lake Louise - Make sure to hop-off here to enjoy Lake Louise and all that it has to offer. Check out Lake Agnes Teahouse and the breathtaking Plain of Six Glaciers • Stop 6 - Moraine Lake - the most stunning lake in the Rockies. Experience the absolutely breathtaking Valley of the Ten Peaks that surround the lake. Return to Banff as early as 1:45 PM or enjoy all the stops and come back to the town at 6 PM. On your way back to Banff open the windows and watch for wildlife along the famous Bow Valley Parkway. Grizzly bears, black bears, elk, bighorn sheep have all been spotted here. Your bus will stop for photos at any sighting. Enjoy your tour on the original yellow school bus style with a professional driver and a tour guide. All the buses all guaranteed to be 5 years old or newer. Guides on board each bus will help you plan your day on a 1 on 1 basis and give you a personalized itinerary that matches what you want to do. They also have extensive knowledge of nearly everything you would ever want to know about Banff and can help you with hiking suggestions, or even just great places to eat.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

3. Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

Get picked up by your friendly guide from the meeting point in Banff, then enjoy the drive in a modern minibus. Take the Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon, a scenic drive through a wildlife-rich habitat. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the easy 1.1km hike with 65m elevation gain to the lower falls, walking along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way, your guide will highlight unique features by powerful flashlight and pause for moments of darkness and quiet to foster an appreciation for spending time in the canyon at night. At the turn around point, your guide will illuminate the expanding ice that encases the rushing water. Have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view of the lower falls while also enjoying a refreshment break with hot chocolate and a maple cookies snack. The return journey is your opportunity to travel without your headlamp (should you wish). Be amazed as to how quickly your eyes adjust to the darkness, enough for you to travel through the pine forest guided only by the ambient light of the moon and the stars above your head. At the end of the tour, your guide will then transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Banff: Lake Louise & Johnston Canyon

4. Banff: Lake Louise & Johnston Canyon

Embark on a full-day guided tour from Banff that provides you with lots of opportunities to be outside, exploring and enjoying a winter wonderland with ice-skating on Lake Louise, snowshoeing in deep powder snow, and admiring the frozen waterfalls of Johnston Canyon. Begin with pickup from select meeting points in Banff and relax onboard our comfortable, spacious tour van. Along the way, stop at all the well-renowned and must-see spots, as well as some spots that only locals know about.  Hear stories from your guide and get great local insights. Enjoy a mix of guiding with the opportunity to do some solo exploring, allowing you to experience the best of each stop on the tour at your own pace. Choose from a tour with or without ice-skates, allowing you to rent, bring your own or do another activity entirely. Soak up the winter scenery as you glide across Lake Louise and try to spot some wildlife as you snowshoe along wilderness trails. Capture some pictures of the icy falls along Johnston Canyon. Cozy up with some warm drinks along the way. Return to your meeting point at the end of your tour. 

Banff: 4-Hour E-Bike and Walking Tour in Johnston Canyon

5. Banff: 4-Hour E-Bike and Walking Tour in Johnston Canyon

See the best of Johnston Canyon and Bow Valley Parkway by combining cycling and hiking on this 4-hour guided tour. Ride with your guide through Vermilion Lakes, then make your way up the Legacy Trail. Ride along Bow Valley Parkway and ditch your e-bikes for your hiking boots as you hike up Johnston Canyon. Enjoy spectacular views of the Lower Falls Bridge and see wildlife along the way, including deer, elk, and bears. Enjoy your return shuttle back to Banff. Relax and admire the views on your way after a total of 26 kilometers of cycling and 3 kilometers of walking.

From Banff: Johnston Canyon Guided Icewalk

6. From Banff: Johnston Canyon Guided Icewalk

During the icewalk you will learn about the formation of the canyon, pick out fossil corals in the rocks, and photograph the incredible pillars of ice as you walk through the canyon bottom and over suspended catwalks. Your professional guide leads you past waterfalls frozen in mid-stream, and through a short tunnel for a close up view of the Lower Falls! The grand finale is the incredible "Cathedral of Ice" at the Upper Falls. It's the perfect destination for a break and a chance to see ice climbers in action. Guide, transport and ice cleats included.

Icefields Parkway: Smartphone Audio Driving Tour

7. Icefields Parkway: Smartphone Audio Driving Tour

Discover the incredible Icefields Parkway with this smartphone audio tour between Lake Louise and Jasper. Let your audio guide transform this beautiful scenic drive into a sight-seeing, fact-finding, trivia-answering, family-friendly adventure. With your phone or tablet at your guide (download instructions found on your confirmation voucher), start from either Jasper or Lake Louise, and end at the other. Enjoy the same tour experience in either direction. Watch as your audio guide point out must-see sights, attractions, breathtaking mountains, and glaciers that you pass along the journey. Learn about the area's early pioneers, animals, geography, and the historical events that led to the highway’s creation. Take in the panoramic views of Lake Hector and Bow Lake, and stop for easy trails in Banff National Park. Explore the Columbia Icefields and the Columbia Icefields Discovery Center. See the majestic Dolomite and Bow Peaks, Mount Amery, Mount Murchison, and Mount Wilson. Take in the gorgeous Sunwapta Falls where the water flows from the melting Athabasca Glacier. Hear about the people and events that made the area famous like Mary Shaffer Warren, Bill Peyto, George Simpson, and the Palliser Expedition. Easily navigate your tour and enjoy entertainment suitable for all ages. Stay laughing and engaged with your friends or family along the way with trivia fun. Hear fun audio clips that play automatically as you drive using a live GPS map. Try out multiple-choice trivia questions about the sights at each point of interest you pass. With no time constraints, enjoy the freedom to stop anywhere and take your time exploring.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

8. Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

Hike up through Johnston's Canyon on walkways extended into the canyon. Enjoy beautiful views while passing waterfalls or icefalls, depending on the time of year. Walk through the home of the migratory and endangered Black Swift. Learn about the flora, fauna, and geology of the Canadian Rockies. After hiking through the canyon enjoy the quiet hum of the forest before arriving at a cool spring, the Ink Pots, with great views of Mt. Ishbel. Enjoy some time to relax at the Ink Pots before returning back to the carpark.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Explorer

9. Banff: Johnston Canyon Explorer

Get to know Banff National Park's Johnston Canyon on a guided hiking tour with opportunities to explore at your own pace. Drive along the scenic Bow Valley Parkway, hike with crampons/ice cleats, traverse bridges over frozen waterfalls, and discover a natural cave. Start the adventure with pickup from select locations in Banff. Drive along the beautiful Bow Valley Parkway, with stops along the way at jaw-dropping viewpoints and local secret spots for wildlife sightings. Upon arrival at Johnston Canyon, you'll be fitted with ice cleats and hiking poles before embarking on an easy 30-minute guided hike to the Lower Falls, along bridges suspended over the canyon. Walk over two frozen cascading waterfalls with pillars of blue ice surrounding you. Along the way, witness daredevil ice climbers scaling the frozen canyon walls. Then, discover a natural cave with uninterrupted views of the frozen waterfalls. From there, you'll have the chance to continue on your own to Upper Falls, a further 30-minute hike, to see the largest of the frozen waterfalls at Johnston Canyon. Alternatively, you can return with your guide to the van to relax with a hot drink. At the end of your adventure, enjoy transportation back to your starting location in Banff.

Other Sightseeing Options in Johnston Canyon, Canada

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What people are saying about Johnston Canyon, Canada

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 324 reviews

Added interest to our trip and pointed out items of interest that we may have missed. Unfortunately the day we drove was of poor visibility so we couldn't see alot of the mountains and other items of interest however it was still good to listen and learn about the area and then answer the quiz questions that was put to us. Added a bit more fun to the trip as well as past the time of travelling. I think that it is a great idea and would definitely look for other guides like these when travelling.

My experience was satisfactory. Our guide was easy going and extremely knowledgeable when it came to the terrain we hiked and Banff as a whole. I would recommend this because it gives you a little more insight on the beautiful views rather than just going on your own. Thanks!

Was only in Banff for one day so this was the perfects way to see all the important attractions in the park without the hassle of driving or trying to find parking. Would 100% recommend this to anyone visiting the park

The walk was beautiful and fun. Our guide, Emma, was extremely knowledgable and personable!

Enjoyable experience and the Johnston Canyon is a must-see!