Banff Adventure: The Johnston Canyon Ice Walk
If you’re looking for a fun, half day Banff adventure look no farther than the easy Johnston Canyon Ice Walk.
I wrote about slip sliding your way up Johnston Canyon last year but due to lack of time I’d only made it to the lower falls – 1.1 kilometers away. I went back on the weekend to finish the ice walk. Conditions were very different in January compared to when I did it in March last year. Last year it was so slippery that you needed Yactrax or something like them with a good grip. This year you could manage in boots. Last year in late March the Lower Falls were starting to flow. In January you hear them gurgling and sense movement behind the ice but they’re not quite as lively as they were in March.
The Johnston Canyon Ice Walk is a 5.4 kilometer return trip if you go all the way to the Upper Falls. And that is what you really need to do.
This is why.
Climbers are so small they look like ants from a distance
Putting your trust in the ice
Climbers look small against the frozen waterfall
Climber wedged between the icicles
Admiring onlookers at the end of the trail
The Upper Falls are at the end of the trail but there are lots of pretty scenes before you get there.
Looking through the tunnel at the Lower Falls
Looking down to the Lower Falls
On the way to the Upper Falls via a cantilevered boardwalk
A wintry scene with frozen waterfalls
The Johnston Canyon ice walk is a great family activity. You need a half day tops for it – and it’s the sort of outing where everyone will have fun. It can get busy so go early in the day before the tourists are up and at it. It’s free though you do need a valid Park pass to stop anywhere in the park.
Does this Banff adventure sound like one you’d like to do?
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