Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Hiking - Johnston Canyon Trail
Johnston Canyon Trail is in Banff National Park, Alberta. From the town of Banff take the Trans Canada Highway west to the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A) turnoff and continue west for 18 km (11 miles) to the Johnston Canyon Lodge. Just past the lodge is a trail sign at the northern end of the parking lot.
The Lower Falls are 1.1km (0.7 mi) from the parking area on a good path with an elevation gain of 30m.
[2 - click to enlarge]
It is a good idea to bring along another layer of clothing as Johnston Canyon is shaded and moist. The early part of the hike can be a little chilly.
[3 - Peering down from a catwalk. Click to enlarge]
It is a good idea to bring a water bottle and a snack while keeping your walking pace slow.
Stay on the marked trails and pack any garbage out.
[4- click to enlarge]
[5 - Catwalk]
The catwalks I remember from childhood have changed from wood poled bridges to steel, and the newer catwalks are closer to the water surface.
The walls of the canyon are more than 30m (100ft) high.
[6 - First Lower Falls]
The Upper Falls is another mile with an elevation gain of 120m. It is recommeneded that the hiker wear proper hiking boots for this part of the trail as the grade becomes steeper.
[8 - click to enlarge]
[10- Fourth Falls]
[11 - Fifth Falls - click to enlarge]
[12 - click to enlarge]
[13 - click to enlarge]
[14 - Gray Jay - click to enlarge]
There are many species of wild birds to be seen on this hike, so bring your bird book.
[15- Near the Sixth Falls - click to enlarge]
[16 - Sixth Falls - click to enlarge]
[17 - Upper Falls - click to enlarge]
[18 -Above Upper Falls]
Once the Upper Falls are reached it is another 3 km (1.8 mi) to the inkpots which are well worth the extra walk. Elevation gain to the inkpots is 215m (705 ft).
[19 - Near the Ink Pots - click to enlarge]
[20- Mount Ishbel from the ink pots - click to enlarge]
[21 - Ink pots]
The inkpots are six green pools filled with springwater. Take care not to step into them as they contain quicksand.
[22 - Ink pots]
[23 - Johnston Creek - click to enlarge]
From here the hiker can continue north to join the Sawback Trail via Moose Meadow.
Photo Credits: -Ivan Lien CC=nc-nd-flickr, -Robert aka Bob CC=nc-sa-flickr, -Dave Ketchup CC=nc-sa-flickr, -nicodeemus CC=nc-nd-flickr, -Einahpets32 CC=nc-nd-flickr, -casmium CC=nc-nd-flickr, -12th CC=nc-nd-flickr, -meganpru CC=nc-flickr, -Steph & Adam CC=flickr, [23-Paul Hudson CC=nc-flickr.