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Johnston Canyon, Canada

Johnston Canyon, Canada: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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.

Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

2. 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.

Icefields Parkway: Smartphone Audio Driving Tour

3. 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 Evening Icewalk

4. 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: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

5. 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.

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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Johnston Canyon, Canada

Want to discover all there is to do in Johnston Canyon, Canada? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Johnston Canyon, Canada

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 175 reviews

My wife and I were traveling to Banff for the first time and had no idea where to go. We booked the hop on hop off tour and it worked out great. Our guide James was very interesting and quite funny at times. We also had a motorhome and no car so it was almost impossible to get into some areas. If you're not a fan of heavy traffic or circling parking lots for a spot I recommend letting them do the driving and explain what's at each stop.

Not your usual hop on hop off bus experience! James helped us decide which stops to get off at and how long we’d need there to ensure we could fit in all activities that were important to us - a tailor made bus trip! James & Bobby (driver and tour guide) were good fun and knew so much about the area - it was an informative and entertaining journey.

Tyler and Dominique provided personalized services even if it was a hop-on hop-off tour which I never encountered whenever I use hop-on hop off. Ron and the other lady driver is an amazing driver as well who keeps us safe during the entire trip.

There was no better way to visit the attractions in the area. No parking worries. Do your research and the tour guide will help you make the most of your time at each attraction.

Absolutely fantastic day and service, couldn't fault a thing. From timekeeping to helpfulness. Both Tyler and James were excellent