Johnston Canyon is one of the busier areas in Banff National Park. When I visited on mid-August day, there were hundreds of people along the trail. (People were trying to walk down the rather narrow trail with strollers, and it wasn’t working particularly well.) The crowds disperse as you get further along the trail. There are still some people by the time you reach Upper Johnston Canyon Falls, but it’s a little less hectic.
I don’t fully recall, but it appears you can continue along this trail to see some other drops in the canyon. In this case, I did, and found what I called “Upper” Upper Johnston Canyon Falls. It’s not as tall as the Upper or Lower Falls, but it’s still beautiful none-the-less.
- This isn’t a particularly difficult set of waterfalls to find, with one minor hitch. The trail head is along of the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A). If you’re driving along the Transcanadian Highway 1, there are limited entrances/connections onto 1A. In order to find the falls, you can either enter onto 1A a few miles after leaving Banff. You will be heading west if you take this exit, and the trail head will be on your right after driving for a while. (You can also exit at the junction of Transcanadian Highway 1 and Alberta 93. Instead of heading south, though, head north for a short distance. Then turn right and drive for 6.4 km. The parking area will be on your left.)
- I mention a parking area, but if I remember correctly, that parking area was completely full. There were at least a hundred or so cars (possibly more) parked on the sides of 1A, so that’s where I parked. It added a little bit longer to the walk, but it wasn’t much.
Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate, though strollers are honestly too big for the trail)
Distance of Hike: 3.0 miles round trip
Where in the World is “Upper” Upper Johnston Canyon Falls?