A secondary, 6km one-way route into the famous & scenic Ink Pots and surrounding meadows. (and a secondary way to beyond there such as Larry's Camp/Mystic, etc.) A great XC ski, some challenging climbs & descents, skins aren't mandatory but can be helpful.
Very scenic route, the Ink Pots are mineral rich pools with interesting colours (somewhat muted in winter though). The surrounding area is a very scenic but reasonably easy to access area.
The GPS log shows the trip past Ink Pots following the stream bed and coming back on the official trail.
Setting out in -17C but a generally sunny day, this made a great event. Current conditions:
1.4 km *West* of the Johnston Canyon parking lot or 4.8 km *East* of the Castle Junction on Hiway #1A (Bow Valley Parkway). You can get to it from either end (Castle or the first exit West of Mt. Norquay road). Big picture: 142km West of Calgary Olympic Park lights.
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Posted By: crtaylor
- Mon Jun 29 18:50:42 UTC 2015
UpsideThe trail from Moose Meadows to the junction that meets up with the Johnston Canyon was completely beautiful and serene. At the trail head there was only four cars (as opposed to Johnston Canyon which was completely full at 10:00) We saw no one else and the trails are in good condition as hikers seem to stick to the trail. Plenty of wild flowers at this time of year (late June 2015). The Inkpots are really quite interesting of course. DownsideAfter the peace and quiet of the Moose Meadows section of the trail, you encounter all the people who hike to the Inkpots via Johnston Canyon. Unfortunately, a lot of these people don't know trail etiquette and sadly a lot of them feel that their garbage is okay on the trail. CommentWe went the Moose Meadows route in and went the Johnston Canyon way out. The waterfalls are of course spectacular. The Johnston Canyon had a few thousand people on it by the time we were on it so it was very crowded and congested.
Skip the waterfalls and see them during shoulder season or winter as the crowds will be far less.
The Moose Meadows part was beautiful and our group all agreed that when you visualize a peaceful forest scene in your mind, this was exactly what you see.
Posted By: rosie82
- Sun Feb 01 03:37:18 UTC 2015
Question I'm thinking of taking my hiking group snowshoeing here in March. Was it very crowded when you went? If so, can you recommend any other trails in the Banff area that are less touristy, at an intermediate level ( 10-18km return) but safe, in terms of avalanche risk?
RosieANSWERS are in this forum: Ink Pots via Moose Meadows