Description: The trail climbs from the parking lot to a meadow on Johnston Creek some 200 m higher in elevation. It follows old roads for most of the way to the summit then narrows for the descent to the meadow.
Trail I is generally uphill with a few flat and downhill sections. It ends where the fire road joins it. Return to the parking lot by the same route.
Trail 2 starts where Trail I ends, and continues more steeply and relentlessly than Trail 1. Once over the hump, where the trail narrows, you still have some bad comers to negotiate before you reach
the Ink Pots. Coming into the meadows after the long uphill climb through dense forest is like breaking into another world. The Ink Pots, just ahead where the trail ends, are clear greenish pools formed by artesian springs whose water temperature remains at a constant I *C. They make a lovely spot to have lunch before you head back down the trail to the parking lot. The mountains to your right are all part of the Sawback Range; the smooth-faced triangular peak is Mount Ishbel.
Johnston Canyon is by-passed completely by this trail although there is a view into it from one point high above it on Trail 2. Despite its difficulty, the trail is well used. Skiers heading uphill should watch out for those coming down. Skiers on their way out should make the descent carefully and under control.
Access and parking: Moose Meadows parking lot on the Bow Valley Parkway 1.4 km west of Johnston Creek or 5 krn east of Castle Junction.
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Posted By: Baby Thor
- Mon Dec 04 02:36:37 UTC 2017
UpsideCool and fun in the winter! Neat frozen waterfalls. DownsideNot overly exciting CommentQuite easy to drive to, and a fairly easy walk. We didn't go to the Ink Pots though, cuz my hiking buddy was not in shape
Posted By: Maddi11
- Wed Jul 22 14:33:12 UTC 2015
QuestionDoes anybody know if there are overnight trips on one of these hikes???ANSWERS are in this forum: Overnight trips
Posted By: ChrisMarry
- Sun May 04 17:09:51 UTC 2014
UpsideBeautiful canyon, worth a visit! We did it in spring after a snowfall too, even nicer but you've got to bring micro spikes though. DownsideSo many people, even in spring time, you got to be there soon. CommentEasy hike, accessible to everyone if you can make it up to 11 km total way return to Ink Pots. Otherwise, you can stop at the last fall and do about 5 km total.
Net elevation to Upper Falls is about 130 m and you'll go up to 321 m elevation on the way to Ink Pots.
Posted By: bfcoffey
- Tue Jun 28 04:25:31 UTC 2011
CommentThis is a different trail than the stroller-friendly Johnson Canyon (mostly paved) trail, don't be confused.
Posted By: ericksoncw
- Fri Jun 24 05:45:12 UTC 2011
CommentThis is a family friendly hike to the falls and back. It is also stroller friendly ( with a jogging stroller not a mall stroller) to the falls and back. We make a point of doing this hike as a family everytime we go to Banff. I actually proposed to my wife on the bridge at the falls. Must do hike if in the area.