365 Canadian Sights | Day 357: Banff Week – Johnston Canyon

| Image from Flickr/L F via CC BY NC ND 2.0 |

You thought I was going to forget about Banff?

Banff is getting a whole week, and right around Christmas because we’re going full cliche this week.

Banff has a bunch of highlights; someone could probably do a ‘sight-a-day’ calendar about it. However, we’re narrowing it down and starting with Johnston Canyon. Tucked away in the forest, this narrow limestone canyon might look small in some respects but over its length it offers awesome sight followed by awesome sight.

Be it the multiple waterfalls, forest edged cliffs, blue-green glacial waters, ‘Ink Pots,’ hidden cave, ice cliffs or even the path itself, which was carefully constructed since it is a world-class tourism site (so it’s got some nice bridges and a route worthy of an Instagram selfie).

The geology of the region is a big part of what makes Banff so special, and this is a prime example. If it were different rock and minerals, you wouldn’t get the sharp cut and bright waters, and it’d go from a draw to people around the world to another nice mountain creek (and B.C. has plenty of those).


Located about a half-hour outside of Banff, there are private tours that head out there, but if you’re an independent traveller you’ll need your own car.

Since I’m doing a week about Banff, I’m going to go ahead and figure you’ve got accommodation in the Banff area, be it a campground or hotel. Aside from that, which can range a helluva lot, you just need to pay the national park fee; the canyon is part of that park.

Ranked 15 on things to do by TripAdvisor, it goes to show you what Banff holds in store. In almost any other park this canyon would rank first, easily. As part of the Rocky Mountain national parks, it’s in a UNESCO heritage site. The most official site I can find for this site seems to be the Town of Banff; they’ve put together this useful little profile. There’s lots more unofficial guides, blogs and other pieces of content out there. The waterfalls have a profile, there are tips for three seasons and the provincial tourism site has lots of add-ons if you want to spend the money.

Photos • FeaturedGallery 1Gallery 2Gallery 3

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