Adventures in Banff: Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Have you ever seen a frozen waterfall? Johnston Canyon is this gorgeous spot right outside of Banff that you can’t miss, especially in winter when the waterfall freezes over!
Jump to : Things to do in Banff
On our last day in Banff, my sister Lauren and I enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast at the Rimrock Resort followed by a casual stroll through downtown Banff. The downtown area has so many cute shops and restaurants to pop into. The winter weather, especially in Canada, can make it challenging to dress warmly and stylishly. My Under Armour ColdGear layers ensured that I could wear my favorite winter white outfit and stay warm!
We only had time for one of the many activities in the area before our flights and we decided we had to see the frozen waterfall at Johnston Canyon. The short canyon walk can be a bit tricky because the path can get icy. Thankfully there are railings to help keep you on your feet.
From the parking lot you can follow the mostly frozen river that flows through the canyon and leads to this beautiful waterfall. As you duck through the small cave you hear this thunderous waterfall, but what you see flowing down is frozen ice! It was completely amazing.
There is also a significant amount of wildlife in this area so it is important to drive safely. As we were leaving (and in a hurry I might add to make Lauren’s flight), we happened upon a long line of cars driving along the curvy road at a snail’s pace. A common stag was munching by the side of the road and all of the tourists were taking photos out their car window! To us this was hilarious because we see deer all of the time. We were at least hoping for a moose!
Things to do in Banff
I’m so happy we chose to spend our last night in Banff. We had the best time at the Santa Parade in the adorable downtown area. There is so much to do in the area that we didn’t have time for so I’ll list them here in case you need ideas.
Santa Claus Parade: visit in mid-November to see Santa Claus come to town. This event is so popular that even the locals come over from Calgary to celebrate. Grab a hot chocolate from White Bark Cafe and join in the fun on Banff Avenue. Later grab a drink and a bite to eat at the Rose and Crown, where you’ll more than likely enjoy a hockey game and/or live music.
Banff Upper Hot Springs: This UNESCO World Heritage site promises a relaxing soak in a natural mineral hot springs year round, although the flow of water may vary between seasons. This affordable activity is just 10 minutes from downtown Banff.
Surprise Corner: This short hike leads to a fairytale view of the beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs against a Rocky Mountain backdrop. It’s about a twenty minute walk from downtown Banff, but it’s better to drive and park right at the viewpoint. This is also a great starting point for some of the more popular Hoodoos trail hikes, weather permitting.
Banff Gondola to Sulphur Mountain: Take the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain where you can enjoy amazing views from the rooftop observation deck. There are also a few restaurants to choose from once you arrive. To get here, you can take public transportation from downtown Banff or you can park at the Banff Gondola.
Johnston Canyon: In winter, enjoy a fairly easy hike through the staggering canyon to see how the landscape has frozen over. During the rest of the year, you may be able to hike further to the famous Ink Pots, cold water springs tinted in vibrant colors.
Winter Sports (see more here)