We’ve been hiking with our kids since they were small, and of all the benefits we’ve gained, the most valuable for us has been the bonding we’ve experienced as a family. We have made so many fun memories together on the trail. In June we had the chance to explore some amazing hiking trails in Banff National Park, and we wanted to share our top five with you. These hikes are gorgeous in the spring and summer, but all of them can be enjoyed in the fall and winter seasons as well!
Johnston Canyon was the #1 hike we wanted to take the kids on while visiting Banff. My husband and I hiked this amazing trail sixteen years ago on our honeymoon in the winter, and the frozen waterfalls were a sight to behold! We wanted to see it in the warmer months and this time share the experience with our kids.
Johnston Canyon is 25-30 minutes from Banff. If you’re planning to make the drive I’d recommend starting out early in the morning to avoid crowds. It’s a popular trail and can get quite busy during the day.
The trail winds its way through Johnston Canyon on steel catwalks that have been attached to the canyon walls. You’ll find strategically placed lookouts along the trail for taking in the sights and capturing some beautiful photos and sturdy railings to keep everyone safe.
Depending how far your little hikers are able to go, you can view up to seven beautiful waterfalls along the Johnston Canyon trail. You’ll reach the lower falls after a short 20 minute walk, where you can duck into a cave and get super close to the roaring water. The second set of falls are 2.7km (1.67 miles) into the canyon. Just as we remembered, the views were incredible, and our kids loved the adventure.
Johnston Canyon trail is open and well cared for year-round. When we hiked it on our honeymoon, we were fascinated with the ice climbers scaling the majestic frozen falls, and now that our kids have seen it in the summer, we’d love to take them again in the winter months for a different perspective.