We arrived at Johnston Canyon parking lot around 1:00 in the afternoon and got lucky when someone pulled out.
If we would not have found a place to park, we would have ended up along the main road, which would have been a hike just to get to the start of the trail.
As we left the car and headed to the trail head, to our surprise they had real restrooms available to use, not a spot a pot.
Overall it took us about two hours round trip to do both falls. Starting at the trail head at the parking lot there is a slight incline. Following a paved path, we made our way to a sturdy iron catwalks attached to the canyon wall which made it easier for walking. It eventually levels out and we began following close to Johnston Creek. The path from the lower to the upper falls does gets steep in some areas so be prepared for a workout.
If you plan to take a stroller or wheelchair on the trails don’t bother. The trail can get very crowded and is narrow at many of its sections. This only allows for two people traveling, each in the other direction, making it difficult to push a stroller or maneuver a wheelchair on the trail. We saw someone pushing a wheelchair, but gave up as the trail is not really made for wheelchair use. The trail is not wide enough or flat enough for this.
We got lucky as it was crowded going to the falls, but not on the return hike. As you will see in the pictures below, we were able to get shots without a lot of people in them.
This trail is extremely busy in the summer months, so plan accordingly. The path on the bridges are not very wide and some people will walk two across instead of single file, which we found very rude.
This trail was a very easy hike for us. Take plenty of water and snacks, or even a picnic lunch. There are benches and rocks to sit and relax along the way when you get tired. Try to get there early or later in the day if you are going in the summer to avoid the crowds.
What is your favorite hike in Banff?