Alberta snapshot: Johnston Canyon (past the Upper Falls).

To Inkpots 2

Admission to Canada’s national parks has been free all year as the country celebrates its sesquicentennial, but it’s a gift I hadn’t yet enjoyed…until braving the insane long-weekend crowds in Banff’s Johnston Canyon last Saturday.  Parking was at a premium (thank goodness my brother has a car with a supremely compact exterior and a dimension-bending interior) and the steel catwalks to the spectacular falls were crammed with visitors, but as we ventured past the Upper Falls and headed towards the mineral pools known as the Ink Pots, the throngs thinned out and the scenery kept getting better and better…if such a thing is even possible.  It’s pretty easy to see why everyone is so keen on showing up.


  1. A spectacular view Sheryl! The tourists stop us from visiting places in summer too, but like you say, if you walk just a little further than most there are fewer folks around and it is often worth it for the scenery. Love the sunflower header photo too! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  2. We were there in early May, 2016, with few people. I did not realize it was possible to go past the upper falls, or, in any case, past the last falls we saw. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • It seems that most people don’t go past the upper falls – the main attraction is definitely within the canyon walls. The hike is a bit steep once you get past the falls – we read that it is rated as “moderate” and not “easy,” which may discourage a few people. There were quite a few tour groups as well and they are usually crunched for time.

    • Banff is spectacular! We actually find we don’t go there very often – although we live only an hour’s drive away from the national park, we tend to hike more in the closer, quieter areas of the Kananaskis. Banff is always a treat for me – always something new and beautiful to see!

      My garden performed quite poorly this year in the heat so I’m hoping those little sunflowers will do much better next year – the ones I did manage to bring to flower were so pretty!

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