Birding · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall
More challenging than Johnston Canyon Lower Falls, but the trail is just as safe and well maintained.
Need to Know
This trail is located in Banff National Park so purchasing a Park Pass is mandatory. It is only accessed through Johnston Canyon Lower Falls and provides access for the Johnston Canyon Upper Falls Overlook and the Ink Pots. While the Lower Falls are wheelchair accessible, and both trails are very well maintained, the Upper Falls trail is not wheelchair accessible.
The trail begins at the signed intersection shortly before the end of Johnston Canyon Lower Falls. Just like the Lower Falls, this trail is forested, with a smooth path that gradually leads upwards, and many cliffside catwalks over the river. However, the trail is noticeably less crowded, with more variance in its elevation changes. There are benches scattered throughout the trail at key locations and after steep climbs.
Just like with the Johnston Canyon Lower Falls, the path splits right before the waterfall, with one path going upward to the Johnston Canyon Upper Falls Overlook and the Ink Pots Trail, and the other heading to the waterfall viewing platform. The intersection is clearly signed. The metal catwalk hangs over the gorge with the large waterfall only coming into clear view when you reach the very end.
From here you can backtrack shortly and take the very steep but very short climb up to the Johnston Canyon Upper Falls Overlook, giving you a perspective of the falls from the top of the waterfall and access to the Ink Pots. There is also an area to rest and enjoy a small but beautiful waterfall. Otherwise, you may hike back down the Upper and Lower trails to the parking lots.
Flora & Fauna
While many animals call Banff their home, bears included, the location and popularity of this trail means it's extremely unlikely to encounter any mammal larger than a chipmunk on this trail.
Shared By: Ordinary Fruit