I’ve tried to go to Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park several times, and every time it was closed. It wasn’t until a recent trip to Lake Louise that my luck finally changed. As we were sipping glasses of hot spiked apple cider at the Chateau Lake Louise we asked the waiter if Johnston Canyon was open…and to our surprise, he said YES. It had only just opened. He said it is often closed during the winter because it gets too icy…so I definitely recommend you checking this website for the conditions, and calling/asking a local if they know if it is open before heading up.
When we jumped in the car to drive from Lake Louise to Johnston Canyon it was already mid-afternoon and the sun would be setting in a few hours, but there was no way we could pass up this chance to see the frozen falls. And I’m so glad we went for it.
Walking between these huge trees and rock formations along the path to the falls it felt like we were another planet.
It’s only about a 1.1 km walk up to the lower falls so it barely took us half an hour to get there. And being that it was -20, we were also one of the few brave groups to make the trek.
Once we got to the lower falls, we had to duck down through a cave to get to the falls on the other side.
The way the water froze into this wax-like formation was incredible. I could have stayed staring at it for much longer, but we figured if the lower falls were this magnificent, we had to walk the rest of the way to the upper falls. It’s only about one more kilometre.
Another half an hour, and several photos later, we were there.
The frozen waterfall was one of the most breathtaking sights I’ve ever seen.