Dec-Apr
Season
8:30am, 1:30pm
Departure Time
4 Hours
Duration
8+
Age
Active
Activity

Water cascades into this narrow canyon in the heat of summer, but in the winter, the thundering falls freeze solid to create natural ice sculptures.

Admire these glittering curtains of ice up close as you hike along a steel catwalk built into the rock wall.

This popular ice walk will lead you past the lower falls and to the breathtaking upper icefalls. Travel through prime wildlife habitat and learn the clues to how Johnston Canyon was formed.

Included
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
  • Professional certified guide
  • Use of binoculars
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Light snack & refreshment
  • Ice cleats
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
Walking Distance
  • 5.2km (3.2 miles)
Elevation Gain
  • 135m (443 feet)
Guide Quote

Gina's Pick

"It’s amazing in the morning when no one else is there." - Gina , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Highlights:

  • Bow Valley Parkway:  Travel through prime wildlife habitat on the way to the trailhead.
  • Catwalks:  Steel walkways built into Johnston Canyon walls give an airy view of the gorge below.
  • Lower Falls:  Walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view of the lower falls.
  • Rockies geology:  The rock is ancient, the creek is old, and the canyon you are walking in is young. Sort out the mystery on your tour.
  • Upper Falls (day tours only):  Gigantic pillars of ice are the highlight of the tour. Ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns.
Included
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
  • Professional certified guide
  • Use of binoculars
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Light snack & refreshment
  • Ice cleats
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
Walking Distance
  • 5.2km (3.2 miles)
Elevation Gain
  • 135m (443 feet)
Guide Quote

Gina's Pick

"It’s amazing in the morning when no one else is there." - Gina , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Q: How long is the tour?
A: The tour is 4 hours long; this includes transport as well as the icewalk.

Q: Where is the pick up and drop off?
A: We pick up and drop off from most hotels in Banff. If you want to be dropped off somewhere different from your hotel pick up like downtown, our guide will ask you at the end of the tour and will be happy to drop you off.

Q: What time does the tour go?
A: We have two tours a day; the morning begins at 8:30am and is back for 12:30pm. The afternoon tour starts at 1:30pm and will be finished by 5:30pm.

Q: What clothing should we be wearing?
A: We would suggest ski gear, so ski pants and jacket. Wearing other sorts of clothing such as jeans will be very cold. For your shoes, we would suggest hiking boots or snow boots.

Q: Do we have equipment provided?
A: We provide ice cleats that will be attached to your boots that will prevent you from slipping on the ice. We also have hiking poles if you would like to use them as well. We can provide winter boots if requested at the time of booking.

Q: What else is involved within the tour?
A: When we arrive at the upper falls, we have a small break so you can enjoy the scenery and take photos. While we are there, we have hot chocolate and maple cookies.

Q: Are the catwalks high?
A: The cat walks are above the Canyon, they vary in height. It can vary from ground level up to about 10m (30 ft)

Q: How far up Johnston Canyon do we walk?
A: We walk to the upper and lower canyon.  The returning journey is 5.4km or 3.4 miles.

Q:Will there be any wildlife?
A: There is a chance of seeing wildlife on the tour, we do not guarantee any wildlife on any of our tours but our guides have a lot of knowledge about the animals within the park and can fill you in about them if you see any wildlife or if you have any questions about any of the animals in the national park.

Q: What is the difference between the day tour to Johnston Canyon and the Evening Icewalk?
A: The day and evening tour are different lengths of time, the day tour is 4 hours long and the evening is 2 and a half hours. The evening icewalk goes to the lower falls and the daytime tour goes to the upper and lower falls. The Evening icewalk also includes a headlamp, which you get to keep at the end of the tour.

Q: How many people is it per guide to guest ratio?
A: We have a 12 guest to guide ratio. If we have more than 12 guests we would arrange to have another guide if available.

Q: Does it get icy?
A: It does get icy during the winter season which is why we provide ice cleats during the tour to give you extra grip while you are doing your ice walk.

Q: What temperature do you cancel the tour?
A: We cancel our tour around minus 30 degrees Celsius or -22 Fahrenheit.

Included
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
  • Professional certified guide
  • Use of binoculars
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Light snack & refreshment
  • Ice cleats
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
Walking Distance
  • 5.2km (3.2 miles)
Elevation Gain
  • 135m (443 feet)
Guide Quote

Gina's Pick

"It’s amazing in the morning when no one else is there." - Gina , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Minimum age for this tour is 8 years.

PLEASE NOTE:  This tour does not walk on the ice.  (It is fragile, dangerous and you can punch through to the icy flowing water).  You will be following the steel catwalks that are built into the canyon wall and allow a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below.

Included
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
  • Professional certified guide
  • Use of binoculars
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Light snack & refreshment
  • Ice cleats
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
Walking Distance
  • 5.2km (3.2 miles)
Elevation Gain
  • 135m (443 feet)
Guide Quote

Gina's Pick

"It’s amazing in the morning when no one else is there." - Gina , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Johnston Canyon Icewalk