8:30am
Departure Time
4 Hours
Duration
All Ages
Age
Active
Activity
Nov-Apr
Season

Looking for a new way to tour with your friends or family? Book a private icewalk tour of majestic Johnston Canyon with a friendly local guide.

 

While public access to Johnston Canyon is currently restricted, our tours are still running.

Masks are required as part of our health and safety measures.

Johnston Canyon is one of the most popular attractions in Banff National Park, and in winter is home to Banff’s most spectacular frozen waterfalls. This private guided hike takes you along steel catwalks built into the canyon walls all the way to the iconic frozen upper falls, with airy views into the icy gorge below.

Starting with a gentle walk to the lower falls, wander through a natural cave to gaze down at the flowering waters of the frozen falls up close. Then, continue onto the awe-inducing upper falls – a glittering tower of ice that rises 30 metres above your head. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns.

You’ll also travel through prime wildlife habitat to reach the canyon, and learn clues from your friendly guide as to how Johnston Canyon was formed.

This tour is recognized as a Canadian Signature Experience – a collection of once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences found only in Canada.

Contact Us for Custom Quote:

We can also accommodate different private icewalk itineraries and vehicle sizes. Call 1 -877-565-9372 to chat with our reservations team, or complete the form below.

Included
  • Maple cookie snack
  • Hot chocolate
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide)
  • Use of hiking poles
  • Professional certified guide
  • Ice cleats
Walking Distance
  • 5.4km (3.4 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


The best parts of the tour for most people include the following:

1

Private Johnston Canyon Icewalk

Choose your vehicle size best suited to your group and enjoy a private guided icewalk at Johnston Canyon direct from your Banff hotel.
2

Frozen falls

Gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns.
3

Everything is provided

Private tours include a dedicated professional guide, comfortable vehicle, use of ice cleats and hiking poles, and a snack of hot chocolate and maple cookies.
Included
  • Maple cookie snack
  • Hot chocolate
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide)
  • Use of hiking poles
  • Professional certified guide
  • Ice cleats
Walking Distance
  • 5.4km (3.4 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


The tour is 4 hours long which includes 2 – 2.5 hours for the icewalk. The tour starts at 8:30am and returns to Banff at 12:30pm.
This half day tour includes transport to popular Johnston Canyon for a guided hike to see the frozen waterfalls. Guests will hike along snow and the steel walkways called ‘catwalks’ built into the canyon walls that give an airy view of the gorge below, and past the lower falls and to the breathtaking upper falls. Please note that this tour stays on the trail, and does not traverse the ice due to safety concerns.

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 for extra stability.

We pick up from most hotels in Banff, and you can select your preferred pick-up location during the booking process. For drop offs, our guide will ask you on the way back where you would like to be dropped off either in town or at your hotel.
You are welcome to meet us at any of our pick up locations in Banff to join the tour, and a popular central downtown meeting point is the public bus parking area behind the Mt Royal Hotel (the hotel address is 138 Banff Avenue).

Most guests choose to self-drive into Banff, although please note that you will need to find parking in Banff that exceeds the duration of the tour. Please refer to the Town of Banff website for general parking information, or the banffparking.ca website for live parking availability. For guests staying in Canmore, you can also use the Roam bus service and disembark at the Banff High School. The closest pick up point to the Banff High School is across the road at the Elk and Avenue Hotel.

This tour does not walk on the ice (as it is fragile, dangerous and you can punch through to the icy flowing water). You will be following the trail and steel catwalks that are built into the canyon wall and allow a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. The steel catwalks are above the canyon, and vary in height from ground level up to about 10m (30 ft).
The Icewalk is 5.4km (3.4 miles) and has an elevation of 135 metres (443 feet), with a total walking time of 2 – 2.5 hours. This icewalk is considered moderate/intermediate, and it is the most difficult winter walk that we offer in the winter. We aim to go at a relaxed pace however you do need to feel comfortable walking 3km /1.75 miles per hour to enjoy the experience. The main elevation gain is done in short climbs (in some cases steep enough for steps), rather than being dispersed over the entire distance. Moderate fitness is recommended to ensure that you enjoy the tour.

We provide ice cleats that will be attached to your boots that will prevent you from slipping on the ice, and we have hiking poles for extra stability if you would like to use them as well.

We can also accommodate different timeslots, locations, tour durations and itineraries. Please contact us for further details.
Please be prepared for the mountain weather, it changes quickly and our winter tours run in anything from -27C (-17F) to +10C (+50F). Wind chill can change the temperature dramatically and you will be outside for the majority of your tour.

To ensure that you enjoy the tour, please wear/bring:

  • Thermals/base layers/long johns.
  • Snow pants are recommended for this tour and are mandatory if it is below -16C (3F). Otherwise on warmer days, jeans/regular pants over long johns are okay. Snow pants can be rented from stores in Banff such as Snowtips-Bactrax.
  • A warm sweater.
  • A warm jacket. Ski jackets can be rented from stores in Banff such as Snowtips-Bactrax.
  • A hat and mitts.
  • A neck warmer or scarf.
  • Sturdy warm shoes, ideally winter boots or hiking boots. They do not have to be waterproof, but they must be warm. No heels, ugg boots, flip flops or sandals. If you do not have warm shoes, we recommend a rental store such as Snowtips-Bactrax.
  • A water bottle.

Please note that safety is our first priority. If the guide thinks your attire or footwear isn’t appropriate and compromises your safety on the tour, you may not be able to participate.

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 icewalk. We cancel our tour at around -30 degrees Celsius or -22 Fahrenheit, and would offer to reschedule or refund your tour if this occurred.
There is a 7 day cancellation policy for private tours, which allows you to change/cancel or refund your booking up to 7 days outside your booked tour.
Gratuity is automatically added to every private booking and so any further tips are not expected, but are certainly appreciated. If you think your guide did a wonderful job and would like to indicate that with a tip, it will be graciously accepted.

Included
  • Maple cookie snack
  • Hot chocolate
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide)
  • Use of hiking poles
  • Professional certified guide
  • Ice cleats
Walking Distance
  • 5.4km (3.4 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


  • All children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
  • All adults must sign a waiver. A waiver must also be completed by the parent or legal guardian of any child under the age of 18 years.
  • This tour stays on the trail and does not traverse the ice for safety reasons.
Included
  • Maple cookie snack
  • Hot chocolate
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide)
  • Use of hiking poles
  • Professional certified guide
  • Ice cleats
Walking Distance
  • 5.4km (3.4 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


See the frozen upper falls on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Bow Valley Parkway winter drive to Johnston Canyon with Discover Banff Tours
Guided icewalk at Johnston Canyon in Banff with Discover Banff Tours
Johnston Canyon winter icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
See ancient fossils on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Lower Falls Cave on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Walk through a natural cave on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Photos at Johnston Canyon's lower falls on a guided icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
See the frozen lower falls on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Hike on catwalks at Johnston Canyon on a guided icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Frozen Twin Falls on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Johnston Canyon Upper Falls Viewpoint on a guided icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Learn from your friendly guide on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Hot Chocolate on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Maple Cookies on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours
Wear ice cleats on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours