Lake Louise, Alberta – An Icy Hike

Part 3 – Exploring Johnston Canyon Upper and Lower Falls

With our Adventure Room Package of the $100 credit, we decided to take a guided hike to Johnston Canyon. You can most certainly drive there yourself and hike on your own. To experience the best of unfamiliar territory, we enjoy going with someone that knows the area, the hidden gems and history.

If I haven’t mentioned before, we went to Lake Louise in the week of February 23rd, 2020. We found this to be off season as it wasn’t close to Family Day, Spring Break or March Break. We chose well and you’ll know why shortly.

We booked all our adventures a day before as we were just going to “play it by ear”. Worked out well for us!

One afternoon, we decided to book our daily adventure activity “Johnston Canyon Ice Walk” with a guide. We picked the 8:15 am start which concluded at 12:15 pm. Showing up at 8:00 am (early as usual), there was only 1 other couple with us. A group of 5 – perfect and lots of conversation with our guide, Paul. The later groups had more people. Our hike was a total of 5.7 km’s that took a little over 2 hours, at an average speed of 3.5 km/h. We visited the lower falls and upper falls.

We drove together in the Fairmont Shuttle which took about 30 minutes from the Chateau. There are lots of washrooms on site. In the winter months it’s best to wear cleats because the snow can be slippery and dangerous. We brought our own cleats and hiking poles. Paul, our guide, provides cleats and hiking poles at no extra cost. Another reason to choose a guide.

Reasons to choose a guided adventure as opposed to self-guided:
  • Knowledge of the trail
  • Knowledge of the terrain
  • Knowledge of area history
  • Trained & certified to be a leader
  • Trained and known by Banff National Park and Parks Canada
  • Prepared for unexpected animals – dangerous or curious ie) mountain lions, bears
  • Equipment provided – as mentioned before, our guide provided cleats and poles
  • Bonus – Paul brought us tea and granola – great for energy hiking back
The start of our hike to Johnston Canyon Lower Falls
Johnston Canyon Upper Falls

With Paul’s knowledge, story telling, involving everyone in conversation, taking photos for us, and bringing treats, he gets 2 thumbs up and a 5-star rating. Thank you, Paul!!!

To be continued in Part 4 where we visit Lake Louise Ski Resort.

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