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The Johnson Canyon and the Inkpots Hike

Posted by on September 13, 2010

Boy oh boy, are we ever tired.

We woke up expecting rain all day, but found it to be partly cloudy so we might as well get out and do something. We checked out “The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide” pg. 74 until we thought we knew enough and then we got going after a quick breakfast.

We headed out to the Johnson Canyon trailhead, about 20km from Banff. I was shocked to see the parking lot was full. There must have been 50 or more cars there. I emptied out my camera bag of all the extra lenses and replaced it with 3 bottles of water and some granola bars.

The trail was quite busy for the first while, but it soon evened out. We got to the lower falls 1.1km in and stopped for a few pictures. Then we pressed on to the upper falls, the trail all the way to the upper falls is very good, pavement the whole way. It has large sections of catwalk fastened to the canyon walls. We reached the upper falls in short order (1.7km) and there was a raven there who was very interested in what everyone was snacking on.

From here it is another 3.1km to the inkpots, we decided to go for it and we were soon on our way up. This is where the trail narrows and the pavement fades away. The grade of the hills increases and it started to remind me of the difficulties at the Spruce River Highlands trail.

I’ll save you the sob story, suffice to say it was fairly hard. It was always an steep uphill climb. Our desk jock legs were not prepared for this, but we did it. We made it to the ink pots finally and stopped for pictures, refreshments and a rest.

It was about this time that I realized that 1+2+3 x 2 = a 12km round trip for us. Not to mention we are at 4200 feet and we just climbed another 700 feet as we made our way up here.

Never the less, we started our way back down and found it easier to go downhill back towards the upper falls. We passed the upper falls, the lower falls and finally made it back to the parking lot. 12km of mountain terrain is about as much as we can do in a day. It was a challenge, but we both feel good about doing it.

Happy to be half way back!

Not feeling like cooking supper, we stopped at Safeway and bought a cooked chicken from the deli and went back to the trailer for the night. Tomorrow we will make a quick trip to Canmore and then we will probably go back up (north) the parkway.

One Response to The Johnson Canyon and the Inkpots Hike

  1. Cassandra

    You guys look like you’re having a great time. I miss Kara!!!! Come back to me! Guess who’s reading your blog at work? ME! Have a fun rest of your vacation! Bring me back something cool! 😉