February 3, 2011: Started my ice walk on snow-covered Johnston river/creek. :D You can see a few ice climbers standing underneath the upper falls viewing platform ahead of me.
This is my first time in Banff National Park. My first time in Johnston Canyon. My first time doing solo ice walk without a guide. If I can do it the first time, you probably can do it, too?!?! ò.ó
I started my hike around 9am, and only saw three people at the entrance. There are bigger touring groups later in the day. So if you want to avoid the crowds, start early.
February 3, 2011: Johnston Canyon entrance sign in winter. The snow covered up to my knees.
How to Ice Walk on Johnston Canyon?
If you would like to know how to do a self-guided ice walk, find out its location, or simply see the rest of Canyon Walk, Ice Walk, Ice Climbing journey, continue reading the rest. :D
February 3, 2011: half mile to the lower falls and 1.5 miles to the upper falls. The upper falls is way beautiful in winter and that's also where the ice walk begins!!! Do not miss the upper falls if you want to try ice walk adventure.
February 3, 2011: Breathtaking canyon walk at Johnston Canyon during winter Season. If you are not physically fit, it does take your breath away for a winter hike. :D
February 3, 2011: Some section of canyon walk
February 3, 2011: amazing winter canyon walk. Look at the amount of snow there!!!
February 3, 2011: The upper falls marks the end of hiking trail with a viewing platform for the waterfalls. You can see ice-climbers sometimes in winter. :D
February 3, 2011: Beginning section of ice walk on Johnston Creek is located approximately 50m downstream the viewing platform!!! Follow the trail left behind by previous ice walkers (indicated by red dots).
February 3, 2011: Continue my self-guided ice walk by following the foot steps of previous ice walkers (red dots).
February 3, 2011: Toward the end of ice walk (red dots). As you can see, the ice walk is pretty short.
February 3, 2011: This marks the end of ice walk at Upper Falls of Johnston Canyon. It is a pretty short ice walk, less than 100m in distance. The upper falls was frozen with some running water still at the base of the falls.
Ice Walk Tips
- Wear winter boots with cleats for winter hiking.
- Wear double layers of thick socks for warmth if you like.
- Do not try ice walk if you don’t see any hikers or ice climbers around.
- For solo ice walker: follow trails from previous ice walkers, especially if you do not know how to tell the thickness / condition of the ice on the river
- Caution: Very few people survive if they fall through the ice into the river!!!
February 3, 2011: Some experienced ice climbers attempted the upper falls directly!!! Amazing! :D There are two ice climbers in the photos: one near top and one near bottom of the frozen waterfalls.
February 3, 2011: This one is for amateur ice climbers.
Exact location of trailhead (parking lot) is indicated by Green Arrow on the following map (click EXTERNAL LINK below to view map).