Upper Falls in Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park is one of the more frequented hikes within the park. There is a reason for that since it is one of the more beautiful ‘trails’ (if you can call it that) that I’ve been on. It was paved, with guard rails and elevated platforms over the 7+ waterfalls within the mile and a half hike. Essentially, it is a tourist trap for hiking since tour bus after tour bus shows up there. The good news is that unlike other tourist traps – Navy Pier, Michigan Avenue – this one never closes. Therefore, you can avoid the crowds by arriving an hour or two after sunrise or before sunset.

Photo of the Day – Upper Falls

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We got here around 7:30 in the morning after watching the sun rise at Lake Moraine. Because there weren’t any crowds at the canyon yet I was able to put my 10-stop ND filter on the camera and keep the shutter open for four minutes without other people trying to push me out of the way. On the hike back we were reminded of just how packed it can get since there were hundreds of Asian tourists (literally) walking past us in the other direction – in the parking lot we saw the five buses that dropped them off. I was happy to be leaving and not waiting in line to photograph the waterfalls.

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