Summit and Canyon

Our Canada day ended up being a complete wash, a whack of plans gone wrong and a case of chilly weather left us hungry to do something new and fantastic with the rest of the weekend. We barely ever head to Banff, yet I had it in my had that we just had to hike Johnston’s Canyon a tourist mecca in the heart of Banff National Park.

First though, any good hike deserves a great breakfast and we had a new breakfast spot in mind. After a bit of surfing I found a great site:  full of yummy restaurant suggestions in Canmore. Taxi Mike suggested Summit Cafe and we listen, much to the joy of our stomachs!  On the north side of the city the Summit Cafe is just a stone’s throw from the Iron Goat and is ridiculously busy and I will tell you why…AMAZING!!! Way yummy-and silly big portions. Wish I had taken pictures because the presentation was outstanding and the combinations spectacular.  The Italian soda is a must order, handmade and creamy absolutely to die for! The Summit his is also a haven for the gluten free crowd as they make a teff/amaranth tortilla that is the most delicious gluten free thing I have ever had in my life-so good that I cleaned out the insides in order to eat the whole tortilla!  Darek had a mexican egg situation that was equally delicious and we agreed that next time we could share a breakfast because the portions are absolutely heaping! Looking forward to our next breakfast escape to the Summit.

After a hardy breakfast we knew we were ready for a good hike, while the line to pay for the park entrance was long, it moved quite quickly and before long we in the heart of the park dodging frantic tourists scrambling to get a glimpse and photo of the abundant wildlife, we even happened to see a bear on this occasion! Johnston’s Canyon was packed and I really can’t imagine a time that you won’t find it jammed with bus loads of tourists.  We saw some really pretty sights as we hiked to both lower and upper falls and we also had a really great hike out toward the inkpots.  This is not a difficult hike and you can control the time you spend on the trail as it is not a loop so you can turn back at any point in time.  Yet, I just can’t gush about this trip because the human traffic is so immense that it is extremely difficult to enjoy the journey.  The catwalk to the lower falls was packed with many people playing out diverging agendas; there were the slow walkers, fast hikers, baby stroller pushers and even joggers.  Add in dogs, children and a few women sporting precariously high heels and you have a pretty  frustrated and discombobulated group! As the trail continues up to the upper falls the crowd does thin out and if you continue on to the inkpots the trail really opens up. I still think there are nicer hikes in Canmore and Kanaskis dodging both the park fee and the tourist influx,  yet if you have limited time and want to do a quick hike with great views then the Canyon fits the bill!



About shelleyadventure

Love the journey and relish the destination. Live to travel and share in adventure. I hope this blog helps you find your adventure!
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2 Responses to Summit and Canyon

  1. mickael says:

    Thank you for sharing this journey Shelley. Indeed, Johnston (don’t forget the T), is very crowded. I did it several times, and believe me during the low season (early or late winter), not to late in the morning, you can enjoy it fully, almost alone! This way you can avoid these massive tourists drops from the undersized parking.

    I love the fact that the trail itself is going inside the canyon, which was very unusual to me.

    • Hi Mickael,

      How are you? Thanks for being my spell check eyes! haa haa. Good to know about low season, may try it again then. There were 3 bus loads there the day we did it so it really was over crowed.

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