#1 Johnston Canyon to Inkpots

Name: Johnston Canyon to Inkpots
Date: January 5, 2019
Location: Banff National Park
Distance: 11.7 km (Out and Back)
Elevation Gain: 608 m
Season: Winter
Camera: Samsung A8 cellphone

My first hike of the 52 hikes in 52 weeks Challenge was Johnston Canyon to Inkpots in Banff National Park. This was my third time doing this hike and my first time heading past the upper falls to Inkpots in the winter.

I managed to do this hike on a mild(ish) Chinook weather day. The sky was blue and I could feel the warmth of the sun shining into the canyon and throughout the forest. This has also been a bad season so far for avalanches. I could hear some avalanches far off in the distance.

The Hike:

The hike to the upper and lower falls are very easy in summer (winter requires wearing microspikes). Very touristy but beautiful. The hike to the inkpots is a moderate level hike. To avoid the tourist trap areas hike into the Inkpots from Moose Meadows trail.

The trail is very easy to follow with a lot of signage to point you in the right direction. To get to the Inkpots you’ll have to make a right turn at the intersection of the Moose Meadows trail, Ink Pots trail and Upper/Lower Falls trail. There is a nice lookout at the highpoint on the trail to Inkpots. After this you descend down into spectacular sweeping views of the mountains.

At the end of the trail to Inkpots is the Mystic Lake Trail that connects into some epic backcountry trails that I can’t wait to explore in 2020.

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