Johnson Lake

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
0.5-1h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
3.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
30 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.7
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Read Reviews
Directions to Trailhead
Johnston Lake hike in Banff National Park

This hike around Johnson Lake is a great choice for beginners or those with limited physical abilities and it is especially family-friendly. We also think it’s a great way to start or end the day and makes a great after-dinner walk in summer.

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Route Description for Johnson Lake

From the parking lot, head towards the beautiful and enormous Johnson Lake. There is a path that can go either left or right. There isn’t any significant difference between the routes here. If you go right, you’ll pass the electricity pylons briefly and then circle the lake in the trees, with views coming and going as you proceed.

Coming to the end of the trail, you’ll continue downwards and pass a long, flat strip of land – otherwise known as a berm. Here, there are often people fishing in Johnson Lake. Pause for a moment to look at the water – sometimes it appears that the water is boiling due to the number of fish coming to the surface feeding.

On the other side of Johnson Lake there are two options: a high route or a low route. We prefer the high route, and Parks Canada has left two large red chairs to take a break and enjoy the views if you select this one.

The remainder of the trail is in trees. As you near the car park, there are several picnic tables. These can be busy, but if you’re lucky enough to find a nice spot you can easily spend a pleasant hour here enjoying a snack or a meal.

Insider Hints for Johnson Lake

  • This is a good trail to do year round, though bring micro spikes if it is snowy or icy.
  • When you have the chance, look into small bays and shallow water – there are often many fish to see.
  • There are some nice picnic spots to stop and enjoy a delicious lunch with wonderful views. To get there, come towards the lake from the parking lot and head left.

Getting to the Johnson Lake Trailhead

Head towards Lake Minnewanka from Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway. Take the second signed right towards “Two-Jack Lake”. Follow this road and take the first right, indicating the route to Johnson Lake. Follow this road to the parking lot at the end.

Route Information

  • When to do

    All Year

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Trailhead

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Johnson Lake Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Johnson Lake Reviews

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