Johnston Lake hike in Banff National Park

Johnson Lake hike

Around Banff
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Panoramic views of the Johnston Lake hike in Banff National Park, AlbertaBeautiful trail on the Johnson Lake Hike near Banff, the Canadian RockiesLake views from the Johnson Lake Hike near Banff, the Canadian RockiesFamily-friendly trail of the Johnson Lake Hike near Banff, the Canadian RockiesGreat views from the Johnson Lake Hike near Banff, the Canadian RockiesScenery of the Johnson Lake Hike near Banff, the Canadian Rockies

Johnson Lake hike

Distance: 3.0km
Elevation: 30m
Time: 0.75-1.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
7 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

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.

Johnson Lake hike Map

Getting there

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.

I’ve done this 8 people have done this
I want to do this 35 want to do this route


When to do

All Year

Backcountry Campsites




Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type


Johnson Lake
Elevation Graph

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

  • 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.


Gordie 10 months ago

This is an easy hike near Banff to take the kids on. Some nice views and very easu

7.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
1h 30m Time Taken
1 Comment

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