February 20/19 – Winterlude Part 17 – Banff National Park – Cold Canyon

Seeing as we hit the heights yesterday, today, we were going to the depths. Coffeed and breakfasted, we drove into Banff National Park and headed down Highway 1A to Johnston Canyon. 1A is the old Transcanada Highway that used to run through Banff. It is narrow and twisty and in this case, snow covered, so driving was slow. But, that was OK, as we were not in a hurry.

Arriving in the Johnston Canyon parking lot, there were a few vehicles, which boded well for our walk. We all strapped on our ice cleats, grabbed our trekking poles and headed for the start point, pausing for a photo.

The canyon trail still had snow on it, but in places were the sun had touched it, you could see the potential for a slippery slope. The morning sun was low and the canyon was deep, so still in shadow.

Our thought was to walk to the lower falls and then decide if we would hike on to the upper falls at that time.

Here are the photos on the walk to the lower falls:

Silly photos

The details along the way

At the lower falls (viewpoint accessed through a cavern opening)

On the path to the upper falls. We had no shortage of energy, at this point.

The details

The upper falls were decorated with a smattering of ice climbers. As we looked at some areas of the falls where the frozen cascades had cracked and shattered on the ground below, we wondered at the wisdom of hitting the ice again and again with an ice axe. I guess that is why we do not ice climb. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating display.

water still flowed in the canyon
time for a Bernard Callebaut chocolate break

The walk back went smoothly, but there were increasing numbers of hikers now and some of them were trying to make the journey without the proper footwear. A slippery slope, so to speak.

And to finish, here is a lot of fun. What can you do with a curvy tree? Well, L had an idea and this will play well in my video production. Here is the best I can do on a slide show.

11 thoughts on “February 20/19 – Winterlude Part 17 – Banff National Park – Cold Canyon

  1. What a cool place! Did your ice gear make a difference? I’m always so afraid of falling but you make me want to leave my warm house and go exploring.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 I’ve got the “working man” type of cleat but I’m thinking something more for hiking would be better. Thank youuuu, and you as well!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I highly recommend it. We used to visit 4-5 times a winter for skiing, but our visits were fewer in recent years. So glad to see it all dressed in white. Stay well. and thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right. The snow was the right consistency in the morning for good traction and people were few and far between. I hate crowded paths in nature. I know I am part of the problem, but…. Thanks for reading Bernie. Allan


  2. We never made it to the Johnston Canyon while in Banff, we were short on time. I was amazed by how much there was to see and do, you can easily spend weeks in Banff and still find new things to do. And I have to say, when it comes to this part of the world, it looks so much better in winter time. Thanks for sharing, Allan, I’m glad you had a great time exploring the canyon. Stay safe 😊 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

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