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Johnson Lake

  • Difficulty
  • 3km
  • 30m
  • 0.75-1.5h
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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.

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.

elevation

Total Gain: 30m

About

Type of Hike Circuit
Crowd Levels Moderate
Route Signage Good
Toilets Trailhead
Family Friendly Yes
Backcountry Campgrounds No
When to Do All Year

 Detailed Description

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. 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 the 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.