One of the best and most popular short hikes in the area is the hike up and down Johnston Canyon, on boardwalks suspended from its limestone walls, to a series of spray-veiled waterfalls. The nearest are 1.2km from the parking lot and though things get less busy as you progress along the trail, an early morning start often helps avoid the crowds.
From Johnston Canyon’s Upper Falls you can continue to the Ink Pots, a set of brilliantly-coloured pools, which are the work of cold-water springs. This adds another 5km to the trip so allow around 4hrs in total for the return trip from the Johnson Canyon parking lot.
In winter Johnston Canyon’s falls turn into impressive pillars of glassy ice, but the route is still walkable with ice cleats, and ice climbing’s possible too. Transport and gear for the hike is offered by Banff Adventures Unlimited.