A Hidden Gem – Johnson Lake, Banff

The best places are always the ones that only the locals know about. Those secret spots that allow you to connect with a location at your own pace without a crowded tour bus in sight!

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Johnson Lake is one of those local’s spots that is just a 15 minute drive from Downtown Banff. Tucked away down a 3km paved access road, Johnson Lake is often overlooked by its more accessible neighbours – Two Jacks Lake and Lake Minnewanka.

Beyond its 360 degree mountain vistas, Johnson Lake is popular amongst the locals for the diversity of outdoor activities it supports in all seasons!

Winter Snowshoeing & Skating

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When the snow settles, the 2.5km circular walk around the lake makes for some ideal snowshoeing.

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With a relatively gentle gradient and minimal elevation gain the terrain is family friendly, while the views of Mt Cascade and Mt Rundle are spectacular!

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If skating is more your thing, the frozen lake offers some excellent free ice skating! Just check out how thick the ice is first though!

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Spring Hiking

When the snow melts the circular trial makes for an excellent and easy short hike. You can even bring your dog (must be kept on a lead). Note mountain biking is prohibited.

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You can show your true local’s knowledge by hunting for the Hermit of Inglismaldieè’s Lodge. Billy Carver built the cabin in 1910, living as a recluse for 27 years! There are no signs so it is a true treasure hunt! Hint: it’s on the south side of the lake!

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Summer Swimming

Of all the lakes in Banff National Park, Johnson is the warmest for swimming, and our favourite “sport” of floating. However, be warned that even the locals turn up in their hundreds on a warm summer’s day so best to arrive early or ride your bike!

The summer also makes for some epic sunsets!

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Fall Paddling

The changing colors of the trees make Johnson Lake an idyllic time to visit with your kayak, canoe or paddleboard in Fall!

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Whatever the season, join the locals and plan a trip to Johnson  Lake to capture a taste of Banff National Park!

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  1. Top 10 Accessible Banff Photo Spots | West Coast Discovered - December 29, 2015

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