Picture Perfect: The Frozen Waterfall Of Johnston Creek

Come winter, this waterfall in Banff National Park becomes a thing of wonder

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Deep in the reaches of Canada’s Rocky Mountains flows an unassuming creek which, come winter, transforms into a magical sight. The waterfall of Johnston Creek freezes over but the main river remains flowing, creating an awe-inspiring combination of colours and textures.


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Johnston Creek is a tributary of the Bow River that flows into the Banff National Park. It originates in a glacial valley north of Castle Mountain, at an elevation of 2,500m. It flows through the Johnston Canyon, which has been formed by erosion over thousands of years, and then empties into the Bow River at of 1,440m.

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Photo: Meister Photos / Shutterstock.com

Visitors can explore Johnston Canyon via a popular hiking trail that leads to a meadow above the canyon, where there are famous “ink pots” – six blue-green springwater pools. In the winter, when the waterfall has frozen over, ice climbing is a favourite activity among locals.

A tourist lodge and parking area can be found at the foot of the canyon, and can be accessed via the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A).

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