Johnson Lake loop is a family favourite for its spectacular views of Mt. Rundle and the Cascade Mountains. Johnson Lake is found in the lower elevation Montane eco-region, which takes up only 3% of Banff National Park and provides important vegetation for elk and other large animals. It is an easy hike that starts at a sandy beach with a lake that is fun, but cold, to swim in.

This trail is also located in the paperback and eBook Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies.

If you want to explore the Banff National Park area then try these 10 Easy Hikes in Banff National Park.

Johnson Lake

Insider Tip

In the summer, pack beach towels, sunscreen, and bathing suits. Johnson Lake is a great place to hang out after the hike.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3 km (1.8 mi) loop
Elevation: 50 m (164 ft)
Hike Highlights: Lake, Sandy Beach, Mountain Views, Bridges,
Facilities: Outhouse, Beach, Picnic Tables
Optional Gear: Carrier, Snowshoes, Paddle Boats, All-terrain single stroller* Wheelchair friendly*
TrailRider Rating: Moderate*

Getting There

Take the Trans Canada Highway AB-1 W to Lake Minnewanka Scenic Dr/Range Rd 115B Rd. Instead of taking the left turn into Banff, turn right on Range Rd 115B. Then turn right on Lake Minnewanka Scenic Dr and follow the road until you reach Johnson Lake Rd. Drive on Johnson Lake Rd until you reach the parking lot.


From the parking lot, walk straight towards the lake. Stay to the right and walk over the little bridge beside the beach to start the hike.

Trail Experience

At the start of the trail by the bridge, there are interpretive signs that highlight the Montane zone and the important role
that wildfires play in preserving the area.

Johnson Lake, Banff National Park

After crossing the bridge, follow the trail closest to the water for the shortest loop and the most views of the water. There is a slight incline in the trail before the trail rolls up and down. Around the halfway mark, cross a short bridge and finish the loop.
*Only part of the trail is single all-terrain stroller friendly and TrailRider accessible.

Nearby Attractions

After the hike, spend the day at Johnson Lake. Alternatively, complete Fenland Trail or Tunnel Mountain before heading to Johnson Lake.

Want more hikes like this one?

PRE-ORDER the paperback book Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies here.

Purchase (Ebook) Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies here.

Hikes for Families
annika mang
By Annika Mang
Johnson Lake, Banff National Park
Johnson Lake, Banff National Park

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