Recently, I found myself in Banff, Alberta, for a conference and with hardly any free time. I was determined to squeeze a hike in, but which one?
Initially, I was set on Tunnel Mountain. But circumstances led me and several other attendees to Johnson Lake, northeast of the town. It's a short drive via the Trans-Canada Highway and Lake Minnewanka Road in spectacular Banff National Park (and the traditional territory of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation).
An easy, three-kilometre path circumnavigates the lake. We opted to go clockwise on the Johnson Lake Trail, which is slippery when icy (spikes recommended).
Along the way, we were treated to grand views of Cascade Mountain and the Fairholme Range. The lake surface was mostly frozen.
Johnson Lake lies at an elevation of over 1,400 metres in the Rocky Mountains. The lovely loop took less than an hour.