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Pets allowed
No
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.20 mi (11.59 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Ink Pots are a wild spectacle of intense blue and green pools of water in a spectacular basin. They are well worth the hike out and back! Named after a well of pen ink, these small pools are cold water springs that are tinted vibrant shades by the minerals in the water. The pools are 4 degrees Celsius year round.

Beginning at the Johnston Canyon Resort, follow the trail up to the falls. The path will alternate between a dirt trail and elevated walkways. These can be very crowded in the summer, and patience is often required as some people block the path with photography gear.

After 2.7 kilometers of slow uphill meandering you will arrive at the falls. Make sure to break for a minute, as the view is breathtaking. Check out both the upper and lower viewing platform to see the falls in their full beauty. 

Continue on the path past the falls keeping right at the junction for the Ink Pots. Follow the trail as it narrows, keeping straight. The trail is very well maintained and is impossible to lose. 

After 5.3 kilometers into the hike the route begins to descend and you'll leave the forest. Continue following the trail to the basin, where you'll find the Ink Pots strewn between frequently-walked paths. If you are underwhelmed by the unique springs, hopefully the views from Johnston Creek will cheer you up.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Sometimes

Pros

Great views in the basin. Unique formation.

Cons

Congestion through Johnston Canyon.

Trailhead Elevation

4,691.60 ft (1,430.00 m)

Net Elevation Gain

5,396.98 ft (1,645.00 m)

Address

AB-1A
AB T0L
Canada

Features

Waterfalls
Old-growth forest
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

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