Swimming Lake / Beach Johnson Lake in the Banff National Park: Position on map

Johnson Lake

Johnson Lake
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Traveling in one of the most beautiful National Parks in the world

The Banff National Park was founded in 1885. It is the oldest National Park in Canada and the third oldest in the World. Today the Banff National Park is acknowledged as UNESCO world cultural heritage. Many animals like Wapitis, Moose, Wolves, Coyotes, Black Bears and Grizzly Bears as well... Read more

last update on Jun 18, 2018
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Sea level: 4642.39 ft
Water temperature:Not available
Water quality:Not available

Leisure facilities

Bike trail


Changing room
Lawn for sunbathing
Sandy Beach Area

Swimming Lake

The best place for the summer

Johnson Lake flows directly into the famous Bow River and is a little secret address especially for the local water rats. The mountain lake is accordingly still a little deeper and colder than the nearby Cascade Pond, but specially in the summer months it is still very pleasant to be here at and also in the water. In July and August it can therefore get very crowded at this relatively small lake, but this does not diminish the attractiveness of the place in any way.

Swimming in the best water

So you can enjoy yourself on the large sunbathing area and have lunch with the whole family at one of the picnic areas. A special eye-catcher is the sandy beach located directly on the water, where the smallest bathers can build not only sand castles. Although the lake has been a popular family destination for a long time, there is no lifeguard service here, so you are responsible for your own safety and that of your children. However, as far as this is assured, it can swim particularly well in the mountain water, as the water quality is regularly checked by the Canadian authorities.

Changing room
Lawn for sunbathing
Sandy Beach Area

Things to do

More than a bathing experience

At Johnson Lake you can of course not only swim and relax in the sun, but also explore the area around the lake. So you have the possibility to use it as a starting point for a longer hike through the surrounding area or you can start small and circle the water on the 3 km long trail. If you want to take it a little easier, you can also use the lake for fishing. You will quickly find a suitable place away from the sunbathing areas to simply let your thoughts run free and devote yourself to this sport.

A day with the family

For families with children who need a little more action, a swing rope has been installed over part of the lake. With this, the bravest can go to airy heights and let themselves fall from there into the cold water. After all this effort, you can have a barbecue on the lakeside, where you can end the day idyllically in the middle of the Canadian landscape.

Bike trail

Interesting facts

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  • The swimming lake permits to bring a dog along.
  • There are parking spaces available in the vicinity. There are public restrooms close by at the Swimming Lake.

How to get there

By car

From Calgary

From Calgary, follow the Bow Trail west out of the city and turn right at the intersection with the Sarcee Trail. After a short time you change to the Trans-Canada Highway towards Banff and follow it for a total of 110 km until you can take the exit to Banff itself. After the exit, keep left on Banff Avenue and you will arrive directly in the city centre.

From Jasper

If you start your journey from Jasper, you first take Connaught Drive west out of town and change after a short time. Now you cross the Yellowhead Highway and you are on the Icefields Parkway. Follow this for the next 285 km, passing through both Jasper and parts of Banff National Park. At the height of Lake Louise you have to change to the Trans-Canada Highway, from where you take the exit towards Banff a short time later. After that, stay on Mt Norquay Road and then change to Gopher Street, which will take you directly into the centre of Banff.

From Lethbridge

From Lethbridge in the south, you first take the Scenic Drive out of the city and get to the entrance of the Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3), which you follow in the direction of Calgary. After about 18 km you turn slightly right and follow the signs to Monarch/Vulcan. You will then reach Highway 23, which you follow until you can turn left towards Claresholm. When you arrive in Claresholm itself, turn left and follow the signs towards Calgary/Nanton. In the following you will get on the Queen Elizabeth Highway (Highway 2), which will lead you through Nanton first, so that you will pass Silver Lake and continue driving north. Then keep right to get on the Deerfoottrail, which you leave at the exit Southland Drive in the first foothills of Calgary. Stay on the road of the same name for a short while and then turn right onto the Blackfoot Trail. This will take you to the driveway of the Glenmore Trail, which you follow for about 8 km through the city and then continue on the Sarcee Trail. After that you change to the Trans-Canada Highway in the direction of Banff and finally reach your destination after another 110 kilometres.

Once in Banff, you are now heading for Banff Avenue in the city centre. There is already a particularly picturesque route signposted as the so-called "Scenic Drive", which would take you directly to Lake Minnewanka. But don't stay on the Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive, but turn sharp right into Johnston Lake Road just before it. Follow this one until you reach Johnson Lake itself. There are also plenty of parking facilities on site.


Johnson Lake
Johnson Lake Road
Banff-Nationalpark, Alberta


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