We had a cold front move in last night. So I've been stuck in the house all day. This made for the perfect opportunity to go through the hard drive and look though old hiking photos.
Banff is a popular hiking and camping destination in Alberta. If you are looking for a mountain get away, Banff is an excellent place to go. If you go by car, I'd suggest staying in Canmore. It's about 30 minutes away, cheaper, and less crowded. It has many kilometers of hiking and biking trails of it's own that are worth checking out.
The town also has an excellent pizza and pasta house, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. I can personally recommend the calzones.
In Banff, one of the easy trails is Johnston Creek.
There is a good amount of parking (if you show up early) and a nice paved trail that will take you up to the falls. There are many opportunities to stop and take a few pictures along the way.
For the more adventurous, there is a moderate 3 kilometer add on to the Johnston Creek trail that will take you up to the Ink Pots. This trail is even better. Far fewer people, a good number of hills, and seven beautiful blue green springs to great you at the end.
The Ink Pots are mineral springs. There are plenty of benches and smaller trails to explore. In total it'll take you 2-3 hours to get to the Ink Pots. It makes a great stop for lunch before the trek back through Johnston Creek.
If you've got the time you can take a short detour along the river and look at some of the balanced stones. Both simple towers and Inukshuks are scattered along the river bank.
So if you have the good fortune to be traveling through Alberta, take a short stop in Banff. The trails and vistas make for a great trip.