Johnson Lake and Hermit Cabin

Bottom end of Johnson lake

June10th 2023

Johnson Lake is a very popular destination for Banffite and Calgarians to take a swim on a hot day. Take the lake Minniewanka Rd from Hwy1

The walk around the lake will take about one hour and has fine views of Cascade Mountain and Mt Norquay and Mt Louis. As well as Inglisemaldie. The cabin of the hermit of Inglismaldie can be found by walking clockwise around the lake. At the bottom of the lake start heading back on the otherside of the lake walk 325m and look through the trees for the cabin it can be seen. A worn trail leads to it. There are other turn berfore so make sure you can see the cabin.

To hermit in the Rockies is no easy task, and best left for those who can endure months of extremely cold weather. However, over the years many brave souls have called Rocky Mountain backcountry their home, and before it wasn’t allowed, even built homes far off the grid.

One such person was Billy Carver, known as the Hermit of Inglismaldie, so named for Mount Inglismaldie, the second-tallest peak in the nearby Fairholm Range. For nearly 30 years, he lived a recluse life in a small cabin that he built in 1910 near Johnson Lake. Carver sometimes worked coal seams below Cascade Mountain, but other than that he was never seen.Carver’s only friend was Gee Moy, owner of the Market Garden in the town of Anthracite, who’d often bring supplies to his cabin. In 1937, locals found Carver ill in his cabin and help brought him to town, where he later died. More than once, hikers have reported seeing Carver’s ghost at his cabin, which still stands near Johnson Lake. You can find it by walking to the far side and taking an obvious trail into the woods about 30 metres. A nearby sunken boat might have belonged to him.

Mt Louis from Johnson Lake
Under water roots
Billy Carvers cabin
Billy Carvers cabin
Inside cabin
Carver Cabin
From behind

Distance 3.5 km Elev 28M Time 1 hr