Getting There in Banff

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By car

Highway 1 (Trans-Canada) bisects the park east/west. Banff is about an hour and a half from Calgary Alberta and the same from Golden British Columbia . Other ways to enter the park by automobile include the Icefields Parkway from Jasper , Highway 11 from Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer Alberta, and Highway 93 from Radium Hot Springs and Cranbrook British Columbia.

By bus

Greyhound provides regular scheduled coaches that serve Banff and Lake Louise, departing from Calgary and points in British Columbia. Another option is to book one of the many guided bus tours that visit the park. Most of these will depart from Calgary or Vancouver .

By train

Explore the Canadian Rockies by rail. Day rail tours depart from Banff connecting to Vancouver.

Rocky Mountaineer Vacations provides independent year round vacation packages to the most unique and scenic regions of Canada, including travel on the world acclaimed Rocky Mountaineer rail journey.

Between Mid-April and Mid-October, the two-day, all daylight Rocky Mountaineer travels between Vancouver or Whistler, British Columbia and the Rocky Mountain destinations of Jasper, Banff or Calgary Alberta. Guests relax in Redleaf or Goldleaf Service, enjoying onboard commentary and bi-regional cuisine as the awe-inspiring scenery passes by at a leisurely pace. For selected departure date in December, the festive Rocky Mountaineer travels through a winter wonderland where the mountain valleys are covered in a blanket of snow.

The Whistler Mountaineer offers an unforgettable three-hour rail excursion through the Sea-to-Sky region between North Vancouver and Whistler, with daily service in both directions and world-class Western Canadian hospitality onboard.

By air

The closest International Airport is in Calgary . Banff does have an airstrip, but there is no commercial service. An expensive charter flight will be required to land right in the park. Vancouver International Airport is an approximate 12 hour drive to the west. Springbank Airport (west of Calgary, towards Banff) is nearly 80 km from Banff. It operates short charter flights and tours over Banff National Park.

Fees/Permits

All visitors stopping in the park (even just for gas) require a park permit. If you are driving straight through the pass is not required. Day passes and annual passes are available.

Day pass: $8 adult, $4 youth, $7 senior, $16 family. Annual pass: $55 adult, $27 youth, $47 senior, $109 family.

Additional variable fees are required for camping and backcountry exploration. See the official website for Parks Canada for a current schedule.

Get around

By far the easiest way to get around is by vehicle. Vehicle rentals are available in Calgary , Banff and Lake Louise . It is also possible to cover the park on bicycle, but keep in mind the mountainous terrain will make this quite a workout. Bicycle rentals (town, road and mountain bikes) are also available with in Banff and Lake Louise, visit the Parks Canada information centre for both road and trail routes. Or rent a moped from Bactrax/Snowtips to explore the area around Banff! GyPSy Guide provides the self-drive visitors with a guided tour. GyPSy Guide automatically plays audio commentary, depending on your location, and through the stereo of any vehicle as you tour through the National Parks and beyond. No buttons to push, it knows where you are!

Contributors
July 23, 2007 change by real (4 points)

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