Reaching Canada’s Rocky Mountain Parks

July 16, 2012

in Travel Canada

  • SumoMe

(Tales Told From The Road” continues its series of “Travel Canada” stories highlighting destinations and attractions from sea-to-sea.)

During the last two legs of our virtual tour of Canada, we were riding the rails between British Columbia and Alberta on the Rocky Mountaineer excursion trains and Via Rail’s “Canadian.” Now it’s time for us to step off the train and explore the parks in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.

Lay of The Land

Four national parks run north-to-south in the Canadian Rockies: Jasper, Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay. Lake Louise lies along the corridor between the towns of Jasper and Banff.


Arrival By Train

Jasper Train StationIf you’ve been riding the “Canadian” train, you’ll reach Jasper at 4:00 pm (eastbound) or 1:00 pm (westbound). You can hop off there and tour the parks on your own by rental car or on Brewster Transportation buses.

The Rocky Mountaineer’s vacation packages can provide you with overnight stops in Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise. Or you can ride that train to Calgary, rent a car, and return to the parks to explore them at your leisure.

Fly In, Hit The Road

Several airlines serve the two major cities that are gateways to the Canadian Rockies: Calgary to the south, and Edmonton to the north. There are six rental car Calgary International Airportcompanies located at both Calgary International Airport and Edmonton International Airport.

It’s about an hour and half drive from Calgary to Banff, or a little over two hours to Lake Louise. Figure four hours by road from Edmonton to Jasper.

You can drive  from Banff to Jasper, or vice versa, in about three and a half hours. But it will take longer if you want to stop along the way to sightsee or spend a night or more between the far ends of Canada’s Rocky Mountain parklands.

Banff Airporter can take you from Calgary to Banff and Canmore. Brewster Transportation can deliver you there Brewster Bus to Canadian Rockiesas well. Greyhound provides bus service from Calgary to various stops within the mountain parks, all the way to Jasper.

Brewster Transportation can cart you from Edmonton to Jasper or to Banff and Lake Louise.  Greyhound buses ply the roads between Edmonton and the parks, too.

Sundog Transportation and Tours has once-daily shuttle service both westbound and eastbound between Edmonton and Jasper.

(In our next installment of “Travel Canada” we’ll head through the Canadian Rockies from Jasper to Banff and see what opportunities each park offers tourists.)

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