In the old times, the only way that you can reach Banff in Alberta is through horseback. You can know more about this town on this site here. Now, there are so many modes of transportation that you can take and see the splendor of the areas. Banff is known for its National Park where you can do a lot of activities.
The area is famous for colored lakes, outdoor adventures, and majestic mountains. It has a rich heritage and the world’s third national park that is worth the visit.
You can access the wilderness and the Canadian Rockies because of the park’s proximity to them. The forests, meadows, peaks, valleys, rivers, mountains, and glaciers are something that can invite you to spend your time with nature and forget the busy streets of the metropolitan cities.
For a mountain retreat, it’s best if you can plan your accommodations and journey in advance. You can get by with the Calgary bus to Banff or rented cars as long as you make the arrangement beforehand. Your trip can be worth it, and you would encounter less hassle if you’re planning well.
About the Journey that You’ll Take
Regardless of whether you’ll take the bus or a private car, know that the journey is going to be a spectacular one. The endless stretches of the dry Alberta prairies that seem to end toward the Rockies at the horizon are a sight that you should never miss. You may find yourself facing sky-piercing picks and rugged mountains with the blue sky as the perfect backdrop in the background.
Cruise along the highways and arrive at the picturesque town of Banff. This is a place that’s surrounded by pines with the Bow River that forms like a ribbon through the area.
Getting Through the Shuttle or Bus Services
One of the most popular transportation options, if you are from the Calgary International Airport, is the bus. Some of the available bus expresses can drop you at nearby locations like Lake Louise, Canmore, Jasper, or Kananaskis. Read more info about Canmore in this link: https://www.naturalstep.ca/town-of-canmore-alberta. Shuttle services are relatively common in the area, and there’s complimentary Wi-Fi onboard.
You can have more stops in the Canadian Rockies in other routes and take a driver that knows where to go. Some drivers are very knowledgeable about the Rockies, so the trip will mostly be an entertaining one. You can travel as a single guest or take your entire family with you on the trip.
The Bus in Times of COVID-19
The pandemic has brought a whole new way of living, and it affected almost every industry around the world. It’s natural for people to hesitate when they are going to Banff on a bus. If you are one of them, you can rest assured that your safety is one of the utmost priorities during travel in times of COVID-19 and can get to your destination healthy. Some of the measures that the companies took are the following:
- Adequate physical distancing by limiting the overall capacity to 50%
- Reservation of empty seats between each person
- Sanitation rules and hygiene protocols
- All buses are sanitized before they leave
- There are available alcohol and sanitizers on board for those who want to clean their hands
- Staff training has been improved a lot with everyone’s well-being in mind
- Collaboration with regional partners and experts to know if the trip will be on schedule
- Implementation of strategies to make the passengers relax and enjoy the Canadian Rockies.
Know that you can take advantage of the daily shuttle buses that leave the airports every day. The Regional service buses are reasonably cheap at $10 per passenger, so you may want to check this out. The trip may take approximately 2 hours from Calgary’s Downtown to one of your hotels in Banff.
You need to wear surgical masks and face shields throughout the trip. Guidelines for social distancing are there, and temperatures are getting checked. The sanitation process is taken seriously for the safety of passengers and staff.
There are options for transfer in any route included during the transit as long as within the town of Banff or Canmore. The Roam can take visitors to the gondolas or a short trail to walk with on the Tunnel Mountains. The people in the area also made it easier for tourists to go on explorations while practicing physical distancing in the process.
You can always get private transfer services like deluxe SUVs, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans, Mini Coaches, and Luxury Sedans on your way to Banff. Some of the rented cars are available in many companies, and the shuttles will make the trip a seamless experience for you.
In-house fleets are always available, and they all come with insurance. The suppliers can guarantee that you can get the most refined cars along with entertainment, refreshments, and snacks while you’re navigating your way through the parks.
You can drive alone or include a guide along the way. Small groups who want to do sightseeing can do so for a full day, or they can always arrange for someone to collect them when it’s time for them to check out of their lodgings.
More About Driving on your Own
You can get lots of advantages when you decide to drive on your own when you visit the National Park. There are plenty of attractions where you can take pictures, and you may explore off-the-beaten-track whenever possible. You can also go back downtown whenever you need something at any time you choose.
If you don’t have your car, a guided tour can pick you up from the hotel, but the spaces may be limited. Find parking lots through your smartphone and ask if roads are being constructed, especially if you are going in early November or late May.
You can go to the Stoney Trail or Highway 201 that skips the inner section of the city. This will allow you to get to Banff sooner. Instead of taking two hours for the trip, the drive can take just an hour and a half. Many of the locals will go to this route, especially when they are in a hurry. Know that this route does not have many stops when it comes to shopping, fuel, or food, so you would have to wait until you reach the town.
You may also want to try going into Highway 1 or the Trans-Canada highway. It can have lots of stoplights and is a bit slow, but you’ll pass lots of grocery stores and shopping malls. This is ideal if you plan to stock on supplies before arriving at Banff. The prices can be expensive when it comes to the National Park, so you may want to think about your options carefully.