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Calgary to Banff, etc.by Coach tours/Public Transportation?

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Calgary to Banff, etc.by Coach tours/Public Transportation?

I have 2 options fly into Calgary from Toronto June 8th evening and attend workshop in Edmonton starting evening June 12th to June 14th in the afternoon, leave for Toronto from Edmonton or fly into Edmonton, attend the workshop until June 14th and fly out of Calgary to Toronto.

My friends in Calgary insist I make their home my base do the coach tours to Banff, Lake Louise etc. from Calgary.

Can you suggest what would be the best, economical way to do this? What coach tours would you recommend, I can take a whole day trip or side trips or is there a one tour that would cover whatever there is to see and return to Calgary? I will be on budget. I do not know how I will do the transfer between the cities. Also how can I include Jasper in this trip, would it make sense to do a return trip from Calgary to Jasper or just head towards Jasper stay there for a night (it is difficult to get one night stay, most Private Places insist on 2 nights in private homes for a single female) and make my way to Edmonton or Calgary whichever option I take with public transportation? Also what is there in Jasper to see for me during perhaps daytime before I make my way either way?

Which transportation company would have reasonable fares to go from either Edmonton to Jasper and or Jasper to Calgary and vice versa? Rather than taking a coach tour, could I just take some local transportation say from Calgary to Banff, spend a day there and return to Calgary?

Being single and a non driver makes planning difficult to sightsee your beautiful areas on a budget.

I would very much welcome any suggestions/advice.

Thank you.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Calgary to Banff, etc.by Coach tours/Public Transportation?

Public transportation options are somewhat limited. Between Jasper and Edmonton, there is the Greyhound bus - www.greyhound.ca , VIA Rail (3 days per week, leaving around 8 am) www.viarail.ca , and the Sundog Tours shuttle (airport, West Edm. Mall, Jasper). Sundog also operates a Banff/Calgary airport shuttle from Jasper, and Brewster Tours operate a day tour between Jasper and Banff in the summertime. There are various options between Banff and Calgary, including Greyhound and other companies offering shuttles.

Without local transportation within the parks, it's hard to get to any of the sights and attractions that are out of town. In the town of Banff, you can use the town's transit system, "Roam", to get to the Upper Hot Springs and the Sulphur Mountain Gondola. In Jasper National Park, the Jasper Tramway is only 10 km from town, so it's possible to go by taxi. Sundog used to run a shuttle in conjunction with the tramway, but I don't know if that still operates or not. There are also trails in the townsite area that are pleasant, so you could do a hike. Rafting companies include transportation with their trips, and Maligne Tours operates a shuttle up to Maligne Lake, where you can take the boat cruise.

In Jasper, as you have discovered, many PHAs (private home accommodations) have two-night minimums for advance reservations, especially during the busy summer tourist season, but you can find a one-night vacancy from the Daily Vacancy List that is posted each day at the Visitor Information Centre. In mid-June, especially mid-week, there are usually quite a number of homes listed on the daily vacancy list. If you would rather have something booked ahead, I would suggest checking the online availability report at http://www.stayinjasper.com/avcal/report.asp - it shows up to ten days in advance (currently showing to June 4th) and you can easily see who has vacancies.

Destination Expert
for Seattle
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2. Re: Calgary to Banff, etc.by Coach tours/Public Transportation?

I left Jasper today and the tramway tour with sundog is still a viable option. I don't think you'd do any jsutice to the rockies staying in Calgary the whole time. Spending a few days in Banff then flying out of Calgary makes a whole lot more sense.

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3. Re: Calgary to Banff, etc.by Coach tours/Public Transportation?

Thank you very much both of you for such detailed information.

I am amazed at the wealth of information that you share with visitors to help them decide.

I shall have to rethink my itinerary.

Will get back if I need further information.

Thanks again.

4. Re: Calgary to Banff, etc.by Coach tours/Public Transportation?

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