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transport between banff,jasper etc

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Hi,
I am just starting to do abit of research into a trip to Canada.
We are looking at flying to calgary,from uk,and would maybe like to stay ,banff,jasper ,and lake louise,could anyone please tell me if there are buses[or any public trasport ]between these places,
Thanks
sue

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    Hello suziuno,

    Yes, there is public transportation -- in the form of buses -- amongst these places. However, much as I am a believer in public transportation in many other places, I do not believe that the Canadian Rockies lend themselves to public transportation.

    There are scheduled buses that run from Calgary to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. Greyhound and Brewster are a couple of the companies that run scheduled services.

    The great limitation of the scheduled services is that they do not stop at the places that I regard as the jewels in the crown, the beautiful turquoise lakes such as Moraine Lake, Peyto Lake, etc. In addition to that, the scheduled services do not run frequently enough to give you much flexibility. Finally, while they make economic sense for a solitary traveller, buses are not that cheap for multiple travellers.

    There also are guided bus tours that DO visit the beautiful lakes. Again Brewser is one of the companies that offers this service. However, they give their passengers only brief photo opportunities at each stop. They do not permit enough time for their passengers to go off on any of the wonderful walks and hikes in those areas. Also, the guided bus tours are even more expensive than the scheduled bus services are.

    The Canadian Rockies are a destination in which I highly recommend that travellers rent a car if there is even the slightest chance that that option is feasible for them. We drive on the right hand side of the road here, and that will feel like the wrong side of the road to you. However, I have driven on what has felt like the wrong side of the road to me. As long as I've done it on country roads, outside of cities, it has felt fine to me. And that's coming from someone who is a cautious driver. I hate driving in unfamiliar cities, whether I'm driving on what feels like the correct side of the road or not. But rural driving is different. Practically all of your driving is this area would be through rural and wilderness areas, but on good, paved (sealed, tarred) roads.

    If you are planning to visit the Canadian Rockies in the summer (July, August), you'll find that some of the accommodations are booked up already. If you're planning to come in the autumn (September, October), it will be somewhat easier to find accommodation. In any event, I suggest that you make your reservations just as soon as you have your itinerary figured out.

    I took the liberty of clicking on your name to see what other messages, if any, you had posted at Fodor's. I often do that before responding to a poster who is new to the Canada forum, because it can be helpful in providing more context (what that traveller's budget might be like, what kinds of activities they enjoy, etc.). It sometimes helps me to draft a response that I hope is more specific to that person's tastes.

    I didn't read any of your prior posts, but I noticed that all of them, until now, have been in the Asia forum. I myself have never been to Asia. But I can well imagine that the Canadian Rockies are very different from many Asian destinations.

    For a start, I'm guessing that the Canadian Rockies are more expensive than many Asian destinations. For another thing, I'm guessing that there is a smaller population and less infrustructure here than there is in many Asian destinations.

    Large chunks of the Canadian Rockies are occupied by national parks that are intended to preserve wildlife habitat. The federal government controls the rate of growth of the towns in the mountain national parks. Hence, compared with the number of people who want to visit the area, there is not a massive array of services. Don't get me wrong. There are many hotels, restaurants, etc., in the mountains. It's just that, compared with the number of people who want to access them, they are not all that numerous.

    The main towns that serve as bases for the area you've said you want to visit are:

    Canmore, with a population of about 10,000 (not counting visitors)

    Banff (approx 7,000)

    Lake Louise (1,000)

    Jasper (5,000)

    Hope that helps.

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    Hi,
    Thanks very much,you have been very helpful, yes we have travelled all over asia,so this is very much new grounds for us.
    We will look into hiring a car, it would seem to make sence,
    Thanks again
    sue

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