Vancouver to Calgary in December

Feb 21st, 2004, 02:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 89
Vancouver to Calgary in December

Looking to get from Vancouver, via Whistler to Calgary before Christmas, Do they have buses or trains that do this. If not direct to Calgary, I know there is the fancy train that does the Rockies to Calgary but is there just a basic train. Prefer not to drive ourselves as we are from Australia and not used to snow and ice. Is the only option flying.
jbtraveller is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 02:59 PM
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Jbtraveller, there is no basic passenger train from Vancouver to Calgary. There is only the fancy one, which stops overnight en route (so that passengers can see the scenery in daylight) and is very expensive.

The Greyhound bus from Vancouver to Calgary takes about 15 hours, and costs about C$70 per person. (But consider that you would need to buy some meals along the way.)

If you flew a budget airline like Westjet, it would take 1 hour and cost about C$120 per person.

I don't know if the route via Whistler would be feasible in winter. I think you might have to return from Whistler to Vancouver and then set out for Calgary from there.

If it's any consolation to you, they work diligently at keeping the TransCanada Highway as clear of snow as possible. We're from South Africa originally, and we too were unaccustomed to snow when we arrived in Canada. The first winter we were here we drove a round trip route from Calgary to Banff to Jasper to Edmonton and back to Calgary, between Christmas and New Year, and we coped fine.

If you do drive, be sure to use a front wheel drive car, and come back here to Fodors for more winter driving tips.

I'm mystified why you're coming to Calgary in winter. Most people who come to this part of the world at that time of the year do it for the sake of the skiing, and then they stay in mountain resort towns like Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. Unless you have a specific reason for coming to Calgary in winter, I don't recommend it.

I see from your earlier posts you were contemplating a trip to the U.S. and Canada in August (if I understood you correctly), but I don't know what happened to those plans.

One of the disadvantages of visiting Canada in winter (aside from the cold) is that the days are short. Given the time and expense of getting from Australia to Canada, I wouldn't do it at a less than optimum time of year, unless here was a pressing reason.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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By the way, Jbtraveller, I have no idea how you're flying. For example, I don't know if you'll be on a round the world ticket, and if you could do your Vancouver - Calgary journey on that ticket.

It would be a shame, though, to miss the scenery between Vancouver and Calgary. The mountains really are spectacular.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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If you go to Greyhound Canada's website, you'll find that they don't have any buses that go further North from Whistler on Highway 99. Therefore you'll need to track back to Vancouver and transfer to another bus.

I've driven Vancouver-Kamloops around Christmas, and the Colquihalla Highway can be snow-covered over the mountain passes, but remain open, in December. I believe buses do run in those conditions, so you CAN still do it, but at reduced speed.

If you've never driven on snow, do not try it there. We're talking several mountain passes from Vancouver to Calgary.

BC Rail used to carry passengers, and you could take the train from Vancouver via Whistler to Prince George, and then connect to VIA Rail's "Skeena" to Jasper, and then the "Canadian" to Edmonton. You could then bus from Edmonton to Calgary. Unfortunately, passenger service on BC Rail has ended.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2004, 12:31 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Thanks Judy from Calgary, the question about Calgary in December was actually from my son who is travelling there, we are going in August.
jbtraveller is offline  

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