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Questions about Banff
Posted October 24th, 2012 - 12:57 am by from Mozac, France (Permalink)
Hello everybody,

I'm a French girl actually linking in Vancouver. I would like to visit the national park of Banff but I don't really know how to carry out. Maybe it's better if I show you my problem with questions:
- Is it possible to enter with the car of someone you found in the entrance ? Someone did it already ?
- If I can't go inside like this what will you suggest me ? To rent a bike ? ( I don't have license driver... )
- When is the best time to go there?
- How many days should I spend to visit if I wanna see enough ?

If people already have been there by themselves I will be happy to listen your stories :)

Thanks in advance

Posted October 25th, 2012 - 2:18 am by from Christchurch, New Zealand (Permalink)
my first time there I went hitchhiking and stayed at YHA youth hostel. From there you can do few hikes. Then some other hikes are far from the village so I hitchhiked. Another day I met in YHA hostel some body that was going north so I joined her and I went through the nice highway sharing costs.
Thas is the bes, you can stop in all the parking lots to see the lakes. Then I stopped in jasper and came back hitch hiking too.

It is too big to visit it by bike.

The best is with a car, becasue the busses they do not go though the nice road, their route is out of the national park.

the lasts resort if you cannot find any body in the YHA that can share the trip is to pay for a day trip to jasper with brewster.


it is not taht expensive and they go through the nice road, they stop in many places for you to see. If they see a bear they stop... it is a tourist bus full of japanese :-)

but seriously, get a person with a car in the YHA Banff or samesun backpackers that wants to share costs with his car.

to know banff NP you need to hike. are you ready to hike in the snow? right gear, good maps. right food.


Posted October 25th, 2012 - 4:00 pm by from Mozac, France (Permalink)
Thanks Silvia for all your nice informations.

I have few more questions to ask you :

- Did you already use this touristic bus or do you know someone who used it ? if yes, is it really a good deal?
- With a car can I see enough or do I need also to hike ?

Posted October 26th, 2012 - 10:18 pm by from Christchurch, New Zealand (Permalink)
yes I did it with this bus once. I think is the only option if you have no car, as Greyhound will never go through the National Park. Plus in Jasper when you arrive there are some short hikes that are amazing too.

They stop in all the nice places along the way, but many places they do not stop because the hike to the place is more than 5 minutes walk and therefore they only stop in places that you can see nice things along the way or in a short walks.

The car gives you freedom to stop in every place and decide to hike or not. SOme hikes are 5 minutes, some are 20 minutes and some are a day hike.

You see enough if you do not hike, but it is worthy many times to see things from a higher position, like the Peyto Lake, 15 minutes walk.

Posted October 29th, 2012 - 3:00 am by from Mozac, France (Permalink)
Thank you so much for all this informations :)

I looked in the website you gave me and i saw a lot of options ( boat trip on the lake, night trip, different hours, until jasper... ) . What did you take?

Posted October 29th, 2012 - 6:08 pm by from Christchurch, New Zealand (Permalink)
I took the bus ride from banff to jasper, they stop in some nice places for you to see, thay also stop in few places where you can hike few minutes to get to the landscape.
It shows you something of the best you cn see on the road.

Posted October 29th, 2012 - 11:42 pm by from Mozac, France (Permalink)
Ok thank you. This one looks nice but this is still 169 dollars so I will see ;)

Posted November 7th, 2012 - 8:29 pm by from Calgary, Canada (Permalink)
A car is really your best bet! There are lots of car rental places in Calgary, Canmore and Banff.

If you are considering spending over $150 on a tour bus, I would suggest putting that money towards just renting your own car. If you find a cheap place to stay that is central, you can walk everywhere in the town of Banff and only get a car for the days you want to explore the surrounding attractions. I reccommend Moraine Lake (near Lake Louise) as a must see.

Once you are in town you can rent a bike but if there is snow you likely won't want to bike, and I'm not sure they rent them year round.

In town you can walk to the Bow River where there is a cleared area for skating, Bow Falls, the Sulphur Mountain gondola. There is also a bus service that takes you around town as well.

Best time to go is any season depending on what you like to do! Winter is for skiiing, snowboarding, ice skating, ice climbing. You can also go on a dog sled trip or go on an ice walk guided tour of Johnson's Canyon.
Summer is nice for hiking and biking, swimming, etc.
All year round it is beautiful though!! I lived there for over a year.

I would say that if you have the time, 4 or 5 days would be a good length of time. That being said, people visit and never leave!! 4 or 5 days gives you enough time to do a couple sight seeing days, a day to relax and a day or two to go skiing or snowboarding. There is also a theatre up at the Banff Centre that shows concerts and other arts events all year round.