Getting to the Canadian Rockies
One of your quickest options for getting here is the Calgary International Airport, located just an hour and a half from Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies. From there you can rent a car and drive yourself to the Canadian Rockies, or take hourly shuttles available at the airport.
Sun Dog Transportation and Tours is the official Canmore and Banff airport transportation and shuttle service for the entire Canmore/Kananaskis region and CanadianRockies.net. Sun Dog provides complete Calgary, Banff, Jasper Edmonton, transportation and sightseeing tours. Call 888-786-3641 or 780-852-9663.
Driving times for getting to the Canadian Rockies
Vancouver to Victoria Ferry trip is approximately 1.5 hrs one way, not including wait time for ferry and driving times to/from ferry terminals. Vancouver to Banff is approximately 900km one way-or about 10 hours.
Banff to Jasper approximately 300 km one-way or about 3.5 hours. Banff to Calgary is approximately 135 km one way or around 1.5 hours. Jasper to Edmonton approx 400 km one way or around 4 hours.
Winter Driving in the Canadian Rockies
The winter driving conditions aren’t really that bad, if you don’t mind riding behind eight harnessed caribou, bundled in a parka on the way to the igloo you’ll be sleeping/freezing in. But seriously, our roads in the Canadian Rockies are top-notch. They are well-maintained and passable all year round. Yes, we do have the occasional bad snow storm, but it’s a small price to pay for world-class scenery and recreation.
You may be surprised to find out that you don’t even need four-wheel-drive to get around here. Overall, the roads are great, just use extra caution during the winter, and if the roads do feel a little slick, the best advice is often to just slow it down a little. Remember, you’re on vacation. Take it easy and you’ll get to where you’re going.
National Park Fees in the Canadian Rockies
The national parks in the Canadian Rockies have some of the best kept trails and updated facilities you’ll find at any national park. As you might expect, this level of service costs money, and you’ll be expected to foot part of the bill. Overall, the rates are reasonable. Just think of it as doing your part to preserve the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Or don’t. I can’t make you. But either way, you’ll have to contribute. Rates are as follows.
Daily fees for national parks in the Canadian Rockies
Commercial Group, per person $7.30
School Groups, per student $3.90
Annual fee-National Parks of Canada (This includes entry to 27 participating National Parks).
Annual fees: Discovery Package (Includes entry to 27 participating National Parks and 78 participating National Historic Sites).
If you haven’t spent much time in the mountains, you may not realize how quickly weather at high elevations can change. A day that starts off bright and sunny can quickly produce a powerful thunderstorm, complete with hail, and then switch back just as fast to a nice calm day. Chances are the weather here will conform to the seasons, but you want to be prepared. The best advice: dress in layers, wear clothes made of synthetic fabrics that dry quickly, and bring something for the occasional thunderstorm.