Category Archives: New Visitors “How-To” Travel Guide

Jasper-Banff-Lake Louise-Calgary Shuttle *

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Price: $20 and up
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* PLEASE NOTE this service is available from October 20th 2016 to April 30th 2017. Schedule changes to Brewster bus service on May 1st 2017.

Departures Southbound from Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff to Calgary International Airport

Jasper 07:00 a.m.
Lake Louise 10:45 a.m.
Banff * 12:00 p.m.
Arrive Calgary Airport  1:50 p.m.

*Banff to Calgary segment operated by Brewster Transportation from Brewster Bus Depot at 12:00 p.m.

Departures Northbound from Calgary International Airport, Banff, Lake Louise to Jasper

Calgary Airport**       11:30 a.m.
Banff  1:30 p.m.
Lake Louise  2:45 p.m.
Arrive Jasper  5:30 p.m.

**Calgary Airport to Banff segment operated by Brewster Transportation. Please present yourself to Brewster/Sundog transportation desk located at international arrivals gate C. Connecting SunDog vehicle departs Brewster bus depot at 1:30 p.m.

2015-2016 (GST not included) Adult Child
Jasper / Calgary $124.00 $69.00
Jasper / Lake Louise $64.00 $35.00
Jasper / Banff $74.00 $39.00
Banff / Lake Louise $20.00 $10.00

Important Booking Information

  • All costs are per person in Canadian Dollars. Please add 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) to all rates.
  • All schedules are shown in the 24-hour clock format.
  • Pick-up location and flight times required for all Shuttle bookings.
  • Client will need to notify SunDog of pick-up location or time changes from the original request or client may be missed.
  • Pick-ups and drop-offs available from any address in Jasper.

Jasper Lake Louise Banff Calgary Transportation *

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* PLEASE NOTE this service is available from October 20th 2015 to April 30th 2016. Schedule changes to Brewster bus service on May 1st 2016.

Departures Southbound from Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff to Calgary International Airport

Jasper 07:00 a.m.
Lake Louise 10:45 a.m.
Banff * 12:00 p.m.
Arrive Calgary Airport  1:50 p.m.

*Banff to Calgary segment operated by Brewster Transportation from Brewster Bus Depot at 12:00 p.m.

Departures Northbound from Calgary International Airport, Banff, Lake Louise to Jasper

Calgary Airport** 11:30 a.m.
Banff  1:30 p.m.
Lake Louise  2:45 p.m.
Arrive Jasper  5:30 p.m.

**Calgary Airport to Banff segment operated by Brewster Transportation. Please present yourself to Brewster/Sundog transportation desk located at international arrivals gate C. Connecting SunDog vehicle departs Brewster bus depot at 1:30 p.m.

2014-2015 (GST not included) Adult Child
Jasper / Calgary $119.00 $69.00
Jasper / Lake Louise $59.00 $35.00
Jasper / Banff $69.00 $39.00
Banff / Lake Louise $20.00 $10.00

Important Booking Information

  • Daily Winter scheduled Airport shuttle service between the Calgary International Airport, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper.
  • Daily scheduled Airport shuttle service between the Edmonton International Airport and Jasper.
  • Private charter services throughout Alberta.
  • Convenient schedules, with numerous daily departures to and from Calgary International and Edmonton International airports.
  • Group services for 10-1000 people.

Edmonton-Jasper Shuttle Service

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Price: $29 and up
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A convenient schedule has been put in place that offers the opportunity to travel to and from West Edmonton Mall or the Edmonton International Airport without changing buses and with limited stops. If all you require is a half-day in the city; passengers who book a same day return will have approximately 4 1/2 hours to enjoy the city before returning home at a convenient time at one low price! This service also makes the stunning town of Jasper much more accessible for all visitors. Be sure to visit our Winter Activities page or Winter Deals page for exciting things to do while in Jasper!

Eastbound

  • 7:00 a.m. Commence pick-ups at Jasper Hotels.
  • 7:25 a.m. Depart Jasper Park Lodge.
  • 8:15 a.m. Pick-up drop-off in Hinton (Hinton IGA). No rest stop.
  • 8:20 a.m. Depart Hinton.
  • 9:15 a.m. Arrive in Edson (Best Western High Road Inn) for pick-up / drop-off and rest stop.
  • 9:30 a.m. Depart Edson.
  • 11:30 a.m. Arrive at West Edmonton Mall.
  • 11:35 a.m Depart West Edmonton Mall.
  • 12:30 p.m. Arrive Edmonton International Airport.

Westbound

  • 3:00 p.m. Guests meet at door #10 International Arrivals.
  • 3:15 p.m. Depart Edmonton International Airport.
  • 3:50 p.m. Guests meet driver in lobby of Fantasyland Hotel at West Edmonton Mall.
  • 4:00 p.m. Depart Edmonton.
  • 6:00 p.m. Pick-up / drop offs, rest stop in Edson (Best Western High Road Inn).
  • 6:15 p.m. Depart Edson.
  • 7:05 p.m. Pick-up / drop-off in Hinton.
  • 7:10 p.m. Depart Hinton.
  • 8:00 p.m. Drop-offs begin in Jasper.
One Way Fares Adult Child
Jasper-West Edmonton Mall $89.00 $49.00
Jasper-Edmonton Int’l Airport $99.00 $59.00
Hinton-West Edmonton Mall $59.00 $35.00
Hinton- Edmonton Int’l Airport $69.00 $39.00
Edson-West Edmonton Mall $49.00 $29.00
Edson-Edmonton Int’l Airport $59.00 $35.00
West Edmonton Mall Day Bus-from Jasper $99.00  $59.00
West Edmonton Mall Day Bus-from Hinton $69.00 $39.00
West Edmonton Mall Day Bus-from Edson $59.00 $35.00

Important Booking Information

  • All costs are per person in Canadian Dollars. Please add 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) to all rates.
  • All schedules are shown in the 24-hour clock format.
  • Pick-up location and flight times required for all Shuttle bookings.
  • Client will need to notify SunDog of pick-up location or time changes from the original request or client may be missed.
  • Pick-ups and drop-offs available from any address in Jasper.

Canadian Rockies Climate

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Climate is one of the most important factors when considering when to come to the Canadian Rockies, and what to bring. Below you’ll find the average high and low temperatures for Banff and Jasper, Alberta. Keep in mind that the weather varies quite a bit, despite what the averages say, and, per Murphy’s Law, it tends toward colder and and wetter than you had expected. The best advice is to be prepared.

Climate data for Jasper
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.3
(55.9)
16.5
(61.7)
20
(68)
26.5
(79.7)
30.4
(86.7)
32.8
(91)
36.7
(98.1)
35
(95)
32.4
(90.3)
27.2
(81)
16.7
(62.1)
15
(59)
36.7
(98.1)
Average high °C (°F) -5
(23)
-0.9
(30.4)
4.7
(40.5)
10.8
(51.4)
15.8
(60.4)
19.3
(66.7)
21.9
(71.4)
21.6
(70.9)
16.4
(61.5)
10.1
(50.2)
0.4
(32.7)
-4.8
(23.4)
9.2
(48.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) -9.8
(14.4)
-6.3
(20.7)
-1.2
(29.8)
4.3
(39.7)
9.1
(48.4)
12.8
(55)
15
(59)
14.5
(58.1)
9.8
(49.6)
4.5
(40.1)
-4
(25)
-9.2
(15.4)
3.3
(37.9)
Average low °C (°F) -14.6
(5.7)
-11.8
(10.8)
-7.1
(19.2)
-2.3
(27.9)
2.4
(36.3)
6.2
(43.2)
8.1
(46.6)
7.4
(45.3)
3.3
(37.9)
-1.2
(29.8)
-8.5
(16.7)
-13.6
(7.5)
-2.6
(27.3)
Record low °C (°F) -46.7
(-52.1)
-43.3
(-45.9)
-36.7
(-34.1)
-28.9
(-20)
-13.9
(7)
-6.7
(19.9)
-1.7
(28.9)
-3
(27)
-11.1
(12)
-28.7
(-19.7)
-38.8
(-37.8)
-42.2
(-44)
-46.7
(-52.1)
Precipitation mm (inches) 26.9
(1.059)
16
(0.63)
17.6
(0.693)
18.8
(0.74)
29.9
(1.177)
55
(2.17)
60.1
(2.366)
59.1
(2.327)
37.3
(1.469)
28.7
(1.13)
24.5
(0.965)
24.8
(0.976)
398.7
(15.697)
Climate data for Banff
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 12.2
(54)
14.7
(58.5)
17.2
(63)
25.6
(78.1)
29.4
(84.9)
33.3
(91.9)
34.4
(93.9)
33.9
(93)
31
(88)
26.5
(79.7)
16.5
(61.7)
12.5
(54.5)
34.4
(93.9)
Average high °C (°F) -4.6
(23.7)
-0.4
(31.3)
4.5
(40.1)
9.5
(49.1)
14.5
(58.1)
19.5
(67.1)
22.9
(73.2)
22.3
(72.1)
16.3
(61.3)
10.1
(50.2)
0.2
(32.4)
-5.1
(22.8)
8.9
(48)
Daily mean °C (°F) -9.3
(15.3)
-6
(21)
-1.4
(29.5)
3.5
(38.3)
8.1
(46.6)
12
(54)
14.6
(58.3)
14.1
(57.4)
9.5
(49.1)
4.4
(39.9)
-4.1
(24.6)
-9.2
(15.4)
3
(37)
Average low °C (°F) -14.1
(6.6)
-11.6
(11.1)
-7.3
(18.9)
-2.5
(27.5)
1.7
(35.1)
5.4
(41.7)
7.4
(45.3)
6.9
(44.4)
2.7
(36.9)
-1.3
(29.7)
-8.4
(16.9)
-13.3
(8.1)
-2.9
(26.8)
Record low °C (°F) -51.2
(-60.2)
-45
(-49)
-40.6
(-41.1)
-27.2
(-17)
-17.8
(-0)
-3.9
(25)
-1.7
(28.9)
-4.5
(23.9)
-16.7
(1.9)
-27
(-17)
-40.6
(-41.1)
-48.3
(-54.9)
-51.2
(-60.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 27.5
(1.083)
21.9
(0.862)
23.4
(0.921)
32.4
(1.276)
59.6
(2.346)
61.7
(2.429)
54.2
(2.134)
60.1
(2.366)
42.1
(1.657)
29.4
(1.157)
26.8
(1.055)
33.2
(1.307)
472.3
(18.594)

Winter Driving in the Canadian Rockies


Getting around the Canadian Rockies year ’round

The Canadian Rockies 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, roads in and around Lake Louise, Jasper National Park, Banff National Park, Golden and Canmore are top-notch.

The Canadian Rockies’ roads are well-maintained and passable all year round. Yes, there is 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.

Winter Q & A

Q: Are the roads leading to the Canadian Rockies very snowy, with lots of black ice? Do you need snow chains almost everyday? Are the roads closed during winter?

A: Most roads will have some degree of snow cover and perhaps some ice – though black ice is rare in this area. Rental cars come equipped with all season tires which are sufficient for normal travel on highways – again – highways are maintained.

While the roads throughout the Rocky Mountains will be open there may be temporary closures due to winter storms or avalanche safety work. Roads are maintained throughout the year – the only time they close is in very bad storm conditions due to lack of visibility.

Q: Are places like the Icefield, Lake Louise and Maligne Canyon still accessible using a normal vehicle?

A: Yes, though places like the Icefield Centre will not be open during the winter.

Q: I have a 4 wheel drive, does that mean that I do not need snow chains?

A: Most driving challenges here do not involve slippery conditions but rather visibility conditions.

Four wheel drive only provides assistance with forward motion – it does not help with stopping, sliding, etc. Slowing down is the only option no matter how equipped your vehicle is.

Q: Will all attractions be open in the winter?

A: Some, but not all. The hot springs in Radium (Kootenay National Park) and in Banff will be open. Ski hills will be open, the Banff Gondola will be open, and most museums will be open. Roads to more remote attractions, if not open are, often turned into cross country ski trails.

Q: What is the the biggest challenge of a driving tour of the Canadian Rockies in the winter time?

A: Your main challenge is that the drive from Vancouver to Radium/Banff/Lake Louise/ Jasper/Edmonton and back. It is a very long one, so you may want to allow yourself some more time. It can be done but you are not going to be able to do a lot of things other than quick stops and scenic drives.

Your second challenge is going to be the short daylight hours – during that time frame you are going to be experiencing very short days – approximately 8 – 9 hours of daylight only – from 8 a.m. to about 5 p.m.

The first part of your drive through Britsh Columbia (BC) is going to be the most populated area – once you enter the national parks you are going to be driving through wilderness areas.

Most of the activities around here focus on outdoor recreation – ice skating, skiing, dog sledding, snowmobile touring.

Things you should have in your Car

Because you are traveling in a remote area, cell phones will not always, tow trucks are usually hours away ,and some roads may not be very well traveled other than by the occassional snow plow. Therefore, you should be prepared to wait.

Emergency Survival Kit

Common sense, preparation and planning are key to your safety.
A few basic precautions can help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones on the road. First, make sure your car is fit for travel—get a complete check-up before you go anywhere.

You should keep an emergency survival kit in your vehicle at all times. Keep one kit in the trunk and make sure you include the following items:

  • Shovel
  • Traction mats
  • Warning light / triangles or road flares
  • Emergency food pack
  • Booster cables
  • Road maps
  • Matches and a “survival” candle in a deep can (to warm hands, heat a drink or use as an emergency light)
  • Sand, salt or kitty litter
  • Tow chain
  • Cloth or roll of paper towels
  • Extra clothing and footwear *** – very important – if nothing else throw a blanket in the car
  • Axe or hatchet
  • Ice scraper and brush – if you rent a car ensure it has one of these.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Methyl hydrate (for fuel line and windshield de-icing)

Canadian Rockies Weather

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Weather in the Canadian Rockies

Weather in the Canadian Rockies may be much different than what you are used to. The weather in high altitude like Lake Louise, Jasper National Park, Banff National Park, Golden and Canmore is subject to change without notice. In general, this means you should be prepared for the worst, although most of the time, you’ll be getting the absolute best.

General Weather Overview

The Summer climate (July/August) brings low humidity, warm temperatures and extended daylight hours lasting until 11 p.m. at the height of the summer equinox.

The Autumn season (Sept/Oct) sees a diminishing of daylight hours and warm days with cooling evening winds. The first snows being to fall on the Canadian Rockies sometime in November (though it can and does snow whenever nature dictates – we have had major blizzards leave several feet of snow in mid-summer).

The snow is usually staying for the winter by November with the first of several winter storms coming in from the Pacific heralding the arrival of ski season. Sometime during the month of December/January the Rockies usually experience a brief two week cold snap with temperatures plummeting into the low -30 degree C/F range but the average temperature during the winter months is around -12º C (6º F).

Luckily, throughout the winter months, Banff and areas west and south regularly receive a welcome weather phenomenon, known as Chinooks, which can produce spring-like temperatures in a matter of hours.

Spring begins sometime in March, but the snow stays until mid April when rain and warming temperatures melt winter away from the valleys – snow does not leave the mountain passes until mid-summer. May and June are the Rockies’ rainy periods, though we have awoke in May to foot of snow. While the average precipitation is relatively low during this time, snowmelt pushes the rivers to their crests.

The UV rating for Banff and surrounding area is usually high to extremely high throughout the year. Because of our altitude and the suns’ angle of incidence in our section of the world, people tend to burn much faster than usual — bring along sunscreen, a shade hat and a pair of sunglasses.

Elevations of prominent points and towns.

Location Altitude (meters) Altitude (feet)
Golden 785 2574
Rogers Pass 1,327 4,340
Kicking Horse Pass 1,650 5,340
Lake Louise (Village) 1,540 5,052
Lake Louise (Lake) 1,731 5,680
Banff 1,384 4,540
Bow Summit ** 2,067 6.780
Jasper 1,061 3,478
Calgary 1,077 3,531

** highest point on the icefield parkway between Banff and Jasper

The Calgary Airport


The Calgary Airport is a very simple airport to find your way around – all North American flights arrive on the 2nd Arrivals level – the baggage carousels are located down one level.

International flights have a separate contained arrivals section and baggage pickup.

canada_customs

TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

There are several transportation options available to make your way from the airport to the Banff area.

Buses, and shuttle vans leave on a regular schedule but are on a first come- first served basis – all transport companies are located across from the baggage pickup area.

You can make reservations with Jasper Vacations which have shuttle vans and mini-buses.

On-line Discount Car rentals

Car Rentals at the Airport:
Avis 1-800-879-2847
Dollar Rent A Car 1-800-800-4000
Hertz 1-800-263-0600
Thrifty Car Rental 1-800-367-2277
National Tilden 1-800-387-4747
Budget 1-800-268-8900

The Simplest Driving Route from Calgary airport to Banff:
Upon leaving rental car section head south (towards the city) along Barlow Tr.
Continue along Barlow Tr and exit right (west) onto 16th Avenue (the Trans-Canada highway name in the city of Calgary).
Follow 16th Ave thru the City of Calgary – this road renames into the Trans-Canada highway #1 and will take you directly to the Canmore/Banff area –
No turns are necessary once you are on 16th Avenue/Trans-Canada #1.

Getting to Jasper

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Banff Airport Shuttle Service for Jasper

Maligne ToursJasper Vacations offers convenient transportation for visitors from Jasper to Maligne Lake, the shuttle service runs four times per day in high season, coordinated with the departure of the Spirit Island scenic cruise.

Use airport shuttle service to Jasper!

Jasper Vacations is the official airport and shuttle service for BanffNationalPark.com and CanadianRockies.net. They offer a unique, convenient and affordable service that guarantees reliable transportation to and from Calgary International Airport as well as Edmonton. They provide complete transportation from Calgary and Edmonton to Jasper. Call them at 888-786-3641 or at 780 852-9663.

Getting to Jasper

Jasper National Park is situated 370 kilometers (192 mi) west of Edmonton, 404 kilometers (256 mi) northwest of Calgary and 805 km (500 mi) northeast of Vancouver .

Getting to Jasper by Vehicle

Driving to Jasper National Park is scenic and beautiful.

The Trans-Canada Highway #16 (also called the Yellowhead Highway) runs through the park and is the main route to and from Jasper. The Icefields Parkway connects Jasper with the Trans-Canada Highway #1 near Lake Louise and Banff.

All major roads in Jasper are paved and all major highways have shoulders. Make sure to factor in plenty of time for breaks, slow traffic, and inclement weather conditions. The maximum speed limit inside the national parks is 90 km/hr, with several areas having slower limits for wildlife safety.

Some roads, especially the Mt. Edith Cavell road, can be rough and difficult to navigate with large recreational vehicles because of tight hairpin bends. Long, steep grades of 8-11% can be found on the Icefields Parkway especially near Bow Lake and when accending/decending the Sunwapta Pass in the Columbia Icefield Area.

Getting to Jasper by Air

Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver all have international airports that are serviced by major national and international carriers. Learn more about airline service to Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Getting to Jasper by Rail

Via Rail has regular train service to Jasper via Edmonton and Vancouver.
Learn more about Via Rail service to Jasper.

Getting to Jasper by Bus

Both Vancouver and Edmonton have regular Greyhound bus service to Jasper. Greyhound is typically slow and cumbersome. Jasper Vacations offers tour buses to and from Jasper via Banff along the spectacular Icefields Parkway. Learn more about Jasper Vacations by click here or calling 888-786-3641 or 780 852-4056.

By Rental Car

There are several car rental agencies located in the Jasper and Banff town sites.

Getting to Canmore, Alberta

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Use airport shuttle service to Canmore, Alberta!

Jasper Vacations is the official Canmore and Banff airport and shuttle service for the Canmore Kananaskis region and CanmoreKananaskis.com. They offer fast, convenient and affordable service that guarantees reliable transportation to and from Calgary International Airport as well as Edmonton Airport. They provide complete transportation from Calgary and Edmonton to Canmore. Call 888-786-3641 or 780-852-9663.

Getting to Canmore, Alberta by Road:

Canmore, Alberta is one of Alberta’s greatest small town tourism destinations.

Located just outside of the entrance of Banff National Park via the Trans Canada Highway (Highway #1) approximately 106 kilometers (66 miles) west of Calgary. The drive from Calgary is an easy, scenic drive. You will take a divided double-lane highway and takes you from the prairies, through the foothills and into the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Canmore is the first major town you’ll find on your drive west through the Canadian Rockies; there are 3 exits off the Trans Canada Highway. Canmore will the the Albertan town you enjoy the most.

Getting to Canmore, Alberta by Air:

If you’re flying into Calgary, you’d arrive at The Calgary Airport, a 1.5 hour drive to Canmore. Car rentals and shuttles service by Sun Dog Tour Company are available at the Airport. In addition Sun Dog can take you directly to Canmore. Visit www.calgaryairport.com for further information.

Getting to Canmore from Edmonton: If you’re flying into Edmonton, you’d arrive at one of the Edmonton Airports. Edmonton is about a 4.5 hours drive to Canmore.

Getting to Banff

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Banff Airport Shuttle Service

Jasper Vacations is the official airport and shuttle service for BanffNationalPark.com and CanadianRockies.net. They offer a unique, convenient and affordable service that guarantees reliable transportation to and from Calgary International Airport. Jasper Vacations provide complete transportation from Calgary to Banff and Jasper as well as shuttle service from Edmonton. Call them at 888-786-3641 or at 780 852-9663.

Getting to Banff by Air

Banff National Park and town site is very easy to get to.

Banff is easily accessible from the Calgary International Airport, the Canadian Rockies hub for world-wide connections. Calgary Airport has many of the top airlines that operate regular flights to Calgary. These airlines include Canada, Westjet, American Airlines, United Airlines,
Continental Airlines, and Northwest Airlines. All of the major car rental agencies are represented at the Calgary International Airport.

Getting to Banff by Car

Transportation to and from Banff is easy on Canada’s national Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway. It’s one of the most splendid and enjoyable drives in all of western Canada. Banff town site is located 120 kilometers from Calgary and the journey takes approximately 1.5 hours. Lake Louise is 58 kilometers west of Banff. Because Banff is situated inside a National Park, you will need to purchase a national park pass at the park gate. Rates are $9 per day per person, or $18 per day for a car with 2-7 people.

Here are some driving distances in the Banff, Canmore Kananaskis area

Lake Louise: via #1 Hwy (west), 45 minutes.
Lake Louise: via #1A Bow Valley Parkway (west), 1 hour.
Jasper: via #1 Hwy & #93 (north), 3 – 4 hours.
Columbia Icefields: via #1 Hwy & #93 (north), 2 hours.
Calgary: via #1 Hwy (east), 1.5 hours.
Vancouver: via #1 Hwy (west), 10 – 12 hours.
Edmonton: via #1 Hwy (east) & #2 Hwy (north), 4.5 hours

Distances from the Town of Banff and:
Calgary – 128 km
Canmore – 26 km
Edmonton – 401 km
Golden – 134 km
Halifax – 5,121 km
Jasper – 287 km
Lake Louise – 58 km
Montreal – 3,872 km
New York – 4,448 km
Quebec City – 4,142 km
Radium – 134 km
San Francisco – 2,050 km
Toronto – 3,563 km
Vancouver – 850 km
Whitehorse – 2,514 km