One of the best things about Banff National Park is how a visitor can take a “choose your own adventure” approach to exploring the Park. No two travellers are alike, and in Banff and Lake Louise you can experience the mountains in your own way, making each day entirely different from the one before. Visitors can travel here in a multitude of different ways and many of those is not dependent on having your own vehicle.
Whether you have your sights set on hiking for the day or seeing one of Banff or Lake Louise's famous landmarks, many of the hotspots in Banff National Park can be accessed using public transit. Not only is this an affordable means of travelling, but by reducing your carbon footprint, you are also doing your part to help protect the pristine environments in the national park.
Ready to hop on board? Here are your options:
PARKS CANADA SHUTTLES
Banff to Lake Louise Shuttle
There will be a free shuttle service between the Banff Train Station and the Village of Lake Louise from May 19 to October 10, 2017. This service will link with the shuttles provided within the Lake Louise area to Upper Lake Louise in the summer and to Moraine Lake in September, just in time for larch season.
Seasonal Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Shuttles
This summer there will be a daily free shuttle service between the Lake Louise Overflow parking lot on the Trans Canada Highway, the Village of Lake Louise, and Upper Lake Louise. In the fall, the daily free shuttle service will run from the Overflow Campground parking lot to the Village of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
To Lake Louise: Daily from May 19 to September 10, 2017. Shuttles will leave the Lake Louise Overflow parking lot every 15 minutes from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be an additional stop across from the Husky gas station so visitors can access services in the Village of Lake Louise.
To Moraine Lake: Daily from September 11 to October 9, 2017 in time for larch viewing season.
Banff’s official municipal transport is Roam Transit, a fleet of eco-friendly hybrid buses that run on electrical power for their in-town circuits. It’s hard to miss these buses: they come wrapped in beautiful images of local wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves and bighorn sheep. And thanks to a GPS real-time information system that keeps you up-to-date on wait times, you’ll never be left guessing when the next bus will arrive.
For passengers travelling with gear in tow, Roam Transit buses are outfitted to transport your equipment, too! Bikes, skis, snowboards and strollers can all be brought on board or secured to the exterior of the bus. Passengers requiring wheelchair access will find these buses equipped with a fold-out ramp and low floor.
At just $2 for an adult one-way fare, you’ll want to roam everywhere.
The Roam Transit Banff Local Routes have the town well-covered, so you can access all the sought-after locations, including the Banff Upper Hot Springs, Sulphur Mountain Gondola, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, and the Cave and Basin National Historic Site (seasonal).
The Roam Banff-Canmore Regional Route goes to nearby Canmore, where you can access additional amenities, restaurants and outdoor activities. Don’t forget you can bring your bike! That means you can ride the bus to Canmore and ride your bike back to Banff on the The Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail, a scenic 22 km paved route.
Within Banff National Park
Starting May 19, 2017, Roam Transit will run buses out to Lake Minnewanka. Leaving from the stop outside the Banff Community High School, these buses will run 7 days a week and stop at campgrounds and popular day-use areas on the Minnewanka Loop. This free route will be running until September 11, 2017.
Check out Roam Transit for all schedule and route information.
HOP ON BANFF
Looking for a car-free travel option that let's you venture farther into Banff National Park? New to the Banff scene is HopOnBanff! Their bus routes, named Grizzly and Wolf, visit the same locations in Banff and Lake Louise but travel in opposite directions to provide more flexibility for users.
Getting aboard is easy. Travellers simply need to book their day passes on the HopOnBanff website. Tell them which day you would like to ride and which route you would like to start on! With your day pass, you can hop on and off the bus wherever you like. All buses return to Banff after their last stop.
Tickets are $50 per adult ($45 per child) for a day of unlimited travel.
Both the Grizzly and Wolf Routes stop at the following locations in Banff and Lake Louise:
Explore it all by staying on the same bus route! You can also plan a day of hiking at Moraine Lake, for instance, by taking the Wolf route in the morning and returning on the Grizzly route in the afternoon.
Check out Hop on Banff for all schedule and route information.