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 is a shuttle service between the Banff Train Station, the Village of Lake Louise, and Lake Louise lakeshore from May 18 to October 8, 2018. Tickets are free for children 17 and under and $10 for adults. Return tickets can be purchased from Parks Canada staff at the Banff Train Station, passengers coming from Lake Louise to Banff without a ticket will be taken based on availability.
Banff to Johnston Canyon
New this year, you can catch a shuttle to Johnston Canyon. This shuttle picks up at the Banff Train Station and run daily from May 18 to October 8, 2018. Return tickets are $5 for adults and free for children 17 and under.
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 18 to October 8, 2018
To Moraine Lake: TBD
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.
Starting 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 Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail, a scenic 22 km (13.7 mi.) paved route adjacent to the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1).
Within Banff National Park
Starting May 18, 2018, 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 route will be running until the fall.
Check out Roam Transit for all schedule and route information.
HOP ON BANFF
Looking for a car-free travel option that lets you venture further into Banff National Park? New to the Banff scene is HopOnBanff!
Getting aboard is easy. Travellers simply need to book their day passes on the HopOnBanff website and tell them which day you'd like to ride 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 $55 per adult ($45 per child) for a day of unlimited travel.
Check out Hop on Banff for all schedule and route information.
Are you coming to Banff National Park?
Make sure you purchase your Parks Canada Discovery Pass in advance for express entry into the park. All of the details, including frequently asked questions can be found in our Guide To The Parks Canada Pass.