The Perfect Getaway: Calgary To Banff With On-It Regional Transit
- Jul 14, 2018
It’s 2:45 p.m. on a Friday.
You look out your office window and there they are - the rugged front ranges of the Canadian Rockies - stretching across the horizon as far as you can see.
This is the perfect weekend to visit the mountains.
Thanks to On-It Regional Transit's Banff-Calgary service, a trip to the mountains has never been easier.
Start Your Day
Take the LRT to Crowfoot Station in Calgary where you’ll be able to catch the On-It bus to Banff. There are ten departures from Calgary and ten departures from Banff per day on Saturdays, Sundays, and long weekends - May 19 to September 3. One-way fares are $10 for ages 6+ and free for children between 2 - 5 years old. Tickets can be purchased online here.
Once you’re onboard, enjoy the scenery, catch-up on your favourite podcast, or get inspiration for your trip with some stories from Banff National Park.
Arrive in Banff National Park
Fast-forward about two hours of a drive through scenic prairies and into the mountains, and you’re here. That was easy.
All On-It ticket holders receive free rides on Roam Transit all-day, so head downtown to start your adventure. Simply show your On-It ticket to the driver and you’re ready to roll.
From there you can take transit all throughout Banff National Park, including Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise, Lake Minnewanka, and more. Check out ExploreThePark.ca for a full breakdown.
Savour A Snack
A day of adventure requires fuel, but that doesn’t mean you need to settle for a Clif Bar. Banff and Lake Louise are home to an incredibly diverse local food scene. Here you’ll find hearty game meats, Alberta and BC grown produce, and meticulously crafted dishes from chefs inspired by the landscape.
Looking for inspiration? Check out some of these great food articles:
• 7 Scenic Restaurants in Banff National Park
• Explore Authentic Canadian Cuisine
• Grab & Go Restaurants in Banff National Park
Lace up for a Hike
Bring your hiking shoes and explore more than 1,600 km of maintained trails across Banff National Park.
Those looking to stay close to the Town of Banff will love Tunnel Mountain - a 5.2 km round-trip hike from downtown Banff, which takes around two hours and offers an excellent view of the Bow Valley.
Some other downtown hikes include:
Sundance Canyon Trail - A beautiful, paved trail that offers easy access to the Bow River and beyond.
The Fenlands Loop - Another accessible option which travels under a beautiful canopy of old-growth spruce trees. A great spot to watch for birds and other wildlife.
The Hoodoo Trail - Walk up to the famous “Surprise Corner” (via Buffalo Street) and follow the 4.8-km trail around Tunnel Mountain. Leave yourself two to three hours to finish the trail and catch the Roam Bus Route #2 back downtown.
Soak in some History
After your hike, use your free Roam Transit transfer and catch bus #1 up to the Banff Upper Hot Springs where you can unwind in the historic mineral pools. From downtown Banff you can also explore more of the history of Banff National Park by visiting The Whyte Museum of The Canadian Rockies, The Cave & Basin National Historic Site (Catch Roam Transit Bus #4) or The Banff Park Museum.
Now raise a glass
If you haven’t already done so, you should probably check out some of the patios you’ve been walking past. Don’t forget - the driving is taken care of for you today.
Thanks in part to the crystal-clear water that flows through town, Banff is also home to an incredible cocktail scene. Check out our Guide To Amazing Cocktails for some inspiration.
If you’re looking for an ultra-special patio experience, don’t miss the Sunset Festival at The Banff Gondola. Roam Transit bus #1 will get you there in time to sample craft beer, bubbly and a variety of delicious bites.
For more adventure inspiration, check out 13 Summer Attractions in Banff National Park.
Still have some questions? Check out On-It Regional Transit and Roam Transit for route options, fares and more.
If you’re looking for more information about shuttles, buses and other transit options, make sure to check out ExploreThePark.ca.