Big country, big puzzle

Oh, here we go. Planning drive times in Canada? Easy. Planning public transport? Nightmare. Even Greyhound have severely reduced their services here. Although, following my experience of them, that’s no great loss.

It’s currently impossible to get a bus from Whistler to Jasper, and almost impossible to get a bus from Vancouver to Jasper. This is both a problem and an opportunity for budget travellers, as the alternative is the train which, whilst not cheap, does travel overnight and so doubles as both transport and accommodation (albeit not particularly comfortable). This is a train journey so spectacular that it acts as a little reward for those budget travellers who have to put up with dorms and coaches.

Getting from Jasper to Lake Louise/Banff is easy, visiting the Atahabasca glacier along the way is much more expensive but absolutely worth it if you have the budget. I have fond memories of staying at the HI hostels in Lake Louise and Banff and so was glad to see they’re still highly rated.

The Budget, Mid-range and Luxury itineraries are all quite different (I particularly like how the Luxury version includes a two-night stay on a ranch). Putting the last parts of a public transport journey together in a country as car-focused as this is as satisfying as putting in the last pieces of a puzzle.

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