Skyline Hikers of the Canadian Rockies

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Getting There (and Back)

Transportation

Photo courtesy Robert VanderzweerdeBanff is about 130 km west of Calgary; bus and limo services are available, including regular service from the Calgary airport.

Driving in Banff and Canmore can be challenging in the summer due to high traffic volumes. Here are some alternatives:

  • There is a regional bus service both within and between the towns. Visit Roam Transit for routes and schedules.
  • There are many taxi companies in the towns and can also transport you between the towns. You must call for a pick-up (flagging down a taxi is not recommended).

Parking

Overnight parking in Banff or Canmore is scarce. So Skyline Hikers again recommends that hikers try to use one of the alternates below:

  • Car pool with other hikers from your originating destination
  • Car pool with other hikers from Calgary & leave your vehicle there
  • Have family or friends drop you off & pick you up in Banff or Canmore
  • Choose hotels in Banff or Canmore that accommodate 1 week parking

This year, we have “lost” our parking arrangements for Jay Street in Banff. The town and park is under increased parking and traffic pressures and they have converted this lot into a monthly parking zone. In fact, we could not find parking options anywhere in Banff or Canmore despite trying many alternatives.

Not to panic! We have alternate arrangements for you, including modified bus pick-up locations and times. One advantage is that these other locations also have hotel options that you may consider using at a reduced cost.

First some restrictions and warnings:

  • No matter where you park or stay, the check-in, duffel drop-off and orientation session in Banff on Sunday afternoon is mandatory for all hikers
  • No parking is allowed at the trailhead in order to maintain our good relations with Parks Canada
  • No parking is allowed at the Canmore Visitor Information Centre or the Banff Train Station

First Option: Park at the Stoney-Nakoda Casino at the junction of highway 40 and the Trans-Canada highway. Parking is free but you must park at the far end of the lot and register with the hotel. They also have hotel rooms. There will be a bus pick-up at the casino on Monday morning.

Second Option: Park at the Acclaim Hotel in Calgary which is near the airport (123 Freeport Boulevard NE). Parking costs $7/day and you must register your car and pay at the front reception desk. They also have hotel rooms. There will be a bus pick-up at the hotel on Monday morning.

Accommodations

You will need accommodation and meals for the night before the hike (including breakfast on the morning of departure). Reservations in Banff or Canmore, for Sunday night, need to be made well in advance.

Hikers return to Banff or Canmore on Saturday afternoon and, depending on personal travel arrangements, may also need a hotel room for this night.

These costs are not included in the hike fees.

Skyline Hikers has arranged a 15% discount if you book with one of the hotels managed by the Banff Lodging Company. Details here!

Campgrounds are available in the Banff area. Contact Travel Alberta for more information on where to stay.

Sunday Afternoon Check-In

Check-in is from 2:00 to 3:30 pm at YWCA Banff Hotel (see photo), 102 Spray Avenue, in the "Great Room".

Bring your duffel to the check-in as it will be taken away by the outfitter after 3:30 pm and you will not have access to your duffel until you hike into camp.

Sunday Afternoon Orientation

Orientation is from 4:30 to 6:30 pm (at the same location as the check-in) for a presentation by the Hosts, Chief Leader and Medics.

All hikers must attend!

Monday Morning Bus

The pick-up points are:

  • 6:30 am - Acclaim Hotel in Calgary (123 Freeport Boulevard NE)
  • 7:30 am - Stoney-Nakoda Casino (junction of highway 40 and the Trans-Canada highway)
  • 8:00 am - Canmore VIC (Provincial Visitor Information Center)
  • 8:30 am - Banff train station

The final pick-up times will be provided at the Sunday evening orientation.

The drop-off point is the trailhead.

Saturday Afternoon Bus

The pick-up point is the trailhead at approximately 3:00 pm.

The drop off points are:

  • Banff train station
  • Canmore VIC (Provincial Visitor Information Center)
  • Stoney-Nakoda Casino (junction of highway 40 and the Trans-Canada highway)
  • Acclaim Hotel in Calgary (123 Freeport Boulevard NE)

We hope to have hikers back in Banff and Canmore by 5:30 pm on Saturdays but no there are guarantees. Hikers should avoid tight travel arrangements for their continued trip home on Saturday.


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