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How to explore by public transport /train

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New Delhi, India
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How to explore by public transport /train

We have recently been to New Zealand and we had hired a car there .But in Canada , we cant think of same as its other hand drive than NZ ..We want to visit Canada but how is the question ..

Please suggest how can we see best of Banff , Jasper , Kamploss , whistler without car ..How is Rail transportation ?? Is it that efficient like Switzerland ...and we can explore the best by the canadian train or bus ...

Greater Sydney...
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1. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

G'day vimmyarora,

For a starter there are only two rail services between Vancouver and the Rockies. ViaRail via Kamloops to Jasper or the luxury, overpriced, Rocky Mountaineer also via Kamloops to either Banff/Calgary or Jasper. Local rail is non-existent. There are tourist day trips to many areas in the Rockies,but your best bet by a long way is to tour by car.

I had driven here in Aust for over 40 years before venturing on the 'wrong' side of the road for our trip, and did not have any problems at all driving in the Rockies except for walking up to the car with keys in hand, opening the door only to find there was no steering wheel there. Oh, and also giving the wipers a workout when planning to turn a corner. :) It takes a little more concentration, but easily doable and I have subsequently driven quite comfortably in peak hour traffic in Denver Colorado on our last trip.

The roads in the Rockies are very well constructed and signposted, and certainly a lot better than what you would have experienced in NZ.

BTW, Kamloops is not a tourist destination as such. It is predominantly a convenient spot to stop half way between Vancouver and the Rockies. Also you could leave Whistler off your list of places to go, despite the advertising that we see here, as it pales into insignificance compared to the absolute beauty and majesty of the Rockies.

You did not mention when you are planning to visit, how much time you are looking at for the trip, ages and interests of the party, and that information can be important so please post back with that advice and the posters here can help you plan a memorable trip.

New Delhi, India
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2. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

Thanks Frommy a lot for the information ...and now answer to your questions ...

1. when am planning to visit -- I have searched for best season to explore rockies and I found after mid June as lakes are not frozen by that time ..we dont want to see much snow ..so always love pleasant weather with lot of greenery ....

2. Time doesnt matter as if we are coming far away to visit a new country , so we want to explore quite a bit of it in a nice manner ..so the days required to see the best scenery ..We dont want to spend much time in cities ...We would like to rent apartments with self catering /motels with cooking facility and not hotels ...

3.We are a young couple ...

Yup , I have planned three trips on trip advisor and every bit of trip was memorable cos of expert guidance I have received from trip advisors ..

Edited: 8:57 am, April 05, 2013
Greater Sydney...
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3. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

Good information, but a few more bits - are you into hiking as that is a very popular activity in the Rockies? If just viewing scenery, wildlife, photography etc and moderate walks the advice will be different as if into some serious hiking. Will you be flying into Vancouver (I suppose so) and do a road trip through BC to the Rockies, about 800 km, one-way, which could be costly for a car one-way drop off fee, or do a round trip from Vancouver, or fly into Calgary and travel from there?

I advise that you should look at about 7 days in The Rockies region split between Banff/Canmore and Jasper. If into hiking then you should consider longer.

You might gain more information by reading the Top Questions on this and the Canadian Rockies forum, particularly the previous trip reports.

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

best way to see bc and alberta is definitly with your own vehicle. especially if you want to hike. it is hard to get to the trails without your own car.you could also look at "the moose network". the via rail system is a nice way to go but you are only looking at just 4 stops to consider getting on and off at - edmonton, jasper, kamloops and vancouver. you could also consider the greyhound bus between certain cities/towns - but again, then when you get to certain towns, you may want to rent a rental car for some of the days.

New Delhi, India
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5. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

Thanks Frommy ...Regarding hiking , no serious hiking except hiking for 1-2 hrs to see some spectacular views ...I still have to think whether to do round trip or one way ...I am thinking to hire the car for scenic routes and if others can be travelled by train ..I still have to do lot of work on my itinerary ...

As I have said , we want to cover all scenic stunning natural places , what would you suggest , round trip or one way ...

New Delhi, India
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6. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

Thanks lttt ..But am not into serious hiking except just hiking for 1-2 hrs to see something spectacular ....Wont rental car cost much if I hire a car just for 2-3 days in each town ....

seattle
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7. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

its not as easy in Canada to rely on public transport. You could fly into Calgary then use Brewster, Sundog tours or Discover Banff to do a bunch of day trips. This options will end up being expensive. If you rent a car and do it yourself then return to Banff or Calgary you could take the train to Vancovuer and easily do a day trip to Whistler by bus or train. One way rentals are quite expensive.

Jasper, Canada
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8. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

Have a read through the 7th in the list of "Top Questions" at the top right of your screen - it links to an article called "Car Free in Banff" and outlines the options there.

New Delhi, India
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9. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

Thanks krp329

Edmonton, Canada
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10. Re: How to explore by public transport /train

rental cars...they are cheaper renting by the week but if you consider one way car rental, you will incur a large cost for the one way drop off fee. check out kayak.com or the individual rental agencies for their rates once you know where you want to go and approximate dates. just book the smallest car, you will usually get upgraded to a mid size. just thought the moose network / greyhound bus / via rail / and separate car rental might relieve some of your stress of driving and using the train or bus for the long stretches, lets you sit back and enjoy the scenary.