How To Get To Banff From Calgary And More
Let’s get going…Starting from Calgary – Banff sits right on the Trans Canada Highway, known as the Hwy # 1. It stretches across Canada the east coast of Newfoundland (St.John’s) to the west coast of British Columbia (Victoria) – and is 7,821 km (4,860 mi.) long. Yup – The world’s longest national highway!
You will be happy to know it takes you right through the Banff National Park.
Oftentimes, the majority of Banff visitors begin their journey from Calgary. That’s where the international airport is. Once there, you are only about 138 Km, or 85 miles from the town of Banff.
If you don’t want to drive, you will find shuttle buses that will take you to the Banff area. If during daytime, you’ll have the opportunity to see the majestic silhouettes of the Rockies getting closer and closer as you travel west to Banff.
Airporter Shuttle Bus – costs about $54.00 to $60.00 one way or $105.00 return per person and run back and forth from Calgary many time a day.
You may choose to rent a car once you arrive in Banff – reservations strongly recommended though!
If You Are Driving From Calgary To Banff
It is only a short distance to drive, but Calgary traffic can take from 1 ½ hours to 2 hours to drive the distance from Calgary to Banff.
If it is daylight out there, the scenic drive is truly jaw stopping as each kilometer draws you closer to the mountains (especially if you’ve never been here before).
Renting – Hiring a Car – This is the best way to see the Banff area if you want a complete independence. It may be the most economical option overall to see many out of the way sights that Banff has to offer.
The Calgary International Airport has many options for car rentals to choose from: Budget, Hertz, Avis, Alamo…etc. You may certainly choose to rent your automobile once you land, BUT for ultimate choice and best prices reserve online before you come.
If you are coming from a country where you drive a standard (with a clutch) on the opposite side of the road – and you’ve rented an automatic vehicle – drive with extra caution before getting used to the new feel of a vehicle.
AND, remember,… the first foot pedal from the left in an automatic car is NOT the clutch – !
Driving Directions from the Calgary International Airport to Banff:
From the airport – take Barlow Trail all the way and exit west to the 16th Avenue – the Trans Canada Highway.
If you are anywhere near or in Calgary, that’s all you have to do. Find your way to the Trans Canada Highway and go west.
From there, in about 1 hr, the highway will take you straight to the Banff National Park Gates.
If you’d like to avoid driving through Calgary, now there’s a new and quicker way of getting to Banff from the Calgary International.
From the airport, take McKnight Blvd. west – then get on Deerfoot Trail north – then take the first exit to Stoney Trail west. Highway-like driving on Stoney Trail (heading west) will safely lead you to the 16th Avenue (Trans Canada HWY)-Banff exit.
Once there, stay on the Trans Canada hwy. heading west – towards the Canadian Rockies you’ll see on the horizon – getting closer and closer as you drive.
Banff National Park Gates – Greetings to the Park! At this spot you will need to buy a park pass. See Banff National Park Gate Pass rates for more information.
(Tip: Ask your rental car agency if they offer a complimentary family park pass with a vehicle rental.)
With the “wilderness” park pass on your dashboard or hanging on the rear view mirror, you are merely 22 km or so away from the town of Banff. The scenery starts to unfold before your eyes (unless it is nighttime, of course).
There are 2 exits coming to Banff from Calgary.
The first exit will lead you straight to Banff Avenue. We often take the 2nd turn off (stay another few minutes on the Trans Canada and take the Norquay exit). During a busy tourist season, it will allow you to get into Banff through a road “less traveled” if compared to the “busy” main avenue.
How Long Does It Take To Drive From…
Approximate Driving times
Banff to Calgary International Airport 1.5 hours
Banff to Canmore 20 minutes
Banff to Jasper 4 hours
Banff to Edmonton 4.5 hours
Calgary to Jasper 5.5 hours
Calgary to Edmonton 3 hours
Edmonton to Jasper 4.5 hours
How Far Is It From Banff – Distances
Distances from the Town of Banff To:
Calgary 128 km (80 mi)
Canmore 26 km (16 mi)
Edmonton 401 km (249 mi)
Golden 134 km (83 mi)
Halifax 5121 km (3182 mi)
Jasper 287 km (178 mi)
Lake Louise 58 km (36 mi)
Montreal 3872 km (2406 mi)
New York 4448 km (2764 mi)
Quebec City 4142 km (2574 mi)
Radium 134 km (83 mi)
San Francisco 2050 km (1274 mi)
Toronto 3563 km (2214 mi)
Vancouver 850 km (528 mi)
So, there you have it. Now, you’ve been armed with extra knowledge to plan your Banff trip’s schedule so that it fits in with everything else in your itinerary while visiting the amazingly stunning Canadian Rockies.