I did an enquiry at Greyhound's website. The bus ride from Lake Louise to Banff takes between 45 minutes and 50 minutes. Departure times on a sample December date that I tried were 3.25 am, 8.00 am, 4.35 pm and 8.10 pm.
Brewster appears to offer two buses, one that departs Lake Louise at 7.00 am and another that departs Lake Louise at 11.00 am
Rocky Mountain Sky Shuttle's buses depart from Lake Louise at 3.30 am, 5.00 am, 7.00 am, 9.00 am, 11.00 am, 1.00 pm, 3.00 pm, 5.00 pm and 7.00 pm.
The Red Arrow Motorcoach buses depart Lake Louise at 6.45 am and 10.45 am.
The same companies have buses that go in the opposite direction, that is, from Banff to Lake Louise, with approximately the same frequency.
I prefer Lake Louise as a summer base and Banff as a winter base. You can find out why if you read the essay about Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper at the relevant TripAdvisor Inside Page about Banff National Park:
Your name looked vaguely familiar to me so, after I'd posted my last message, I followed your signature to refresh my memory regarding your previous posts. I see you were the person who was asking about parking at Chateau Lake Louise. It looked to me as if you were somewhat concerned about the C$26 per day parking fee.
If you intend to ski for most of your time at Lake Louise, that may work out okay. There are shuttle buses that take hotel guests to the Lake Louise ski slopes.
If you don't intend to ski at Lake Louise, your plan to base yourselves in Lake Louise is a potential mistake, in my opinion. I guess it depends how long you intend to stay there. As I said in the other thread that you started, if you are non-skiers, Lake Louise MIGHT be able to hold your interest for three days. Well at least that would be true if you had a car.
Without a car and without skiing to keep you meaningfully occupied, I give it just a couple of days. You could skate on the lake in front of the hotel. You could go for a horsedrawn sleigh ride. You could go dog sledding. You could buy some Gucci scarves in the hotel shops. Then what?
I don't know if you understand that there is NOTHING that is within easy walking distance of Chateau Lake Louise. The village of Lake Louise -- which in any case is nothing to write home about -- is 3 miles or 5 km from the Chateau. It's steeply downhill on the way from the Chateau to the village, steeply uphill on the way back. Okay, there is a cute little hotel that is within easy walking distance of Chateau Lake Louise. It's called Deer Lodge, and you could go there for dinner if you wanted a change from the Chateau. But that's IT.
Banff townsite has a much larger variety of hotels in a wider range of prices. It has over 200 restaurants. It has more non-skiing attractions to hold your interest. It has car rental companies, so that you can rent a car for a day if the mood takes you. If you stay in Banff, you can still do a day trip to Lake Louise and have a look at it (and indeed I highly recommend that you do so).
Lake Louise does have a cab company called Lake Louise Taxi. Its phone number is (403) 522-2020. It's a cost-effective way to travel between the Chateau and Lake Louise village. (I'm not even sure if that's necessary, however, because I think the Chateau's ski shuttle buses also drop guests off in the village.)
I suspect the taxi is not a very cost effective way of getting from Lake Louise to Banff townsite. However, I cannot state that with any confidence, because I have never enquired about the taxi fare between the two towns.
Hope that helps.
Hi Thanks for youre prompt reply judy
What i am really after is i am stopping at the chateau in lake louise and we have a car for the duration on our stay. I was hoping there was a shuttle bus that runs frequently between lake louise and banff so we could go out have a meal and a drink without the need for a car at night .
many thanks lost geordie
Geordie ~> I have to agree with Judy, concerning summer and winter, but then I always do anyway, she's very well informed.
If you have your car and you are staying at Lake Louise which is fine than I would suggest to use the care to get from Lake Louise to Banff and back and disregard the drinking until you return back to Lake Louise.
Due to the possibility of frigid temperatures I would hate to see you and your family turn into popsicles waiting for a shuttle.
Taxis would be a good suggestion if money is no object for you.
Again be watchful of the roads at night between Banff and Lake Louise. The evenings get incredibly dark on those roads.
I may have a problem as i arrive in calgary at dusk and will be driving to lake louise at night do you have any tips. I have driven in Canada and the US before and driven in winter conditions as being in the british millitary we do tend to tavel alot, but only with a four wheel drive in winter conditions. Any tips or suggestions would be most welcome
Many Thanks ....Lost Geordie
Don't worry too much about your drive to Lake Louise, especially if you're an experienced winter driver.The Trans-Canada Highway from Calgary to just 50 km (30 mi) east of Lake Louise is a very good, 4-lane divided highway; the last 50 km are 2 lanes plus an occasional passing lane. At night in the winter, your main risks will be possible icing on the road, and wildlife. So just slow down and you'll be fine. If you have someone with you as a passenger, get them to watch the ditches for deer and elk about to cross the road; however, this isn't a danger through most of Banff National Park (from Canmore eastward) as the highway is fenced to keep wildlife off the road. (There are wildlife underpasses and overpasses to enable animals to cross the road safely.)
Four wheel drive won't be any help to you on that road unless you end up in the ditch, which is a pretty small possibility.
Lost Geordie ~> Very much welcome. Good suggestions from Country wife about deer and elk. When you're in the actual park most of the roadway is protected with a high fence and wildlife overpasses. The road trip from Calgary to Louise is pretty straightforward with no shocking obstacles or changes to the route.
Remember the caution of the darkness. In the mountains when the sun goes down it seems pretty quick. And it's black dark. Yeah and if you're stuck with a car and it does get snowing and it has front wheel drive then it will handle differently, but no doubt you will be able to handle it very well. We have something that we call black ice. Which you probably have as well. It's when a thin layer of ice is on the road and it deceives us to think that the road surface is normal. You'll be able to tell if the weather conditions are a bit off than this will happen. The highway crews are really good about keeping that whole section of the road cleared.
If I was arriving in Calgary off a trans-Atlantic flight at dusk, I'm not sure I would drive to Lake Louise that evening. You'll be tired from the flight and, from the time that you touch down to the time that you arrive in Lake Louise will be about 4 hours (about 1 hour for immigration and customs formalities and about 3 hours for the drive).
It's not as if you can get lost or anything. Once you're on the TransCanada Highway heading towards Banff National Park, there really is only that one road. But, as everyone has said, once you leave Calgary's city lights at night, the road is black, black, black.
Another factor is that you will miss the beautiful sight of the mountains looming up ahead of you as you approach them. That is a really pretty view, so for that reason also the drive is best done in daylight in my opinion.
If I were you I might spend that first night in Calgary.
My advice would be different in summer, when our days are very long.
Postscript. If you choose to spend the first night in Calgary, I suggest you read the TripAdvisor page entitled Inside Calgary : Hotel Districts, which will help you to find a property in the right location for your purposes.
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