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What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

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BRISANE
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What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

I will be in Big White in December and would like to get to Banff and Lake 'Louise,

what is the best way to get there

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

Hi Helen,

Leaving aside "best", you could get from Kelowna/Big White to Banff by Greyhound. www.greyhound.ca

You could also fly from Kelowna to Calgary on either WestJet or Air Canada in about 1 hour.

The biggest choice you will be faced with is what to do from Calgary. In December there will be limited coach service to Banff/Lake Louise. You could rent a car in Calgary and drive to Banff/LL. But I would not suggest you drive a car from Kelowna to Banff in our winter, especially if you have not driven in snow before. Not many Canadians will voluntarily drive in the mountains of BC's interior.

BRISANE
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2. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

Thanks for your help. Will look at flights to Calgary. Can i drive from Calgary to Banff?

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

You can drive 6 hours from Kelowna to Banff or you can fly from Kelowna to Calgary (.45 hours) and drive 1.5 hours to Banff...Not sure how much winter (read snow) driving you have done in OZ...or elsewhere. You could also bus from Kelowna to Banff or from Calgary to Banff.

Edited: 15 October 2012, 05:42
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4. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

I'd avoid the driving at that time of year -- there are lots of mountains between Kelowna and Banff. Icy mountain passes are not for the uninitiated.... Fly to Calgary.

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5. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

Drive. Whilst there is a train that goes to Banff from Kelowna, I'm not sure of the winter schedule as it tends to be a rocky mountains summer viewing excursion. The highways are kept open even in the worst snow. You may find it better to take the longer and more scenic route bumping along the American border from south of the Okenagan Lakes. On the other hand head for Highway 1 which is a spectacular drive but you wont be able to do it in one day.

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6. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

Both the VIA Rail (all year) and Rocky Mountaineer (summer season) go through Kamloops, not Kelowna.

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7. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

As mentioned by Muftimix, there is no train from Kelowna to Banff and if you choose to drive and unless the weather is horrid, it is about a 6 to 6.5 hour drive. You can easily do it in a day

Edited: 16 October 2012, 01:46
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8. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

Personally, hate driving in the snow and ice. Have done this trip several times but now wouldn't even consider it.

I'd fly from Kelowna to Calgary. And go on the Calgary Forum to get best advice on how to get to Banff from Calgary in December.

Rockies BC
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9. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

DON'T drive. In winter the roads can be very treacherous - heck, even in summer (the Rogers Pass and/or Hwy 1 east of Golden has been closed this summer/fall more times than I can count). Fly to Calgary & you can rent a car from Calgary to Banff - only 1.5 hrs, & the elevation gain is pretty minimal, you climb gradually into the Rockies & that's it. If you are in Kelowna driving east, you go up & down & up & down mountain range after mountain range, something you don't want to do - I have lived in the southeast corner of BC for 15 yrs now (after living most of my life in Vancouver) & I will NOT drive to Vanc between Thanksgiving (2nd week in Oct) & Easter or late April, whichever is later, and Hwy 3 (referred to by JuliaSmith) is NOT a good idea in winter - part of it is the highest highway in Canada and subject to snow every single month of the year.

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10. Re: What is the best way to get from Kelowna to Banff in Decembe

Do not drive regardless of comments that it's an easy 6.5 hour drive ... do not do it. The higways are not "kept open even in the worst snow". Yes the highways are maintained and yes truck traffic goes through year round. I've driven to Banff and Calagry in the winter..I also have over 40 years experience of winter driving plus a 4x4 plus winter tires plus the time to pick and choose when to go (or not go if there's a storm)

There are also many times during the year when the highway is closed because of snow/storms/avalanches/avalanche clearing/accidents. ... sometimes closed for more than one day. If you search the forum you'll find an excellent series of aritcles on driving and why it's not recommended for those without winter driving expereince.

Fly to Calgary and either take the bus to Banff or rent a car and drive the easy 1.5 hours up to Banff.

I've also taken the Greyhound to Banff from Vancouver and it's an ok ride.. not great but an okay budget way to get between the spots.