Travel Magazine

The Canadian Rockies by Bus: Epic Landscapes, Rainbows and Unicorns

By Giuliaccia

When I planned my trip to Canada I initially only thought I was going to Quebec. Then I added Calgary to the itinerary. Then Vancouver. By then I knew I was going to be very close to the super famous Canadian Rockies and I didn’t have enough time – nor money – to explore them.

So I had the smartest idea EVER: riding a bus from Vancouver to Calgary.

This way, I thought, I could still get to see something and get an idea of how these mountains look like, and buying the ticket online I only paid 49CAD for this 18 hours bus ride. Sounds like a great deal to me!

The Banff National Park on the road

The Banff National Park on the road

There are a couple of different trains available too, but much more expensive and requiring more time, so I didn’t have much choice. Turns out this trip was much more than just a transfer from A to B. It allowed me to see so much more than I thought, and for so cheap!

If you plan to do the same, just go on the Greyhound website (here) and you can pick many different routes and times. The bus I went for left Vancouver BC around midnight, and reached Calgary around 7pm on the following day. I thought this was the best option so I could sleep at the beginning of the trip, and then see the landscapes in the daytime. I am so happy I picked that bus because it was perfect.

Before the pics, here are two very important tips for you:

  • Sit on the right side of the bus. That’s where you get the best views. Yes this is a golden tip, and I got it from my host in Vancouver… see, meeting the locals is just priceless!
  • Make sure you buy the ticket online and in advance. The regular fare was like 120CAD but I only paid 49CAD!
  • The bus does stop in each town – of course you can also stop in a place for a few days and then keep going, stop again and keep going, etc. – I just didn’t have the time so I did it in one shot.

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And now, to the photos. I took all of the following photos from the bus window. You will see some reflections and some camera shake, but I hope you also see the beauty. Just try and imagine: I woke up and found myself in the middle of one of those landscapes I dreamed about for so long before visiting Canada – the sunrise over a lake in Kelowna, with beautiful reflections of the clouds and a red sky… and I thought WOW! I AM HERE!

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

The water has a special color in this corner of the world…

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

Oh hey! Wildlife!

For unicorns, keep scrolling down.

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

More epicness…

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

There’s no lack of reflections.

For unicorns, keep scrolling down.

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

Looks like a painting…

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

…but it’s not! It’s the Banff National Park.

For unicorns, keep scrolling down.

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

Ok ok last one.

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

Just kidding.

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Now for the rainbows and unicorns – we were literally surrounded by them!

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

A rainbow in the Rocky Mountains

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

And another rainbow!

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

Yet another one. Wow

You probably can’t see the unicorns but I SWEAR they were there. They just don’t show in the photos because they’re magic. But you should go to the Canadian Rockies and see them for yourself…

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Another thing I loved about this trip is passing through all the legendary places I only heard about before:

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

Lake Louise

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

Golden BC

Canadian Rockies by bus with Greyhound

Me in Banff at the bus stop (and train station)

I love riding buses. It allows you to see so much. This was definitely my favorite bus ride ever.

By the way, if you plan to get to Calgary, Alberta and stay there for a while, that’s a great base to explore the Banff National Park on your own if you have a car. I did so and got to see more of the lakes etc – with the bus ride only I was missing out a lot, that’s for sure. But it was great nevertheless, also because on the bus itself I met some really cool Canadian characters and that made my trip even more memorable.

I would also like to point out that this post was NOT sponsored in any way by Greyhound. I just really loved this trip and I recommend it to everyone!


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