Banff National Park is located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on the Trans-Canada Highway.
The major gateway to Banff is the Calgary International Airport (YYC). There are numerous connections and direct flights available from Europe, North America and other international points. From the airport, there are several transportation choices. Buses and vans operate from the airport directly to Banff and to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. As well, all major rental car companies are available. Advance reservations for rental cars are strongly recommended.
All people visiting Canada require at a minimum a valid passport to enter the country: one that does not expire within six months of your travel dates. You may also require a travel visa of some kind. Since visa requirements may differ for each country, please visit the FAQ on the Government of Canada's Web site to see what the requirements are for your country. Further information or clarification about travel documents can be obtained from the Canadian Embassy in your country or from the nearest Canadian Consulate.
Authors, speakers, or registered conference attendees who require an official "Letter of Invitation" for travel visa purposes should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org any time between February 1, 2007 and March 31, 2007. Your request will be handled as quickly as possible.
Note that Canada does not pay for hospital or medical services for visitors. Please ensure you have the appropriate health/travel insurance in case of an emergency.
In addition to charter airlines, both Air Canada and British Airways have direct flights to Calgary from London-Heathrow, and Air Canada and Lufthansa from Frankfurt. Several US airlines fly to Calgary including: Alaska/Horizon, American Airlines/Harmony, Continental, Delta, Frontier, North West Airlines/Sky Service, United Airlines, US Airways/America West, and WestJet. Domestic air carriers include Air Canada, Air Canada/Jazz, Air North, Allegro, and WestJet.
There are also numerous international airlines that fly into both Toronto and Vancouver with direct connections to Calgary (Toronto-Calgary: approx. 3 hrs 50 min, Vancouver-Calgary: approx. 1 hr).
For a spectacular experience through the Rocky Mountains between Vancouver and Calgary, try a Rocky Mountaineer train trip.
Bus service is available from Calgary International Airport, with Brewster Transportation or the Banff Airporter. There are several daily departures to and from Banff. Some buses provide door-to-door service to your hotel, while others operate to/from the bus depot in Banff, which is only two blocks from the conference hotel.
The bus is an economical option if you are planning to stay within the Banff townsite throughout your visit. Fares are approximately $45 CDN each way, or $85 CDN round trip. Travel time (one way) is approximately 2 hours.
The total driving distance from Calgary to Banff is approximately 130 km/80 miles. From the airport, you should plan for a driving time of at least 90 minutes (perhaps up to 2 hours if you are driving through Calgary during rush hour). The Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy #1) is the main route, taking you directly into the Rockies. It is a scenic four-lane divided highway. If possible, try to plan your driving time for daylight hours so that you can appreciate the full splendor of the Rockies. And watch out for wildlife!
If you do not already have a National Park Pass, you will have to stop at the Park Entrance Gates (located on the highway just after the town of Canmore) to buy one. Prices range from about $10 CDN per day to $85 CDN per year. Payment can be made using cash, credit cards, or Interac. Park permits can also be purchased in the Banff townsite if you later decide to extend your visit.
Additional background information about Banff is available here.