Vancouver is at the hub of transport links to many parts of western Canada. The basic alternative routes and itineraries are listed here together with cross-references to more detailed accounts of the various options.
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The Yukon and Alaska
You can fly to Whitehorse in the Yukon directly from Vancouver. Air Canada (w aircanada.com) has nonstop flights from Vancouver to Anchorage, Alaska. For air travel to a greater variety of Alaskan destinations, head to the Seattle Tacoma Airport in the US, which is fifty minutes by plane or around three hours by bus from Downtown or the Vancouver airport. You can drive to Alaska through southern BC to Dawson Creek, where you can pick up the Alaska Hwy, which runs through the Yukon to Fairbanks; allow at least three days. Alternatively, drive to Prince George, head west towards Prince Rupert and then strike north up the Cassiar Hwy to connect with the Alaska Hwy in the Yukon. By bus, you could take a Greyhound (t 1 800 661 8747, w greyhound.ca) to Prince George (one day), connecting with another Greyhound to Dawson Creek and Whitehorse (two days). Buses link Whitehorse with other Yukon and Alaskan destinations. To travel to Alaska by boat from Vancouver you need to go via Bellingham (in the US), Prince Rupert or Port Hardy on Vancouver Island.
BC, Calgary and the Canadian Rockies
Two main roads strike east from Vancouver towards Alberta and the Canadian Rockies – the Trans-Canada Highway and Hwy-3, both served by regular Greyhound buses (t 1 800 661 8747, w greyhound.ca). Both give access to the Okanagan, and the Kootenays. VIA trains (t 1 888 842 7245, w viarail.ca) run three times weekly through the region via Kamloops to Jasper and Edmonton; there is no train service to Calgary. Buses serve the Cariboo region, in the central part of the province. Several itineraries can be put together by combining car or public transport journeys in the BC Interior with BC Ferries’ connections from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island to either Bella Coola or Prince Rupert.
It takes about twelve hours to drive to Calgary on the Trans-Canada Hwy, and around one hour thirty minutes less to reach Banff; Greyhound buses (t 1 800 661 8747, w greyhound.ca) operate over the same route. Frequent one-hour flights connect Vancouver and Calgary.