The main tour operator is Brewster (403/762-6700 or 877/791-5500, www.brewster.ca), which also offers tours to various parts of the province, as well as car rental and accommodation packages, overnight packages in Calgary and Edmonton, Calgary Stampede packages, golfing adventures, and round-trips to Alberta from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Rocky Mountaineer Vacations (604/606-7245 or 877/460-3200, www.rockymountaineer.com) offer a wide variety of longer tours in conjunction with rail travel between Vancouver and Banff or Jasper.
For young travelers on a budget, the Moose Travel Network (604/777-9905 or 888/244-6673, www.moosenetwork.com) is an excellent way to travel to and around Alberta, with most of the focus on the Canadian Rockies. It runs along a number of different routes, including an 11-day loop originating in Vancouver and traveling to Jasper and Banff via Whistler ($520 per person), a five-day trip between Vancouver and Banff via the Okanagan Valley ($305), a two-day Banff–Jasper–Banff trip ($120), and a two-day Banff–Vancouver shuttle ($120). On any of these trips, you can get on and off wherever you please (and jump aboard the next bus as it passes through) or bond with the crowd and stay on the fixed itinerary.
Nights are spent at hostels en route. This cost isn’t included in the tour, but your reservation is (so you don’t need to worry about trying to find an empty bed at each stop). Food is also extra, but often all travelers pitch in a token amount to purchase dinner at a grocery store along the way. Buses run 3–7 times a week during a May–mid-October season.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition