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Greyhound Bus Travel, Canada - USA
Travel the most scenic routes

Tips for planning your Greyhound trip in Canada and the U.S.

Try to include as many of these scenic routes in your Greyhound itinerary as you can.

These routes cover Canada and the U.S., but the most spectacular ones are in the western part of these countries.

These include —

  • Banff National Park to Jasper National Park:

    Think of this as travelling through Switzerland without the people.

    You'll remember this incredibly beautiful trip for a lifetime.

    You'll travel between two ranges of the Rockies and go over mountain passes, with frequent vistas of glaciers and wildlife. Other than the excellent road you're on, you'll notice nearly no impact of humans in this pristine region.

    Brewster offers both escorted day tours and express coaches on this route. The tours stop at the Columbia Icefield, Lake Louise, etc.

    If you take the express bus, be sure to take a tour from Banff that includes Lake Louise, or overnight there, so that you can enjoy one of the great mountain vistas in the world.

    The Columbia Icefield has become a poster child for global warming, but otherwise this route is fantastic.

    We cannot recommend this route enough.

    In the time of this writing, Brewster's express coaches honour both Greyhound Canada tickets and many Greyhound passes.

  • Calgary to Vancouver via Kamloops:

    Travelling from Calgary to Vancouver on Greyhound Canada takes you through four of Canada's most scenic national parks: Banff, Yoho, Glacier (the park in Canada, not the one in the U.S.), and Mount Revelstoke.

    This, especially the portion between Banff and Mount Revelstoke national parks, is one of the most spectacular routes in the world—year round.

    During mid-Summer—especially westbound—the Banff (or Calgary) to Vancouver portion may be done as a one day trip. However, try to include an overnight stop along the way in Revelstoke, Kamloops, or a nearby city at any time of year.

    In Revelstoke, the Revelstoke Traveller's Hostel and Guesthouse provides homelike accommodation, and its staff picks you up at the Greyhound stop for free. Leave Banff by Greyhound early in the morning, and spend the afternoon and evening enjoying the Revelstoke area.

    The Old Court House Hostel located in more commercial Kamloops (7 West Seymour Street) also makes a nice budget stop midway between Banff and Vancouver. Strangely, the countryside around Kamloops is almost desert-like.

    As with all the Canadian Rockies routes, book accommodation well ahead of time to avoid hassles. You are not the only person planning to visit this beautiful area!

  • Vancouver to Jasper National Park via Kamloops:

    This is also a very scenic Greyhound Canada trip through the Canadian Rockies, but in my opinion not as scenic as the Banff route to Vancouver.

    Note that you can combine this with the two routes above to create a fantastic circle trip: Vancouver to Jasper to Banff to Vancouver.

  • High Road through Rocky Mountain National Park:

    Gray Line of Denver offers a fabulous full day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver from late May (if the snow has been removed) until snow closes its main road usually in September or October. It usually takes until near the Memorial Day weekend for the deep snow to be cleared from the alpine highway that transits the park.

    This is one of the few routes in the U.S. that ascends above the tree line.

    This highway reaches so high that you actually look down on many peaks of the Rocky Mountain range. Snow packs line the roadway even in late Summer, and wildlife sightings are frequent.

    You travel to the national park via the Winter Park ski resort and Grand Lake and return via the summer resort town of Estes Park.

    Because this route ascends to 12,138 feet above sea level, travellers with heart trouble and other possibly impacted conditions may wish to consult their doctors prior to departure.

    At times, clouds and fog may hamper your views at such high elevations, but you see enough to make this trip worthwhile on any day.

    Greyhound tickets and passes are not honoured for this trip.

    Greyhound does take a scenic route through the Rockies between Denver and Grand Junction, but this does not compare to travelling through Rocky Mountain National Park nor does it compare to taking Amtrak between Denver and Grand Junction.

    Gray Line of Denver also offers a wonderful day trip to the Garden of the Gods, an area of fabulous colourful rock formations and vistas, as well as Pikes Peak, near Colorado Springs.

    To climb Pikes Peak, you use a Swiss-style cog railway to ascend to over 14,000 feet in elevation.

    The views are magnificent!

  • Portland to San Francisco via the Oregon Coast and Redwood Highway:

    Sadly, Greyhound eliminated its service along the beautiful Oregon coastline. Moreover, Greyhound no longer serves Redwood National Park. What a terrible shame.

    You can still travel by Greyhound between San Francisco and Arcata or Eureka, in the redwood tree area and then rent a car to see Humboldt State Park and Redwood National Park.

    However, your most convenient choice may be Amtrak,

    From San Francisco, travel either to McKinleyville, CA, where your Amtrak coach stops at the Arcata airport, or to downtown Arcata or Eureka.

    The Arcata airport provides the most convenient place to rent a car in this area, but check rental car counter opening times before booking Amtrak.

    There's a Holiday Inn Express at the airport, if you arrive after the rental car counters close.

    If you have very limited time to see the redwoods, take a half day Gray Line tour to the Muir Woods National Monument from San Francisco.

    This visits America's first redwood park.

    Its route crosses the Golden Gate Bridge and also visits picturesque Sausalito, from where you may take a ferry boat back to San Francisco, with nice views of the bay and city.

  • North side of Lake Superior:

    When travelling the Trans-Canada Highway, schedule the Greyhound portion along Lake Superior east of Thunder Bay during the day.

    This gives many unspoiled lake vistas in a wilderness setting.

    Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes, which contain twenty percent of the World's fresh water.

    Nearly all of Greyhound Canada's transcontinental route between Winnipeg and Barrie (north of Toronto) is scenic.

    The part north of Lake Superior is just the best part of it.

  • Vancouver to Pemberton via Whistler

    Greyhound Canada travels a beautiful route between Vancouver and Pemberton, British Columbia, via Whistler.

    Sit on the left leaving Vancouver.

    The scenery starts as you leave Vancouver via the Loins Gate Bridge.

    You are almost never out of sight of grand mountain vistas, and you also follow the scenic Howe Sound much of the way to Whistler.

    Brewster also includes this route in its tours from Vancouver to Calgary via Banff.

    If you travel Greyhound Canada, you must return the same way back to Vancouver—but as you can tell, that does not create a burden.

    You can do the return trip in one day. But, if you wish to overnight, Whistler makes a better stop than tiny Pemberton.

  • Los Angeles to San Francisco via Santa Barbara:

    Actually, this route is not an especially scenic by itself.

    Surprisingly, Greyhound misses much of the best scenery on its through buses between Los Angeles and San Francisco with just some glimpses of the Pacific near Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz.

    On the other hand, this Greyhound route is more scenic than the ones taken by Greyhound service via the San Joaquin Valley.

    North of Santa Barbara, the way to go is Amtrak, although other alternatives exist for Greyhound passengers.

    What makes this Greyhound route worthwhile are the stops that you can make.

    These include Santa Barbara, Salinas (for Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur), and Santa Cruz.

    Santa Barbara is the premier resort town along the California coast. It's fair to call this the Riviera of North America. It's a beautiful flower-filled city nestled between beaches and mountains. Try to avoid this expensive city on weekends, if you plan to stay overnight.

    Use a service like Hotwire.com to overcome the high accommodation prices. There are also several Motel 6's in Santa Barbara for budget travellers, including one on State Street near the Greyhound station. These are cheaper than other chains there, but their Santa Barbara prices may shock you.

    Very pleasant Santa Cruz is much more welcoming to travellers "on the cheap" and makes a great place to relax during warm weather. You willl also find a younger crowd than Santa Barbara. It's not nearly as charming as Santa Barbara, however.

    The Santa Cruz main beach and boardwalk are within walking distance of the Greyhound terminal.

    At Salinas, use Monterey Transit to reach Monterey and Carmel.

    From the Monterey Transit Plaza, you can then take a local bus—Line 22—a short distance to famed Big Sur, situated on one of the most beautiful portions of the California coastline. You will find this awesome!

    Line 22 runs several times a day to the wonderful Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park passing Carmel Mission and Point Lobos State Reserve.

    Dr. Voyageur highly recommends visiting this area, although budget accommodations are very difficult to find. Probably your best chance is back in Salinas, not far away, or using a service like Hotwire for Monterey.

    From the Transit Plaza, local coaches also go to the very pleasant seaside town of Carmel (Line 5), where you may remember that actor Clint Eastwood was once the mayor.

    Amtrak also has coaches that meet its trains at Salinas and travel to the Transit Plaza.

  • Albuquerque to Grand Junction:

    Travelling via TNM&O lines, this route transits the San Juan Mountains in the southern Rocky Mountain range via historic mining towns. TNM&O, an affiliate of Greyhound USA, honours Greyhound tickets and passes.

    The portion between Durango and Ouray is awesomely scenic. Many other parts are much less so.

    The mountain portion will be a highlight of your North American trip.

Other very scenic routes to travel during the day include:

  • Denver to Grand Junction:

    Now marred somewhat by too much ski resort condo construction, this still very scenic route passes snow-capped mountains throughout much of the summer.

    This fits in well with trips from eastern points to Las Vegas or Los Angeles.

    For information about a fun stopover in Glenwood Springs along this highway, please see the Amtrak scenic routes page.

  • Madison (Wisconsin) to Minneapolis via La Crosse

    Jefferson Lines honours Greyhound tickets and many passes.

    Northbound, sit on the left for best views of the Mississippi River, and then change sides once you cross the river.

    This is a very scenic route.

Less spectacular, but very worthwhile scheduling during the day, are

  • Albuquerque (New Mexico) to Flagstaff and Kingston (Arizona),

  • Reno to Sacramento (California)

  • Portland (Oregon) to The Dalles (Oregon)

    Sit on the left eastbound or on the right westbound for scenic vistas of the Columbia River gorge.

  • Cleveland to New York City via Milesburg (Interstate 80, Pennsylvania),

    The portion in west-central and central Pennsylvania is most scenic.

  • Pittsburgh to Harrisburg (Pennsylvania)

    This route take you through some very pleasant mountain scenery.

    This is especially enjoyable during the autumn colour season.

    Greyhound through coaches from New York City to St. Louis travel this route
    .
  • Asheville (North Carolina) to Knoxville (Tennessee)

    Scenic but it is far better to rent a car to drive between these cities via the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or to do a circle trip via the park from Asheville with a car.

  • Redding (California) to Eugene (Oregon)

    Seeing Mount Shasta up close is a highlight of this trip.

    You also enjoy Mount Lassen in the distance.

  • St. Louis to Springfield (Missouri)

    However, Missouri allows far too many large billboards to mar this route—a shame. This really diminishes the scenic potential of this highway.

  • Boston to Montreal

    Vermont Transit, an affiliate of Greyhound that honours Greyhound tickets and passes.

    The really scenic portion is in Vermont between Burlington and White River Junction, NH.

  • Albany (New York) to Springfield (Massachusetts)

    This is especially beautiful during the autumn foliage season.

All best wishes for a super travelling experience!

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