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Home » Adventures » Glacier Highline Trail » Getting There

Bus Ride from Manning Park to Waterton Lake

Day 1

After completing the PCT in the morning by crossing into Canada at Manning Park, I intended to catch a bus eastbound towards Waterton and Glacier National Park to hike a stretch of the CDT that I had skipped during my thru hike due to snow. My bus was supposed to show at 3 a.m., so I just stayed awake and killed time so I did not have to pay for a room. As the early morning hour approached, I waited outside the quiet lodge in the cold watching the lonely road. Finally I saw the bus near and then proceeded to drive on by without stopping! I had even specifically purchased a ticket in advance so the driver would know I needed to be picked up at this remote stop early in the morning, but Greyhound blasted past anyway!

I went inside to talk to the resort’s night desk clerk, who said in his five months of working a bus had never stopped during his shift. I called Greyhound, who was not overly helpful, and had no way to contact or track the bus anyway. The night clerk at least let me sit on the couch in the lobby as long as I did not look too shabby, and I grabbed a few winks of sleep while sitting upright.

Day 2

The morning desk clerk at Manning Park was very nice (fulfilling the Canadian stereotype), and with her help and more fun on the phone with Greyhound we were able to figure out a “solution” to my bus problem. The morning westbound bus (which really stopped everyday) called upon a nearby town with a bus station, where I could talk to a Greyhound employee in person and have the best chance of fully resolving my travel issues, rather than stay in an endless loop on the phone with Greyhound customer service.

The other PCT hikers at the resort gave me a hard time since I missed the bus and was still there, but I at least ate another breakfast from the restaurant.

I did catch the westbound bus to Chilliwack, where Greyhound quickly reissued my ticket for the next day. I was now back on track, just 24 hours behind. I already had an extra contingency day built into my schedule through Glacier, but that was just used up before even reaching the park.

I now had fourteen hours to kill in this suburban town, which did not provide much for outsiders wanting more than a pit stop. The afternoon was long and boring, as I walked around, ate, watched a movie, and resupplied for my upcoming hike. After a final two hours sitting outside in the dark at the station my bus did finally show and was nice enough to stop. Although this driver also did not seem to know anything about me, my ticket at least got me onboard, and I could finally sleep for a couple hours straight.

Day 3

I spent the whole day on buses, sleeping, listening to podcasts, or watching the beautiful Canadian Rockies. My butt suffered the most on the very long and out of the way ride to Calgary (which was still somehow the most direct route for me), where I waited in the bus terminal a few hours before catching my final bus back towards the border.