If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the Canadian Rockies, there’s no better way than with a Rocky Mountaineer train journey. With three unique rail routes connecting the cosmopolitan Pacific city of Vancouver in British Columbia to the Alberta mountain towns of Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise, it’s easy to combine your train journey with time both exploring the national parks, and enjoying city dining and sightseeing.
Banff and Lake Louise, the Canadian Rockies destinations on the two-day First Passage to the West rail route, both sit within Banff National Park. Established as Canada’s very first national park back in 1885, the park offers soaring peaks, glacier-fed lakes and plenty of wildlife. The town of Banff is the larger of the two towns, with a renowned arts community, as well as great restaurants and places to raise a glass at the end of the day. Take the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain for a view of six mountain ranges, the Bow Valley and the town itself.
The hamlet of Lake Louise, just a 40-minute drive north of Banff, sits on the edge of its namesake, a stunning lake with the Victoria Glacier reflected in its turquoise waters. Along with the tranquil scenery, many visitors come to the town to experience the legendary afternoon tea at the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Jasper, a three-hour drive north via the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic drives, is the Canadian Rockies destination on both the two-day Journey through the Clouds rail route, and the three-day Rainforest to Gold Rush route. The park is known for its outstanding outdoor adventure opportunities, from wildlife watching and hiking the extensive trail network, to heavenly stargazing within the Jasper Dark Sky Preserve.
Guests traveling on the Rainforest to Gold Rush train journey also get to experience time in the mountain resort of Whistler, British Columbia. Enjoy a round of golf, stroll the alpine village, or take in the view from the gondola running between two mountain peaks.
Be sure to include some time to explore Vancouver, Rocky Mountaineer’s western departure or arrival station for all rail routes. Get your bearings by heading up 28 storeys to see the view from the Vancouver Lookout, before experiencing the city’s walkable neighbourhoods, bustling shopping districts and markets, and inspiring galleries and museums, before sitting down for your own taste of Vancouver’s exciting restaurant scene.