When you think of Western Canada, the first thing that comes to mind is snow-capped mountains, lush parklands, and charming resort towns. But one of the best parts about a Canadian Rockies vacation is how easy it is to get there by train—a great way to experience all of that without having to drive a car, which can be difficult for anyone with mobility issues or for families with young kids.
During a Rocky Mountaineer train journey, you’ll take in pristine lakes and rivers, towering glaciers, mighty peaks, deep canyons, and more. Plus, the train rides at a photo-friendly speed of 50 kilometers per hour so you can snap a perfect shot of every spectacular view.
Your train tour of the Rockies will take you through some of the most iconic natural sights in Canada, including Lake Louise and Banff National Parks, which are both home to magnificent mountain peaks. And you’ll have a chance to explore each park in a variety of ways—from taking a lake cruise to visiting Banff Hot Springs, the region’s most popular thermal pool.
There are 3 different routes you can choose from, each running in both directions—from Vancouver to Banff or Vancouver to Jasper. Each route has its own unique attractions, so it’s important to know which is right for you.
The Kicking Horse Route: From Vancouver to Banff (eastbound)
The most scenic and historic route for Rocky Mountaineer, this this website journey takes passengers along the original Canadian Pacific Railway line that opened in 1885. Passengers travel through awe-inspiring wilderness and breathtaking scenery, and you’ll stop at several of the most famous landmarks in the Canadian Rockies, like Pyramid Falls.
A highlight of this trip is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Banff National Park. You’ll also have time to explore nearby Lake Louise, where you can enjoy a ride on a gondola.
Another highlight of this journey is the breathtaking vistas of Moose Lake and the Fraser River, where up to 200 million gallons of water flow per minute. You’ll also have the opportunity to see wild elk, black and grizzly bears, and soaring eagles as you go.
You’ll also get to see Mount Robson, which stands at 12,972 feet and is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. You’ll also travel through the mighty Hell’s Gate and visit the stunning Pyramid Falls.
During this tour, you’ll stay in luxury accommodations and be treated to all-day on-board dining in Silverleaf and Goldleaf service cars. You’ll also have access to lounge cars with bars where you can sip your favorite drink and soak up the sweeping views as you go.
Your Rockies by rail trip can be combined with a cruise of Alaska, which is another great way to experience the beauty of this part of the world. Some tours will include an overnight or two in Vancouver, while others may have a shorter stopover in a city like Seattle or Tacoma before sailing to Alaska’s scenic ports of call.