Are you more of a history buff, or a wildlife watcher? Do you yearn to follow the route 19th century gold-seekers, or is spotting a soaring eagle or handsome black bear top of your list? Canada’s luxury train company, Rocky Mountaineer, offers three distinctive rail routes connecting the Pacific city of Vancouver with the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Your Rocky Mountaineer Train journey awaits. Here is a complete guide in helping you choose which one is for you. Discover three distinct rail routes in this article. 



1. First Passage To The West


Photo credit: Rocy Mountaineer


This two-day rail route rolls along the historic tracks of the country’s first coast-to-coast railway between Vancouver and Banff or Lake Louise, with an overnight stay in Kamloops. Pass by the snarling rapids of Hell’s Gate, the twin rail bridges of Cisco Crossing, Craigellachie—the site of the “last spike” driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, and experience the engineering marvel of the Spiral Tunnels. As you travel through Banff National Park be awed by views of towering Castle Mountain and Mount Rundle.

Route: Vancouver – Kamloops – Lake Louise or Banff (or reverse)

Highlights: Hell’s Gate, Cisco Crossing, Avalanche Alley, Spiral Tunnels, Rogers Pass, Castle Mountain Mount Rundle

Days: 2 day rail journey




Photo credit: Rocy Mountaineer


2. Journey To The Clouds

A 2 day rail journey traveling between Vancouver and Jasper traversing some of the most remote landscapes in Canada, with scenery and wildlife largely untouched by humans. Also passing the rushing Hell’s Gate—named for explorer Simon Fraser’s assertion that “surely these are the gates of Hell”—and Cisco Crossing. Between Kamloops and Jasper, the train passes the glacier-fed, three tiered Pyramid Falls; Mount Albreda; and Mount Robson—the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 metres (12,972 feet).


Route: Vancouver – Kamloops – Jasper (or reverse)

Highlights: Hell’s Gate, Cisco Crossing, Avalanche Alley, Pyramid Falls, Yellowhead, Lake Moose, Lake Mount Robson

Days: 2 day rail journey




Photo credit: Rocy Mountaineer



3. Rainforest To Gold Rush

This 3 day rail journey is ideal for those that want to delve further into Western Canada’s history and diverse landscapes—as well as spending more time on the train. A route taking you on a northerly path between Vancouver and Jasper, uncovering the stories of those seeking their fortune. This rail route also boasts the most trestle bridges, making it a favourite with train fans. With overnights in Whistler and Quesnel, on this journey you’ll climb through rainforest into the alpine alongside the southern fjord of Howe Sound, pass the deep turquoise waters of Seton and Anderson lakes, travel along the desert-like Cariboo Plateau, cross the historic Cottonwood River Bridge, and take in Mount Robson.


Route: Vancouver – Whistler – Quesnel – Jasper (or reverse)

Highlights: Cheakamus Canyon, Howe Sound, Pavilion, Painted Chasm, Cottonwood Bridge, Moose Lake, Mount Robson

Days: 3 day rail journey



Each train journey can be travelled in either direction. Can’t decide which journey is for you? Combine two rail routes for a Circle Journey. Opt to extend your stays in the destinations, so you can experience even more of the Canadian Rockies at your own pace.


Every Rocky Mountaineer rail journey travels only by daylight so you can be sure that you’re not missing a moment of those landscapes that you’ve come to see. And whether you opt for SilverLeaf Service or GoldLeaf Service, you’ll enjoy freshly-prepared cuisine paired with local wine and craft beers, as your onboard Hosts bring the scenery to life, and you make new lifelong friends. Now, your next step is finding out how to choose your Rail Service Level here.



Discover Canada Rail Journeys Here