As far as the sights are concerned, the Rocky Mountaineer is the best way to see the glorious landscapes between British Columbia and Alberta.
British Columbia (known as B.C.) and neighboring Alberta are dramatic and utterly stunning. They boast some of Canada’s most stunning national parks including Banff, Glacier National Park of Canada, Yoho National Park, and more. Cutting right through these national parks in Canada’s famed Rocky Mountaineer. See here for why one should visit the majestic Yoho National Park.
The Rocky Mountaineer is the name of the operator who operates scenic train journeys on four different routes (three in Canada and one in the United States), there were two more routes but these have been discontinued. This article is concerned with the classic Canadian routes, but for those looking for an epic train journey in the Southwest, they also have them covered.
The Routes Of The Rocky Mountaineer
The Rocky Mountaineer is the very best of Canadian hospitality and the pinnacle of the beauty that Canada has on offer. Onboard these luxury coaches one will carve right through the very heart of the Canadian Rockies and will be dumbfounded by the stunning majestic scenery.
- Season: The Trains Only Run From April to October
In order to maximize the scenic views, the Rocky Mountaineers only operate during the day. Therefore there are no sleeper facilities offered on the train. On all trips, the guests disembark and stay in luxury hotels along the way. The journeys are fully end-to-end journeys and so no one can board the train on stops along the way – except for the First Passage to the West with its intermediate stop at Lake Louise station.
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First Passage to The West:
- About The Route: Runs Between Vancouver and Banff, Has An Overnight Stop In Kamloops And Another Intermediate Stop In Lake Louise
- Destinations: Vancouver, Kamloops, Banff
- Trip Length: 4 Days/3 Nights Total
- Onboard The Rocky Mountaineer: 2 Days (Rest By Motorcoach And Hotels)
- Cost: $2,199 – $3,704 CAD (From $1,730 USD)
Journey Through The Clouds:
- About The Route: Between Vancouver And Jasper With An Overnight Stop in Kamloops, Partly Overlaps With The First Passage To The West
- Destinations: Vancouver, Kamloops, Jasper
- Trip Length: 4 Days/3 Nights Total
- Onboard The Rocky Mountainer: 2 Days (Rest By Motorcoach and Hotels)
- Cost: $2,047 – $3,726 CAD (From $1,615 USD)
Rainforest To Gold Rush:
- About The Route: Runs Between North Vancouver And Jasper, Has Overnight Stops In Whistler And Quesnel
- Destinations: Vancouver, Whistler, Quesnel, Jasper
- Trip Length: 5 Days/4 Nights Total
- Onboard The Rocky Mountaineer: 3 Days (Rest By Motorcoach And Hotels)
The Rockies To The Red Rocks:
- About The Route: Runs Between Denver And Moab In The United States With An Overnight Stop In Glenwood Springs
- Date Began: First Began In August 2021
- Alternative: Canada Is Open To Vaccinated Americans, But It Is An Option For Those Not Going To Canada
There a numerous options for tours onboard the Rocky Mountaineer, the packages listed above are the short journey classic tours. There are also options for journeys at a much more leisurely pace with tours ranging from three nights to twelve nights. For more options for these packages, check out their website here.
- Duration: Range From 3 to 12 Nights
Levels Of Service and Why You Should Travel With Them
The Rocky Mountaineer operates two graded services. These are the SilverLeaf and the GoldLeaf. With the GoldLeaf option, guests enjoy the height of luxury with five-star comfort across the board. Options here include gourmet meals prepared by Executive Chefs and eye-watering panoramic views through windows of a bi-level glass dome coach. The dome provides unrivaled viewing with 360-degree views. The GoldLeaf coaches are double level and the dining space is downstairs.
- Grades Of Service: SilverLeaf And the GoldLeaf
While still comfortable and excellent, the SilverLeaf service offers everything one needs to enjoy the panoramic views and delicious meals. But lacks the bi-level glass dome coach and some of the luxuries of the GoldLeaf Service.
Service includes everything to keep the guests happy and conformable. Breakfasts and Lunches are hot gourmet affairs while the seats are spacious. One can even step outside on the outdoor vestibules between the cars and feel the cool mountain breeze brushing past one’s face.
The Rocky Mountaineer has been reportedly named one of the world’s greatest train journeys. This praise is from National Geographic to the Conde Nash Traveler. It is part of North America’s largest private rail service and cuts through seven mountain ranges. See here for some of the other best train rides in all of North America.
This tour is certainly not cheap and only the more affluent would be able to afford a lengthened journey with the Rocky Mountaineer. But for those who can, it is an experience no one is likely to forget anytime soon.
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