The Canadian Rockies are a chain of mountains that stretch for more than 1,400 kilometres through the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, with craggy limestone peaks, tumbling ice fields and jewel-like lakes competing for your attention. One of the best ways to soak up this incredible scenery is by taking a rail journey on the Rocky Mountaineer. These four separate journeys take in three national parks, with many sights only able to be seen by train.
Throughout this eight-day journey from Vancouver to Calgary, you’ll be amazed by the dramatic changes in scenery along the way. From the lush green of the Fraser Valley, through forests and winding canyons to the desert-like rocky shores of Lake Kamloops, Day One is just a taste of the amazing scenery you’ll experience.
As you journey further east, you’ll witness more mind-blowing landscapes, from to emerald- and sapphire-hued lakes to the bizarre rock formations known as the Hoodoos. Names like Lake Louise, the Columbia Icefield and Banff will cease to be abstract ideas and instead become incredible memories. The journey ends in the energetic city of Calgary, where you can look back at the mountain ranges through which you’ve travelled from the top of the city’s 190-metre observation tower.
Your journey diverges from the previous one at Kamloops: heading northeast, the train snakes along the banks of the beautiful North Thompson River, before climbing up over Yellowhead Pass to stunning Jasper National Park. This relatively small town was originally established as a fur trading post, but today its position as the gateway to the Rockies’ largest National Park means there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained and enthralled at any time of year – from a canyon ice walk or sleigh ride in winter to canoeing or horse-riding in the summer, or riding the incredible Skytram at any time of year. From Jasper you’ll head south via the Columbia Icefield to finish in Calgary.
This rail journey, which also runs between Vancouver and Calgary via Jasper and Banff, offers a different route between Jasper from Vancouver, heading first to the resort town of Whistler along a incredible stretch of track known as the Sea to Sky Corridor. From the tranquil waters of Howe Sound to the dramatic Brandywine Falls and heart-stopping sheer canyon walls of Cheakamus Canyon, your first day aboard is just a taste of what awaits – there’s still more canyons, lakes and the thrill of crossing one of the highest railway bridges in the world (the modestly-named Deep Creek Bridge), before you reach Jasper.
The US city of Seattle perches on an isthmus between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, and its lovely position, surrounded by water, is one of the many reasons it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Offering great natural beauty, a thriving arts and cultural scene and more than 485 parks, why not extend your journey to include time in this fabulous city. On the four-hour rail trip between Seattle and Vancouver, you’ll be kept entranced by the wonderful views of the Chuckanut Coast, the Sound and San Juan Island.
These rail journeys will take you through some of the most spectacular scenery you’ll ever come across, made even more enjoyable by the fantastic hospitality you’ll experience along the way: comfy seats, vast picture windows, glass-domed observation cars, captivating commentaries and fabulous meals – but be warned: you may develop a definite taste for travelling in this manner. With so many variations and combinations available, your personal travel manager can help you choose the itinerary that’s best for you.