ROCKY MOUNTAINEER TRAIN IN CANADA: BEST VIEWS
Canada boasts some of the world’s most magnificent and distinctive train voyages. Rocky Mountaineer’s trains gracefully traverse through breathtaking mountainous landscapes, providing passengers with an opportunity to immerse themselves in Canada’s unparalleled natural beauty while enjoying a lavish and comfortable experience.
The glass-domed carriages offer awe-inspiring views, allowing you to savor exquisite dining and fine wines onboard. This journey is an ideal choice for those seeking to explore the full spectrum of Canada’s offerings, meandering through canyons, alongside the roaring rivers, and ascending mountains, all along routes that can only be accessed by rail.
Rocky Mountaineer embarks on journeys that encompass some of Canada’s most awe-inspiring destinations. In this post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to all the remarkable sights you can encounter.
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Rocky Mountaineer currently operates on four distinct routes: Journey through the Clouds, First Passage to the West, Rainforest to Goldrush, and the Coastal Passage. Each of these routes offers a unique and fantastic experience, providing something different to cherish. Here are the destinations featured on each route:
Journey Through the Clouds:
First Passage to the West:
- Lake Louise
Rainforest to Goldrush:
- Lake Louise
Throughout your journey, you’ll be treated to breathtaking scenery, including towering mountain peaks, lush forests, encounters with wildlife, and serene lakes. Here are some of the noteworthy highlights along each route!
Pyramid Falls, a remarkable natural wonder, is a highlight accessible on both the Journey Through the Clouds and Coastal Passage routes, situated between Jasper and Kamloops.
This majestic cascade presents one of the most captivating photo opportunities along any of Rocky Mountaineer’s journeys. The falls mark the juncture where the glacier-fed Pyramid Creek cascades from a suspended valley and converges with the North Thompson River.
Standing at an impressive height of approximately 300 feet, featuring numerous cascades, the sight of the water meandering down the mountainside is an unforgettable spectacle that will stay with you forever.
Cisco Crossing, a significant railway junction, is a point of interest visible on the Journey Through the Clouds, First Passage to the West, and Coastal Passage routes, located between Kamloops and Vancouver.
At Cisco Crossing, the railway tracks converge. Here, you’ll encounter the Cisco Bridge, one of two bridges in this area. Its classic truss arch design harmonizes exquisitely with the natural surroundings, creating a picturesque scene that feels like it was meant to be there.
This bridge, boasting the most extensive single span on the route, stretches an impressive 247 meters in length! When you traverse this bridge, don’t forget to glance down at the vigorous white-water flowing beneath – a sight to behold!
The Hoodoos, which are visible on the First Passage to the West and Coastal Passage routes, are situated between Lake Louise and Banff.
These distinctive rock formations will transport you to a realm that seems otherworldly. These towering rock structures extend above the surrounding trees and wilderness and are said to represent individuals who were transformed into columns through mystical practices.
Regardless of your beliefs, embarking on a journey along the Hoodoo Trail provides awe-inspiring panoramas of the Bow River Valley.
The Spiral Tunnels, located on the First Passage to the West route between Kamloops and Lake Louise, are renowned as the most intricate and bewildering railway tracks globally, a distinction they have held since their establishment in 1909.
These tunnels wind and loop around Big Hill, representing a remarkable and ingeniously designed railway section. Originally, the spiral tunnels were devised to address the challenge of enabling slow, heavily-laden trains to ascend steep inclines successfully.
Today, one of the most thrilling moments is emerging from these tunnels and catching sight of the tail end of the train as it’s about to enter.
Fraser Canyon, located along the Rainforest to Goldrush route between Whistler and Vancouver, was once a bustling hub during the Gold Rush era, attracting more than 10,000 eager prospectors in pursuit of wealth.
Today, as nature gradually reclaims the once heavily mined mountains, you’ll journey through this canyon alongside the thundering Fraser River.
Mount Robson, often referred to as ‘The Great White Fright,’ is a sight that will require you to gaze upwards. It stands as the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies, towering at an astonishing elevation of 3,954 meters.
Witnessing this majestic mountain summit will undoubtedly be the pinnacle of your journey along the Rainforest to Goldrush route.
White Rock, renowned for its extensive pier and the iconic white rock that gives it its name, is a picturesque destination.
According to legend, this rock found its place at the water’s edge after a demonstration of incredible strength by a sea god who hurled it across the ocean. Be sure to stay watchful as you pass by this scenic spot on your journey.
Chuckanut Bay is a unique location found only on the Coastal Passage route between Seattle and Vancouver. It’s a place where the majestic Cascade Range mountains gracefully meet the sea.
The scenery here is truly exquisite, offering splendid views of the ocean. At certain moments during your journey on the Rocky Mountaineer, you’ll even experience the sensation of gliding along the water, surrounded by picturesque landscapes.
In addition to the stunning landscapes you’ll encounter during your journey along the routes, there are also plenty of attractions and activities to enjoy at the overnight stops.
Whether you’re spending a single night along the route or extending your stay at the beginning or end of the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to explore diverse destinations and immerse yourself in unique local cultures along the way. Let’s delve into these stops and discover what they have in store for you.
Banff can serve as either the initial or concluding stop on your journey, as well as an overnight destination if you’re starting your tour in Calgary.
Banff National Park is frequently hailed as one of the most breathtaking regions on the planet. With its sapphire lakes glistening beneath snow-capped rocky mountains, the scenery here is unparalleled. The park teems with wildlife, including bighorn sheep, elk, and bears, and boasts renowned landmarks such as Lake Moraine, Lake Louise, and the Bow River.
Although the town of Banff is small in comparison to the towering mountains that surround it, it exudes a captivating charm. Its traditional wood-paneled and stone buildings set against the backdrop of the magnificent mountains make it a delightful place to commence or conclude your journey.
During the day, you can explore Banff National Park on foot, by bike, or on a sightseeing tour. In the evening, you can savor the vibrant dining and bar scene in the bustling town.
One of the most iconic local attractions is Moraine Lake, which you’ve probably glimpsed in images of Canada online before your train trip. Moraine Lake is less than an hour’s drive away and is definitely worth a visit. Just don’t forget your camera!
Jasper can serve as either the initial or concluding stop, as well as an overnight destination on the Coastal Passage.
Located in the alpine region, Jasper is the central hub for the stunning Jasper National Park, situated a bit to the north of Banff National Park. As a result, you’ll find yourself surrounded by some of the most magnificent landscapes in Canada when you visit this town.
While Jasper is quieter than Banff, it offers an authentic insider’s escape. The park is renowned for its mountain peaks and breathtaking lakes, with Maligne Lake standing out as the most spectacular of them all. Here, you can embark on a cruise to the Hall of the Gods and behold the sacred Spirit Island.
If Jasper is your point of departure or arrival, and you decide to extend your stay, you might consider renting a car to venture through the wilderness. Along the way, you can make stops at lakes and mountains to capture incredible photographs and seek out the perfect picnic spot. Alternatively, you can lace up your hiking boots and set off to explore the area on foot.
For a truly unique experience, you might want to take a ride on the Jasper Skytram, which ascends to an elevation of 2,277 meters above sea level. Advertised as the “best view in Jasper,” be sure to enjoy a meal at the summit restaurant for an unforgettable experience!
Lake Louise, situated within Banff National Park, stands out as one of Canada’s most prized jewels. The charming hamlet nestled along the shore of Lake Louise is an ideal place for an overnight stay.
Lake Louise itself, from which the hamlet takes its name, is absolutely breathtaking. Its water boasts an astonishing turquoise hue and is set against the backdrop of the majestic Victoria Glacier. Indulging in afternoon tea on the terrace of the Fairmont Hotel is a quintessential experience. This location provides ample opportunities for photography, so be sure to bring your camera! Additionally, it’s well worth setting an early morning alarm to witness the sunrise over the lake before departing the village.