Discover Rocky Mountaineer’s scenic routes
Rocky Mountaineer will take you on a journey full of wonder, splendour, and picture-perfect moments you’ll never forget. As you melt into your large, cosy seat, the world outside your glass-domed carriage offers an unforgettable show of Canada’s natural beauty, journeying through soaring mountain ranges, venturing past glistening lakes, weaving through icy glaciers, and voyaging along jaw-dropping canyons.
With three main routes twisting and turning their way through the unspoilt landscapes, there are plenty of breath-taking sights to see on board the luxury Rocky Mountaineer train. Each route takes place in the daylight, so you won’t miss a thing as your luxurious carriage graces you with sights usually unseen by those on foot or by car. The glass domed ceiling and windows offer impressive views from every angle, too.
Let us take you through the routes of the Rocky Mountaineer, and introduce you to the varying, incredible sights you may encounter along the way. The untouched beauty of Canada awaits those who wish to explore the country in utmost style.
Discover seven spectacular mountain ranges
One of the main draws of hopping on the Rocky Mountaineer is scaling Canada’s most remarkable mountains, offering an up-close glimpse of their stunning beauty without having to endure a treacherous hike.
The Cascade Range, which spans across British Columbia from Northern California, looks as if it comes straight from a postcard - the icy peaks, thick bottle green woodland and perfect reflection in the still lakes will never fail to take your breath away. Meanwhile, the Coast Mountains – this time spreading out across the coast of British Columbia – are lined by the bright blue sea and integrated with dazzling fjords.
The landscapes of the Cariboo Mountains flawlessly blend from icy scenes to lush alpine trees framing the mountains below, and the luxury train will also venture through the gigantic Selkirk Mountains, shrouded in forests that are home to majestic woodland caribou.
Journeying past the Centennial Range during springtime will make your jaw drop – the rolling hills abundant in greenery and bright yellow flora are a stark contrast to the barren mountain peaks. You’ll certainly want to get your camera ready when you pass the Premier Range too – the alpine lakes that lie underneath are unbelievably crystal clear, and you’ll never see a scene so bright.
Of course, the Rocky Mountains are a must-see for travellers, offering a wide range of dramatic sceneries including jagged, ice-covered peaks, a mix of sweeping green meadows and dark green forest, and many azure blue lakes. Catch a glimpse of these iconic mountains and we’re sure you’ll snap the perfect photo, or you can simply drink in the views with a G&T in hand.
Journey through the Clouds
A huge highlight of the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer is its ability to get you up-close to some of Canada’s most spectacular hidden gems. This remote yet stunning route is the perfect example, journeying through amazing destinations you may not have thought about visiting before. If you love to discover the unknown, this journey from Vancouver to Jasper is the one for you.
Astonishing sights await you on this trip, travelling through the Coast Mountains range and following the route of the Fraser River – home to British Columbia’s largest salmon run. The verdant sceneries of Fraser River then seamlessly change into the icy plains of the Albreda Glacier, before whittling past the cascading Pyramid Falls, an astounding 300ft glacier-fed waterfall that flows under the rail track. The thrill of seeing the waterfall is just as incredible as sauntering past Moose Lake, home to – you guessed it – plenty of grazing moose.
First Passage to the West
Rocky Mountaineer’s routes aren’t just focused on fantastic views – there’s tonnes of history to discover, too. This route is perfect for history enthusiasts, travelling past legendary sights which will come even more to life with the train host’s captivating stories. In fact, the Rocky Mountaineer is the only passenger rail-service that journeys along the legendary route that makes its way through the Spiral Tunnels and past Craigellachie - where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven in to connect Canada’s East and West.
It’ll come as no surprise that this journey is full of memorable moments. You’ll gasp in amazement as your carriage throttles through the desolate Black Canyon, offering an eye-opening contrast of deep blue waters and sandy hills, whilst the Hoodoos are a fascinating sight to encounter. For a one-of-a-kind view, you’ll love discovering Castle Mountain, aptly named after its jagged castle-like shape. And no, you’re not dreaming, the waters of Kinbasket Lake are really that turquoise.
Rainforest to Gold Rush
This breath-taking route is perhaps one of the most diverse rail journeys in the world, and is well worth embarking on. Leisurely travelling past varying landscapes of sparkling lakes, desolate desert, luscious coastal rainforest, spiralling mountains and small, pretty cities, this will be the most memorable three days of your life – and it can all be enjoyed in the comfort of your luxury carriage.
There is a plethora of scenic highlights on this route, all as wonderful as the rest. The still waters of Howe Sound are a humbling sight to see, whilst the desert-like scenery of Fraser Canyon and the barren beauty of the Cariboo Plateau is a more unique vision. We’re certain you’ll be awe-struck by the lakes found along this path too, including the milky green waters of Seton Lake, the birch tree lined Green Lake, and the hidden gem of Anderson Lake. You’ll also have the chance of ticking Mount Robson off your list too, which claims to be the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, before ending in the striking Jasper National Park.
It’s undeniable that a trip on board the Rocky Mountaineer will grace you with memories to last a lifetime, giving you a sensational insight into Canada’s incredible untouched beauty and diverse landscapes. Now all you need to do is choose which route to embark on – or, if you’re as enthusiast about Canada as we are, you could even enjoy a circle route, combining two or more routes to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Rocky Mountaineer is your oyster.
Experience a trip aboard the Rocky Mountaineer with these recommended tours
Rocky Mountaineer Travel Guides
- Experience a trip on board the Rocky Mountaineer
- Five reasons why you must experience a Rocky Mountaineer rail journey
- Discover Rocky Mountaineer’s scenic routes
- A day in the life of a Kamloops Assistant Station Manager
- Captivating Western Canada: My bucket list holiday of a lifetime, by Donna Owen
- Road tripping Canada’s Rocky Mountains – Self-drive Calgary to Vancouver