Our Tips for Choosing the Perfect Rocky Mountaineer Rail Route

Discover Canada aboard the Rocky Mountaineer

Posted by on 01 Nov 2019 , in North America

Extending from British Columbia to Alberta, the Canadian Rockies are one of the most breathtaking natural sites in the world. Thunderous waterfalls, turquoise lakes, picturesque trails, and diverse wildlife await those who make the journey through this spectacular landscape.

Traveling by rail is undoubtedly the best way to experience all the Rockies have to offer, and with 3 routes to choose from, the hardest part is deciding which Rocky Mountaineer route to take.

If you love the wilderness

Rainforest to Gold Rush

For travellers seeking the untouched, untamed, and wild beauty of nature, Rainforest to Gold Rush is the route to take, winding its way past sparkling lakes, through evergreen rainforests and volcanic plateaus. Fjords and clear waters will guide throughout the journey and you’ll find beauties like Howe Sound, Porteau Cove, Green Lake, and Seton Lake right outside your window. Along the way, explore the wonders of Fraser Canyon, Cariboo Plateau, Mount Robson, and the Gold Pan City of Quesnel, before arriving at the final stop in Jasper National Park, the largest in the Canadian Rockies.

If you’re a history buff

First Passage to the West

First Passage to the West is the most popular Rocky Mountaineer rail route, beloved for connecting the best of Canada’s East and West. Travel back in time for a glimpse of how life once was for the early Canadian explorers, with exclusive access to the historic rails that pass through Spiral Tunnels and Craigellachie. Cross the Continental Divide and admire the dramatic peaks and cinematic canyons on the way. From the magical pillars of Hoodoos to the Kinbasket Lake, Kicking Horse River, and Castle Mountain, the First Passage to the West route will not disappoint the history enthusiast inside you.

If you’re a nature lover

Journey through the Clouds

Scenic valleys and arresting mountain views await you on this route with some of the most astonishing vistas of Canada’s West. Explore the Coast Mountains range and travel alongside the white-water rapids and spectacular landscape of Fraser Canyon. Travel along the Fraser River and see where British Columbia’s largest salmon run takes place. On your way to Alberta, you’ll also pass by Cisco Crossing, Hell’s Gate, Albreda Glacier, Pyramid Falls, and Moose Lake. If you’re lucky, you might also get a chance to spot some wildlife in their natural habitat, so keep your eyes peeled. But the best part of this route is witnessing the impressive Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. When you make your way along the Journey through the Clouds route, there will be no shortage of chances to experience nature at its finest.

Choose your rail service class

Now that you have an idea of the rail route you’d like to take, the next question is which Rocky Mountain rail service class to choose? Of course, it all depends on you, but keep in mind that no matter whether you choose GoldLeaf Service or SilverLeaf Service, you can expect world-class service and hospitality aboard Rocky Mountaineer that make for such a unique and remarkable journey.

First, both GoldLeaf Service and SilverLeaf Service guests have the luxury to experience the ALL-DOME fleet for an unparalleled view of the Canadian Rockies and all its beauty. While the SilverLeaf Service guests can enjoy seats in the custom built single-level dome coach, GoldLeaf Service guests board a bi-level glass domed coach with reclined seating on the second level. Both offer great viewing points for a panoramic view of the sceneries – the major difference is that the GoldLeaf Service coach has a glass dome that provides an unobstructed 180-degree view. Additionally, GoldLeaf Service guests have an outdoor viewing platform at the end of each car from which they have an unimpeded view, while SilverLeaf guests have access to a special vestibule between train cars with open viewing window.

Meals for the GoldLeaf Service guests are served a la carte made to order and served in a private dining room on the main level, while the SilverLeaf Service guests have the pleasure of having their food served to their seats. Both classes can also take advantage of the complementary snacks and drinks to be delivered to their seats, as well as complimentary luggage delivery.

Last updated: December 12, 2023
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