Take a train ride through the Rockies

Rocky Mountaineer train passing through Cheakamus Canyon.

The Rocky Mountains, stretching from Canada’s northwest to the southwestern United States, are majestic. The Canadian Rockies offer a rugged wilderness bejeweled with rushing rivers, sparkling alpine lakes, and snow-capped mountain peaks. And the American Southwest is an equally scenic yet vastly distinct region. It showcases vibrant canyons, inspiring deserts, and iconic red rock formations.

To fully appreciate the spectacular scenery, hop aboard Rocky Mountaineer. When the train whistle blows, it’s time to slow down, disconnect, and enjoy the journey.

Couple looking at passing scenery from a train

Appreciate spectacular scenery from the comfort of a luxury train.

The luxurious Rocky Mountaineer, which debuted in 1990, is the largest privately owned tourist train company. It offers a unique experience. You get the comfort and convenience of train travel as well as incredible scenery, delicious cuisine, and attentive service on routes through western Canada and the American Southwest.

Ready to roll? Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Rocky Mountaineer rail itineraries

Rocky Mountaineer traveling alongside a lake

Enjoy magnificent scenery as the train passes lakes, mountains, and forests.

Rocky Mountaineer offers many itineraries on 4 unique rail routes. Three connect Vancouver, British Columbia, to the towns of Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. A new fourth route travels between Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah.

The train travels only by day. That means you won’t miss any of the magnificent scenery as the train passes mountains and crosses trestle bridges over rivers. At overnight stops, you’ll get a great night’s rest in hotels. Rocky Mountaineer partners with a variety of hotels–from standard to luxury–and tour operators, enabling you to select the package that’s best for you.   

The best time to travel

Rocky Mountaineer operates from mid-April to mid-October. Spring and summer showcase local flora, from remote tundra to dense coastal rainforests and desert landscapes. In fall, you’ll see the changing foliage as green larch or aspen trees transform to gold and yellow hues.

4 unforgettable rail routes

Because all train journeys begin and end in both directions on a route, you can choose your most convenient departure point.

Castle Mountain looming above as Rocky Mountaineer passes

Rocky Mountaineer passes Castle Mountain, a landmark between Banff and Lake Louise.

The iconic First Passage to the West travels along the historic tracks of Canada’s first coast-to-coast railway between Vancouver and Banff or Lake Louise. The train passes Craigellachie, the site of the last spike driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885.

When the train travels east, you’ll pass the last spike driven into the CN Rail in 1915. Highlights include passing through the engineering marvel of Spiral Tunnels, traversing the Continental Divide, and seeing Castle Mountain and Mount Rundle in Banff National Park.

Overnight stop: Kamloops, British Columbia (between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies).

Mount Robson

Enjoy stunning views of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. 

Journey Through the Clouds chugs between Vancouver and Jasper through some of Canada’s most remote landscapes. The train follows the Fraser River east into the wilderness. Scenery highlights include the glacier-fed, 3-tiered Pyramid Creek Falls and Mount Robson–at 12,972 feet, it is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

Overnight stop: Kamloops, British Columbia (between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies).

The Rainforest to Gold Rush route journeys north from Vancouver to Jasper. Along the way, you’ll rumble across trestle bridges high above rivers and travel through the rainforest into alpine vistas by the fjords of Howe Sound. The train passes Seton and Anderson lakes, crosses the historic Cottonwood River Bridge, and climbs past Mount Robson.

Overnight stops: Whistler and Quesnel, British Columbia.

De Beque Canyon

The train travels through De Beque Canyon in Colorado.

Rocky Mountaineer’s newest rail route, Rockies to the Red Rocks, travels between Moab, Utah, and Denver, Colorado. You’ll pass through the Rocky Mountains, beautiful plains, and desert landscapes in Utah and Colorado. 

Overnight stop: Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Rocky Mountaineer packages

No matter how much vacation time you have, Rocky Mountaineer makes it easy to travel. Choose from over 30 packages featuring a variety of itineraries from 1 to 14 nights.

Rocky Mountaineer traveling through wooded mountains

The Grand Adventure Circle Journey combines the Rainforest to Gold Rush and First Passage to the West routes. 

Limited on time? Short Journeys packages offer 2- to 5-day itineraries through the Canadian Rockies or the American Southwest. 

Want to see more? Book the Rockies Highlights package, so you can add extra days before and after your trip. Itineraries vary from 6 to 10 nights.

Can’t decide? Choose the Canadian Circle Journeys and combine 2 rail routes. The most sought-after package is the 11-night Grand Adventure Circle Journey that combines 2 popular routes: Rainforest to Gold Rush and First Passage to the West. 

The onboard experience

Think inviting, comfortable, and refined. Once everyone is seated, the Train Manager and onboard Hosts offer a welcome toast. Along the journey, Hosts foster a friendly atmosphere for guests to connect with fellow travelers. (More than 85% of travelers come from outside Canada; most are from the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.)

Guests raise their glasses for a toast aboard the Rocky Mountaineer

Onboard Hosts offer a welcome toast. 

Socializing is another big part of Rocky Mountaineer's experience, making it ideal for both groups and solo travelers.

“Sometimes guests are dining together in the dining room or chatting in an outdoor viewing platform,” says Nicole Ford, a frequent train traveler and Vice President, Communications, Sustainability, and Stakeholder Relations at Rocky Mountaineer. “So, you hear these stories of travelers who didn’t know each other before, but they depart as friends. They’re hugging each other at the end of the journey.”

Travelers listening as a host speaks aboard the Rocky Mountaineer

Hosts share stories and announce wildlife sightings. 

The onboard Hosts also share fascinating stories and history about the passing regions. They’re quick to announce wildlife sightings—is that a moose grazing over there?—so you don’t miss great photo ops. 

One of Ford’s favorite memories (and photos) was on a springtime journey as the train neared Lake Louise. “A large grizzly bear was standing in a slushy meadow, watching the train, paused, as if posing for a photo,” she says.

Onboard dining

Meals are sumptuous. Enjoy delicious 2-course breakfasts and 3-course lunches. Chefs prepare menus inspired by what’s in season and available locally in the regions the train passes through.

A salmon fillet served over rice and with a glass of red wine

Chefs prepare seasonal dishes for guests.

For lunch, Canadian routes may include Alberta beef short rib. Chefs on Rockies to the Red Rocks may prepare lemon- and herb-roasted chicken breast.

Meals can be paired with local wines, craft beers, or a cup of tea. Beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, as well as snacks, are included. 

Because the train schedule varies from package to package, some itineraries include dinner as well. Otherwise, guests explore local restaurants and cafés on their own.

GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf Service

Passengers mingling aboard the Rocky Mountaineer

SilverLeaf Service features spacious, single-level coaches.

Rocky Mountaineer offers 2 levels of service–SilverLeaf Service and GoldLeaf Service. For both, the warm, inviting experience is the same. But each level of service has different rail cars and its own menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. 

SilverLeaf Service features spacious, single-level coaches, where you’ll be served meals in the comfort of your seat. You’ll have plenty of room to stand, stretch, or look at the view from the oversized windows. Also, 2 people can share a small, enclosed outdoor area.

Rocky Mountaineer employee pushing a drink cart through the train car

GoldLeaf Service features full glass-dome windows.

SilverLeaf Plus Service, which includes access to an adjacent lounge car with elevated beverages and additional seating space, is available only on the Rockies to the Red Rocks route.

GoldLeaf Service, which is available only on Canadian routes, features bi-level coaches with an upper-level seating area with spacious, reclining seats, and full glass-dome windows. Meals are served downstairs in an elegantly appointed dining room. Meals are freshly prepared in the adjacent kitchen. 

Tours and overnight stays

Travelers can ride an all-terrain vehicle onto the Athabasca Glacier.

Travelers can ride an all-terrain vehicle onto the Athabasca Glacier.

Depending on the package you choose, some tours and activities may be included.

Packages may include a ride on the Banff Gondola and sightseeing in a national park. You can also book add-ons to customize your trip. For example, hop aboard a 12-passenger open-air, Zodiac-style boat for a waterfront sightseeing tour of downtown Vancouver. Or enjoy a sunset whale-watching tour in Vancouver. Thrill-seekers will enjoy riding a giant all-terrain vehicle onto the Athabasca Glacier and stepping out on the glass-floored platform of the Columbia icefield in Banff. 

At overnight stops, Rocky Mountaineer transports luggage and provides motorcoach transfers between the train and partner hotels. Hotel keys are provided onboard the train for guests who have booked hotels with Rocky Mountaineer as part of their package.

Rocky Mountaineer

Save up to $1,000 on Rocky Mountaineer journeys

Receive special discounts and an exclusive AAA Member Benefit with Rocky Mountaineer. Plan your spectacular rail journey today. 

Restrictions apply.

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