Rocky Mountaineer is synonymous with the Canadian Rockies: majestic mountain peaks, dramatic gorges, stunning crystal lakes and rivers, desert-like canyons, rich ranchlands and UNESCO World Heritage national parks. But you can now associate this iconic train company with the American Rockies too. With highlights best seen by train, this journey covers tunnels, mountains and canyons.
The best part? You can catch an award-winning daylight luxury train with panoramic views through the heart of it all.
Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian tour company offering three distinctive rail journeys through the beautiful and rich in history British Columbia and Alberta in Canada, and the newest route on the scene between Denver, Colorado to Moab, Utah. There are many holiday packages to choose from, the only thing you can’t customise are the train departure dates.
The opportunity to explore this natural wonderland as well as the service provided by Rocky Mountaineer has seen it recognised as one of the best travel opportunities in the world. Some of the accolades bestowed upon the Rocky Mountaineer include being named as one of the world’s greatest trips by National Geographic, eight-time winner of the ‘World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train’ from the World Travel Awards and being named one of the ‘Top 10 Train Trips in the World’ by the Society of American Travel Writers.
Of the three Canadian Rocky Mountaineer train routes available, the ‘First Passage to the West’ is the most popular. It includes Vancouver, Kamloops, Lake Louise, Banff and Calgary and is the only passenger rail service on the historic Canadian Pacific track.
For unparalleled natural beauty, the ‘Journey through the Clouds’ route showcases the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson, as well as Pyramid Falls and Jasper National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
As the name implies, the ‘Rainforest to Gold Rush’ is a triumph of natural diversity. As it travels through Whistler, Quesnel and Jasper, some of the diverse spectacles on display include the largest temperate rainforest in the world, the desert-esque Fraser Canyon and the pastoral ranchlands of the Cariboo Gold Rush region.
The aptly named Rockies to the Red Rocks journey is due to the numerous canyons and mountains of the the Colorado Rockies and the stunning red sandstone formations that you will pass outside of Moab. It won’t just be natural marvels that grab your attention though. The Moffat Tunnel is an engineering landmark that takes you through over 6 miles of rock.
As well as the different routes and directions, Rocky Mountaineer passengers can choose from two travel classes to suit their budget. GoldLeaf Service features a bi-level coach style with fully domed windows offering panoramic views upstairs and a private dining room downstairs. A large open-air vestibule is available for outdoor viewing. Gourmet à la carte meals are served in the dining room, with complimentary alcoholic beverages served throughout the journey. Passengers of SilverLeaf, are served meals at their seat along with complimentary wine or beer at lunch. SilverLeaf guests have delicious hot main options as they watch the scenery roll by though the view through oversized domed windows. Rockies to the Red Rocks has SilverLeaf and SilverLeaf Plus. No GoldLeaf is offered on this route as the larger dome carriages cannot fit through the Moffat Tunnel. SilverLeaf Plus guests will enjoy an elevated dining experience including wine pairings, served in the lounge car and access to a small outdoor viewing area.
Whichever travel class you choose, you can rest assured you will be treated to the impeccable service levels Rocky Mountaineer has become famous for. All Rocky Mountaineer passengers enjoy complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and entertaining storytelling from their hosts throughout the journey. Each rail journey also comes with overnight hotel accommodation including transfers from the rail station and luggage delivery.
Travelling by train means you can literally put your feet up and relax. There are no maps to follow and you are guaranteed to end up at the correct place at the end of the day. You’ll be travelling during daylight hours only, witnessing sights from a different perspective, knowing that those who haven’t enjoyed time on these railways would not be privy to the landscapes you’re in awe of. You have knowledgeable hosts who are only too happy to share anecdotes and facts, and point out wildlife that might be hard to spot. Gourmet meals are just one of the highlights of these journeys, with seasonal and local produce contributing to an exceptional experience.