• Rainforest to Goldrush

Rocky Mountaineer Grand Rail Circle

Explore Canada on the exhilarating Rocky Mountaineer Grand Rail Circle tour and take the journey of a lifetime. Enjoy unforgettable and spectacular dramatic scenery from the comfort of the train and explore Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Parks, and the famous Icefields Parkway.

Taking in the magnificent views of the Canadian Rockies has never been so relaxing and easy with this ultimate rail tour that visits seven different locations across Canada. You’ll take in some spectacular sights, including the metropolis city of Vancouver, Kamloops, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Quesnel and Whistler. Discover rugged mountains, such as Sulphur Mountain and Mount Robson, and impressive glaciers, such as the Athabasca Glacier. Marvel at picturesque panoramic unspoilt scenery within the national parks and spot native mammals and wildlife who inhabit these gorgeous locations. Find gifts and souvenirs for loved ones in the quirky shops of Vancouver, and sample scrumptious treats in cosy cafes and fine dining restaurants. Lose yourself in the tranquil setting surrounding Lake Louise ,and capture incredible photos that certainly don’t need a filter.

Expect to experience sights that will heighten your senses, such as glacier-fed lakes and rivers, snow-fringed mountains, rolling ranch land, dense forests, luscious turquoise-coloured lakes, and stunning natural rock formations. If you’re looking to explore Canada and create extraordinary memories that you can cherish forever, then this railroad tour is perfect for you.

Duration
13 days
Best time to go
June - September
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Vancouver

Trip highlights

  • Discover Banff’s extensive wildlife and scenic views on a gondola up Sulphur Mountain
  • Marvel at the stunning glaciers on the Icefields Parkway Tour
  • Explore the wondrous sights, sounds and smells in Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Parks
  • Indulge in a Jasper breakfast tour while enjoying the view at Jasper National Park
Coal Harbour, Vancouver, Seawall, British Columbia

Once you arrive into the west coast seaport of Vancouver you can check into your hotel. You’re free to spend the rest of your day discovering Vancouver. Kick off your holiday by exploring the bustling city that is home to a captivating cultural scene and steeped with exciting activities. Find fascinating entertainment within the thriving art, theatre and music scene, or check out the glorious parks in the city, such as the 1,000 acre Stanley Park. Or simply take a leisurely stroll along the colourful and lively streets of Vancouver; discovering Victorian buildings, historic landmarks and quirky shops.

Why not spend your evening unwinding in one of the many cosy restaurants the city has to offer and grab a drink in one of Vancouver’s lively bars, before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep?

Suggested Accommodation

  • SilverLeaf - Sheraton Wall Centre / GoldLeaf & GoldLeaf Deluxe - Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
a tree with a mountain in the background
a train crossing a bridge over a river in a forest

Join us on boardRocky Mountaineer as you travel in style from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops. Along the route, you can expect to witness dramatic changes in scenery as you venture from the heart of British Columbia’s interior to the desert-like scenes in Kamloops. Swapping extensive lush green fields for sandy canyons and plenty of sunshine, you’ll know when the train arrives in Kamloops.

Keep your eyes peeled for the gushing waters of Hell’s Gate in Fraser Canyon, which is where the Fraser River abruptly narrows to 35 metres wide. Have your camera at hand as you pass the impressive steep slopes and rock faces that are dotted along the Thompson River. The final part of your Rocky Mountaineer ride skirts along the beautiful shores of Kamloops Lake and then into Kamloops.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Kamloops Accommodation
a view of water and a mountain in the background

After a night’s stopover in Kamloops, rise early to continue your journey on Rocky Mountaineer past the imposing Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta, arriving into Banff in the evening. Saddle up for another exciting and breath-taking journey, as you see atmospheric landscapes complete with ranch lands, lakeshores and impressive mountains. The main attraction along this picturesque journey is the snow-capped peaks and the delightful glaciers that lie within the Canadian Rockies.

Take in spectacular scenes as you ascend Rogers Pass, journey through Kicking Horse Canyon and journey into the remarkable engineering feat that is the Spiral Tunnels. Don’t miss out on viewing Craigellachie, which is where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven in 1885. Once in Banff, you can spend the evening however you like. Why not relax in the hotel or go for a short nighttime stroll to stretch your legs?

Suggested Accommodation

  • SilverLeaf - Banff Ptarmigan Inn / GoldLeaf & GoldLeaf Deluxe - Rimrock Resort Hotel
a view of a snow covered mountain
a view of a mountain

Explore Banff and Banff National Park on our half day sightseeing tour in the morning and spend your afternoon at leisure. Experience the beauty of Bow Falls and take in the idyllic natural landscapes that surround the area. Step onboard the Banff Gondola with us and treat your eyes to unlimited mountaintop panoramic views. Relax on a lake cruise as you explore Lake Minnewanka and the beautiful mountain peaks that tower over the lake.

Enjoy scenic views from Surprise Corner, which overlooks the castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and Sulphur Mountain. On our sightseeing tour, you’ll also be able to take in the views from Hoodoos. A fascinating geological feature, Hoodoos consists of tower-like natural rock formations. From here you’ll be able to take in stunning views of Bow River and Mount Rundle.

Spend the rest of the day exploring Banff at your own leisure. We recommend strolling around the town and sampling the vast assortment of boutiques, shops, cafes and restaurants on offer.

Suggested Accommodation

  • SilverLeaf - Banff Ptarmigan Inn / GoldLeaf & GoldLeaf Deluxe - Rimrock Resort Hotel

Today is at leisure to discover more of Banff’s wonders. This town is packed to the brim with adventures ideal for outdoorsy visitors, including hiking trails and wildlife to keep nature enthusiasts happy too. Re-visit some of the sights we saw on yesterday’s tour and take your time exploring more of the area.

Fancy relaxing and finding your piece of heaven? Then why not head to the Upper Hot Springs? Soak your skin and relax to the max in the mineral pools. History fans can explore the museums in Banff, such as Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, which is home to collections and exhibitions about the cultural heritage of the Rocky Mountains of Canada.

Suggested Accommodation

  • SilverLeaf - Banff Ptarmigan Inn / GoldLeaf & GoldLeaf Deluxe - Rimrock Resort Hotel
a lake with a mountain in the background
a tree with a mountain in the snow

On day six, you’re invited to explore Yoho National Park on a half day tour. During your trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site, you’ll visit the Spiral Tunnels. It’s especially thrilling to see the trains as they enter the impressive tunnel. You’ll also be able to see the tranquil turquoise-coloured Emerald Lake and the Natural Bridge, the natural rock formation that spans across the Kicking Horse River.

Your morning tour ends at Lake Louise at 1300 hrs, after which you are free to discover the surrounding area. Unwind by the lake as you admire the glaciers and towering peaks above. Check-in to your hotel isn’t until 1600 hrs, so we highly recommend storing your luggage at the hotel while you go and explore, or relax in the hotel’s facilities.

Suggested Accommodation

  • SilverLeaf - Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Room / GoldLeaf & GoldLeaf Deluxe - Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Lakeview Room
a body of water with a mountain in the background

Take the day for yourself and enjoy Lake Louise. Spend your time taking part in local outdoor activities, such as canoeing on Lake Louise and enjoying the blissful turquoise waters, or hiking on one of the many mountain trails. You can also simply kick back and relax by the lake as you admire the unspoilt panoramic views.

Suggested Accommodation

  • SilverLeaf - Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Room / GoldLeaf & GoldLeaf Deluxe - Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Lakeview Room
a body of water with a mountain in the background
a body of water with a mountain in the background

Prepare for a day of wonders and excitement as you discover otherworldly phenomena at the Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, and Jasper National Park. This sightseeing tour is not to be missed or forgotten and includes visiting the Columbia Icefield, which is one of the largest accumulations of ice south of the Arctic Circle. Take a ride on an Ice Explorer at the Columbia Icefield, and head out with us onto an ancient glacier, known as the Athabasca Glacier, which is 3.7 miles in length.

You’ll also get to visit the serene Bow Lake, which features the impressive Bow Summit as its backdrop. Experience life on the edge as you walk over the Glacier Skywalk, which is a glass floor observation platform overlooking the Sunwapta Valley floor. Next, your journey heads on towards Jasper National Park, where you will arrive in the late afternoon, making it the ideal chance to sample the town’s restaurants and eateries.

Suggested Accommodation

  • SilverLeaf - Lobstick Lodge / GoldLeaf & GoldLeaf Deluxe - Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
a boat sitting on top of a snow covered mountain
Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta

Visit the Canadian Rockies’ largest national park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This half day tour is designed to show you the unspoilt beauty of the mountains and the unique landscapes of Jasper, which are home to an array of wildlife. As part of your tour, we will take you to Maligne Canyon tea house for a delicious Jasper breakfast. Once you’ve feasted on a delicious array of local foods, take a short stroll to view the canyon.

Fill the remainder of your day in Jasper following a hiking trail and admiring beautiful views, or try your hand at golf, at the award-winning Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club.

Suggested Accommodation

  • SilverLeaf - Lobstick Lodge / GoldLeaf & GoldLeaf Deluxe - Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
a body of water with a mountain in the background
Fraser Bridge BC Cr Rocky Mountaineer

Jump back aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer train and travel out of the mountain resort of Jasper to the quaint town of Quesnel. Our journey takes the best part of the day, with picture-perfect views and plenty to see along the way. Keep an eye open for the Rocky Mountain Trench, which has the steep mountains of Rocky and Cariboo framing it. From there, you’ll travel across the rolling hills and vast forests that make up British Columbia’s Northern Interior.

Set your sights on Mount Robson, which is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, standing at a proud 3,954 metres. You’ll also be able to see Yellowhead Pass, Moose Lake, the peaceful town of Prince George and Fraser River as your train arrives into Quesnel.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Accommodation in Quesnel is of moderate standard
a train crossing a bridge over a river in a forest
a train traveling down train tracks near a forest

After a restful night’s sleep, leave Quesnel and travel onto Whistler, which was the host city of the Winter Olympic Games in 2010. This journey boasts dramatic scenic changes from start to finish, including the desert-like conditions of Fraser Canyon, past the rolling hills and large ranches of the Cariboo Plateau, to river canyons and luxuriously green fields in the Pemberton Valley. 

Deep Creek Bridge is a must-see place during your trip. It’s one of the highest railway bridges in the world and provides spectacular views of the stunning waterway 312 feet below. Make sure you also keep your eyes and camera ready to snap some shots of the stunning glacier-fed Seton Lake and Anderson Lake as you skirt along the shorelines.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Accommodation in Whistler is of moderate standard
a man standing on top of a snow covered mountain

Spend your morning wandering around Whistler and becoming more acquainted with the town’s beauty. Indulge in some shopping or spend the morning unwinding at the luxurious spa. After you’ve soaked up some of the town’s sights, you’ll head back towards Vancouver on Rocky Mountaineer, passing through stunning scenery including the Sea to Sky Corridor.

Relax on the train as you journey through Cheakamus Canyon, Mount Garibaldi, Brandywine Falls and Coast Mountains. You’ll also be able to glimpse the breathtakingly beautiful Howe Sounds, which is a roughly triangular sound that meets a network of fjords. Tuck into an afternoon meal in your train carriage, which is served in a canapé style. Once you arrive into Vancouver station, you’ll be taken to your accommodation, where you can simply relax or enjoy an evening walk exploring the city.

Suggested Accommodation

  • SilverLeaf - Georgian Court Hotel / GoldLeaf - Sutton Place Hotel / GoldLeaf Deluxe - Fairmont Pacific Rim

Day thirteen marks the final day of your Rocky Mountaineer Grand Rail Circle Tour. Check out of your hotel in Vancouver and say goodbye to the beautiful landscapes of Canada, as you head to the airport and onwards to your next travel plans or back home.

 

Included

  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 12 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis is Breakfast, as well as 5 lunches and one afternoon meal aboard Rocky Mountaineer
  • Rail Station transfers in Vancouver, Kamloops Banff, Jasper, Quesnel and Whistler
  • English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee), entertainment, and park fees for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Activities: Jasper Breakfast Tour, National Parks Pass, Vancouver Lookout, Banff Tour, including Banff Gondola, Yoho Park Tour, Banff to Lake Louise, Icefields Parkway Tour, including Ice Explorer, Lake Louise to Jasper

Not included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
  • Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)