The Majestic Rocky Mountaineer Train Journey - 5 Key Tips
The Majestic Rocky Mountaineer Train Journey - 5 Key Tips

The Majestic Rocky Mountaineer Train Journey – 5 Key Tips

This content aims to provide tips and information for travelers interested in taking a scenic train journey on the Rocky Mountaineer through the Canadian Rockies.

The Rocky Mountaineer is one of the most scenic train journeys on the planet. Rocky Mountaineer train trips allow travelers to experience breathtaking views of mountains, lakes, canyons, and waterfalls while winding through the magnificent Canadian Rockies Mountain range of western Canada. As the train traverses sweeping valleys and circumvents rugged mountain peaks, passengers are treated to breathtaking postcard-worthy views of alpine landscapes, complete with mirror-like lakes, surging waterfalls, vast glaciers, and roaming wildlife. 

The train journey offers travelers panoramic vistas showcasing the Canadian Rockies region’s diverse natural beauty and grandeur as they make their way from the coastal city of Vancouver over 1000km inland toward the renowned mountain towns of Banff and Jasper. From the comfort of their seats, travelers will be amazed as one dazzling scene after another unfolds around each bend in the tracks.

1. Choose the Perfect Rail Route:

  • First Passage to the West (Vancouver to Banff/Lake Louise): This flagship journey highlights the Fraser Canyon and crosses the ‘Big Hill’ pass.
  • Rainforest to Gold Rush (Vancouver to Jasper): This route zigzags through interior rainforests before entering Jasper.
  • Journey Through the Clouds (Vancouver to Jasper): This route offers the highest elevation with sublime sights like Pyramid Mountain.
  • Coastal Passage (Seattle to Jasper): This route includes a ferry ride over the Strait of Georgia.
  • Consider your interests, budget, and desired destinations when selecting the best route.

2. Pick the Optimal Travel Time:

  • Spring: Cool weather, smaller crowds, wildflowers, and surging waterfalls.
  • Fall: Cool weather, smaller crowds, and radiant foliage.
  • Summer: Stunning scenery, but it may be busier and warmer.
  • Winter: Stunning scenery, but it may be busier and colder.
  • Evaluate weather, crowd levels, and desired sights when choosing travel dates.

3. Book Coordinated Hotels:

  • Rocky Mountaineer packages often include train tickets and hotel accommodations for a seamless experience.
  • Fairmont Hotels: Caters to luxury guests seeking high-end accommodations and services.
  • Delta Hotels: Offers refined rooms in critical locations like Banff and Lake Louise, providing a balance of comfort and convenience.
  • Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts: Provides a sublime nature experience with heritage charm, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the region’s natural beauty.
  • When selecting your accommodation, consider your budget, preferred locations, desired activities, and travel priorities to ensure the best fit for your needs.

4. Enhance with Excursions

Maximize your trip by planning some activities and add-ons. Popular options include:

  • A cruise on Maligne Lake.
  • Walking on a cliff-edge glass bridge above a glacier.
  • Riding a gondola for mountain panoramas.
  • Dining on peaks.
  • Exhilarating helicopter flights.

The possibilities for adventure are endless.

5. Capture Everlasting Photo Memories

  • Pack proper camera gear and supplies:
    • Bring a reliable camera (DSLR, mirrorless, or high-quality smartphone) capable of capturing stunning images.
    • Pack extra batteries, memory cards, and a sturdy tripod for stable shots.
    • Consider bringing a polarizing filter to reduce glare and enhance colors.
  • Scout good vantage points early:
    • Arrive early to secure window seats for the best views and photo opportunities.
    • Research the route beforehand to identify potential scenic highlights and prime photography locations.
  • Manually adjust camera settings:
    • Use manual mode to have complete control over your camera’s settings.
    • Adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to accommodate changing light conditions, especially when entering and exiting tunnels.
    • Experiment with different settings to capture the desired mood and effect.
  • Use raw formats:
    • Shoot in raw format to capture the highest quality images with more flexibility for post-processing.
    • Raw files retain more detail and allow for more significant adjustments to exposure, white balance, and color without sacrificing quality.
  • Follow these tips to ensure you capture frame-worthy shots that immortalize the incredible scenery of the Rocky Mountaineer train journey.
  • Let the adventure begin:
  • With the right combination of route, travel time, accommodations, activities, and photography preparation, your Rocky Mountaineer train journey through the magnificent Canadian Rockies promises to be an unforgettable experience.
  • Take the stunning landscapes, indulge in the luxurious amenities, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
  • As you undertake this incredible adventure, be prepared to be awestruck by the natural beauty and grandeur of the Canadian Rockies while enjoying the comfort and convenience of the Rocky Mountaineer train.

Additional Tips for Planning Your Rocky Mountaineer Train Adventure

Understand the service levels:

  • SilverLeaf Service:
    • Single-level dome coach with oversized windows
    • Breakfast and lunch are served at your seat.
    • Complimentary beverages and snacks
    • Outdoor viewing platform
  • GoldLeaf Service:
    • Bi-level dome coach with full-length windows
    • Gourmet meals are served in a dedicated dining room.
    • Complimentary beverages and snacks
    • Exclusive outdoor viewing platform
    • Access to a dedicated host
    • Consider your budget and desired level of luxury when choosing between SilverLeaf and GoldLeaf Service.

Pack appropriately:

  • Bring comfortable, casual clothing suitable for sightseeing and relaxing on the train.
  • Pack a light jacket or sweater for cool evenings and air-conditioned train cars.
  • Remember to bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen for outdoor viewing platforms.
  • Remember to pack any necessary medications, travel documents, and personal essentials.

Familiarize yourself with the amenities:

  • Onboard commentary:
    • Knowledgeable hosts provide commentary on the history, geology, and wildlife of the regions you pass through.
    • Informative presentations enhance your understanding and appreciation of the landscape.
  • Complimentary beverages:
    • Enjoy a selection of non-alcoholic beverages, beer, wine, and spirits throughout your journey.
    • Stay hydrated and refreshed while taking in the stunning views.
  • Gourmet meals:
    • Savor chef-prepared meals featuring locally sourced ingredients and regional specialties.

Extend your stay:

  • Add extra nights in Vancouver, Banff, Lake Louise, or Jasper to your itinerary.
  • Explore these destinations more thoroughly and enjoy additional activities and sightseeing opportunities.
  • Visit popular attractions like Stanley Park, the Banff Gondola, Lake Louise, and the Columbia Icefield.
  • Book post-trip accommodations and activities through Rocky Mountaineer or independently to create a comprehensive vacation experience.

Engage with fellow travelers and staff:

  • Conversions with other passengers to share experiences, tips, and stories.
  • Interact with the knowledgeable and friendly onboard staff, eager to answer questions and provide insights.
  • Embrace the social aspect of train travel and create connections with people worldwide.
  • Join in on any onboard activities or presentations to further immerse yourself in the Rocky Mountaineer experience.

With these additional tips, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your Rocky Mountaineer train journey and create unforgettable memories in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.


What is the best time of year to take a Rocky Mountaineer train journey?

  • The best times to ride the Rocky Mountaineer are typically spring and fall when the weather is more relaxed and crowds are smaller. However, each season offers unique beauty, which ultimately depends on your preferences.

What are the different rail routes offered by Rocky Mountaineer, and how do I choose the right one?

  • Rocky Mountaineer offers four distinctive rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta, each with highlights and scenery. When selecting a route, travelers should consider factors such as interests, budget, and preferred sights.

Are accommodations included in Rocky Mountaineer packages?

  • Yes, Rocky Mountaineer packages often include both train tickets and hotel accommodations. Travelers can choose from various hotels to match their budget and preferences.

What activities and excursions can be added to a Rocky Mountaineer trip?

  • Numerous activities and add-ons are available to enhance your Rocky Mountaineer experience, including cruises, glacier walks, gondola rides, dining experiences, and helicopter flights. These activities allow travelers further to explore the stunning landscapes and attractions along the route.

How can I capture the best photos during my Rocky Mountaineer journey?

  • To capture the stunning scenery along the Rocky Mountaineer route, travelers should pack proper camera gear and supplies, scout good vantage points early to secure window seats, and manually adjust camera settings for light changes. Using manual mode and raw formats can help ensure optimal photo quality.


Rocky Mountaineer train trips promise once-in-a-lifetime experiences and lifelong memories amid stunning mountain grandeur. Keep these essential tips handy when planning your extraordinary Canada Train Vacations through the majestic Canadian Rockies.

About author


Shanaya Ans, a passionate travel enthusiast, contributes valuable insights and experiences to our site's travel content.
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