Whether it’s the desire to relive the golden era of rail travel, or to see a destination in a way that is just simply not possible from the air, there is something alluring about taking the train. Canada’s famed Rocky Mountaineer—a privately-owned, Vancouver-based, luxury rail service—offers one of the most spectacular ways to see the country and appreciate its size, scale, and beauty. A two-day excursion recaptures the romance of rail travel as it follows the historic train route built over a century ago through Canada’s West.
Hailed by many as a trip of a lifetime, the unforgettable journey passes through glacier-fed lakes, raging rivers, and majestic mountain ranges. The best views are from the glass-domed carriage of the train’s GoldLeaf Service double-decker cars, where first-class travellers can enjoy the warmest hospitality and the best of British Columbia food and wine. Elevating the experience, attentive and knowledgeable staff provide extensive commentary on the area’s flora, wildlife, and history.
After an overnight stay in quaint Kamloops (everyone disembarks and is put up in a hotel), the second day’s itinerary brings more adventures, and arguably the most breathtaking stretch of scenery. From three national parks to the majestic Rockies to Craigellachie, B.C.—where the historic last spike was driven 131 years ago, marking the completion of the transcontinental railway and connecting B.C. to the rest of the country—every locale is photo-worthy.
The train comes to a near stop once again for shutterbugs to capture two other highlights: the Stoney Creek Bridge and Spiral Tunnels, an engineering marvel that allows the trains to navigate the steepest stretch of the trip and track in the world.
Rocky Mountaineer is truly a special experience, deserving of all the accolades from its mainly American, European, and Australian fan base. It is an excursion that boasts unforgettable views, extravagant food, and discerning comfort and service; more locals should really get on board.
Read more from our Travel section.