Don't have a full week to go hiking through Banff? Don't worry - there's a scenic train ride for that. From the same railway that brought us the scenic ride from Denver to Moab, trips from Vancouver to the beautiful town of Banff are also an option. Sometimes, it's just easier to put the hiking boots on the shelf and opt for the train ride of a lifetime - which is exactly what's promised by Rocky Mountaineer.
The best part is that this trip is somewhat customizable, meaning travelers can start their trip in either direction and have some wiggle room with their overnights. With trips that span from two days to those lasting a week for a leisurely journey, this is arguably one of the most scenic train rides in North America.
Rocky Mountaineer: From Vancouver To Banff
The biggest draw of the one-night, two-day trip is the ease of access that it provides to the town of Banff. Those coming from Vancouver on the West Coast can book a trip that will take them to the most scenic destination in all of Canada, with incredible views of the Rockies, to boot. To say the trip is a dream would be an understatement - and booking a trip that suits a traveler's needs couldn't be easier.
Travelers will traverse the Continental Divide and have the chance to travel through the Spiral Tunnels, which are iconic in this region. Originally, the train route was praised for bridging the West Coast of Canada to the East; however, it's now praised for simply being one of the most scenic trains in the world.
The Rocky Mountaineer Train Options
Those who are short on time or simply want to reach Banff as quickly as possible can opt for booking the two-day train journey. This option features two easy options depending on how much passengers prefer to book themselves:
- Two Days, One Night: For those who already have accommodations booked in Vancouver and Banff.
- Two Days, Three Nights: For those who prefer to have Rocky Mountaineer book their accommodations when leaving Vancouver, for the first overnight stop, and in Banff.
This trip includes two full days on the Rocky Mountaineer train, breakfast, and lunch each day, overnight accommodation in Kamloops, and transfers between the train and hotel(s). From there, passengers can personalize their trip and include add-ons such as additional hotel stays in other towns and car rentals. Below are the starting costs for a two-day, one-night train trip.
- Silverleaf Cost: April & October $1,629 | May - July $1,949 | August & September $1,999
- Goldleaf Cost: April & October $2,229 | May - July $2,669 | August & September $2,749
A great midway option between the shortest train ride and the longest is to book the four-night, five-day train package. This includes four nights of hotel accommodations, with one night in Vancouver, one night in Kamloops, and two nights in Banff. This gives travelers ample time to explore Banff a little more in-depth and also prevents passengers from feeling as though they're rushed to leave right away as soon as they've arrived. Additionally, it takes care of accommodations in Vancouver as well as overnight between stops, meaning passengers don't need to lift a finger.
This ride includes two breakfasts and two lunches on board, hotel accommodations in Vancouver, Kamloops, and Banff, luggage handling, and tours of either Lake Louise and Johnston Canyon or Moraine Lake.
- Note: This option also includes a final transfer in Calgary following Banff.
The prices for this train option vary depending on the Silverleaf, Goldleaf, and Goldleaf Deluxe options, as well as the times of the year.
Finally, passengers have the option of booking the longest train ride - seven nights, eight days. This is the most leisurely trip that passengers can take and includes more sightseeing than any of the others, as well as more amenities that passengers can look forward to. Of course, this also comes with the biggest price - but it's worth it for such an in-depth, scenic journey.
Passengers opting for this trip will get a full two days in Banff as well as two full days in Lake Louise, meaning they'll get to enjoy a miniature vacation after their two-day train ride. This also includes scenic tours of the Columbia Icefield, a ride on the Ice Explorer, and a trip to the Glacier SkyWalk. For those wanting a full experience of Banff in a short amount of time, this is absolutely the trip to choose. With accommodations included in the pricing, passengers only need to worry about which natural feature they're looking forward to seeing in Banff the most. And, when it comes down to it, that's not much of a worry, at all!