Taking the train from the coastal city of Vancouver through the beautiful Canadian Rockies to Banff is an epic ride. Winding past glaciers, snow-capped mountains, Alpine lakes, and national parks, it’s a scenic journey like no other. With a few tips on booking your trip, you’ll be watching this incredible landscape unfold right from your train window.
Research the Options
The first step is looking for the train from Vancouver to Banff routes. VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer both offer wonderful and distinct rail excursions. VIA Rail travels overnight with sleeper accommodations while Rocky Mountaineer is a daylight train focusing on sightseeing. Compare itineraries, ticket prices, train amenities, and packages to see which works for your schedule and budget. This will help narrow down your choice.
Choose the Right Train Car
These scenic trains offer different classes of services whether you seek a luxurious experience or just need comfortable, affordable seats. Rocky Mountaineer has seated coach cars as well as glass-domed cars for the best views. Overnight VIA Rail has economy seats, private cabins, and Prestige luxury packages. If traveling between May and September, Rocky Mountaineer offers open-air vista dome seating for photography buffs. Your choice of seating can enhance your views and overall journey through the Rockies.
Book Add-On Excursions
Both VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer provide opportunities to extend your train trip by adding tours and activities in places like Kamloops or Jasper. You can select a multi-day/destination vacation package that includes time in Vancouver, train travel through Kicking Horse Pass and Rogers Pass, plus options for wildlife tours, hiking, glacier helicopter rides, even golfing in Banff. These add-ons give you a chance to explore beyond Banff and make for an epic Canadian adventure.
Travel Light to Enjoy the Train
Packing light is wise for embarking on this scenic 1,000 km+ rail route. With limited storage space, carry-on bags help keep aisles clear and seats accessible so people can walk between train cars to sightsee. Having necessities on hand in a small bag also makes quick transfers through stations easier too. You want to spend time gazing at beautiful mountain vistas outside, not be buried sorting through luggage. Travel light to enjoy the journey.
Capture Amazing Footage
The striking scenery between Vancouver and Banff is made for photography and filming. Views of the Fraser River Valley give way to the Continental Divide’s glaciers and towering peaks. Capture it with your camera, phone video, or a GoPro if traveling in Vista Dome seating. For the most glorious footage, sit on the left side of the train traveling east. Edit it later with some upbeat music for an inspiring travel memento. The footage captured on this iconic train route across British Columbia and Alberta’s Rockies will be stunning.
Booking for Canadian railroad trips heading east from Vancouver through Canada’s splendid Rocky Mountains into Banff makes for an incredible sightseeing experience. With a little preparation, you can sit back, relax, and soak up one-of-a-kind views along a route that transports you through rugged, untouched landscapes. Your bucket list railway journey awaits!