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Canada and Alaska Blog

Canada and Alaska Blog

Our tips for deciding which Rocky Mountaineer route to take

Extending from British Columbia to Alberta, the Canadian Rockies are one of the most breathtaking natural sites in the world. Thunderous waterfalls, turquoise lakes, picturesque trails, and diverse wildlife await those who make the journey through this spectacular landscape.

Traveling by rail is undoubtedly the best way to experience all the Rockies have to offer, and with 4 routes to choose from,  the hardest part is deciding which Rocky Mountaineer route to take.

 1. If you love the wilderness - Rainforest to Gold Rush 

For travellers seeking the untouched, untamed, and wild beauty of nature, Rainforest to Gold Rush is the route to take, winding its way past sparkling lakes, through evergreen rainforests and volcanic plateaus. Fjords and clear waters will guide throughout the journey and you’ll find beauties like Howe Sound, Porteau Cove, Green Lake, and Seton Lake right outside your window. Along the way, explore the wonders of Fraser Canyon, Cariboo Plateau, Mount Robson, and the Gold Pan City of Quesnel, before arriving at the final stop in Jasper National Park, the largest in the Canadian Rockies.

2. If you’re a history buff - First Passage to the West 

The First Passage to the West is the most popular Rocky Mountaineer route, beloved for connecting the best of Canada’s East and West. Travel back in time for a glimpse of how life once was for the early Canadian explorers, with exclusive access to the historic rails that pass through Spiral Tunnels and Craigellachie. Cross the Continental Divide and admire the dramatic peaks and cinematic canyons on the way. From the magical pillars of Hoodoos to the Kinbasket Lake, Kicking Horse River, and Castle Mountain, the First Passage to the West route will not disappoint the history enthusiast inside you.

3. If you’re a nature lover - Journey through the Clouds 

Scenic valleys and arresting mountain views await you on this route with some of the most astonishing vistas of Canada’s West. Explore the Coast Mountains range and travel alongside the white-water rapids and spectacular landscape of Fraser Canyon. Travel along the Fraser River and see where British Columbia’s largest salmon run takes place. On your way to Alberta, you’ll also pass by Cisco Crossing, Hell’s Gate, Albreda Glacier, Pyramid Falls, and Moose Lake. If you’re lucky, you might also get a chance to spot some wildlife in their natural habitat, so keep your eyes peeled. But the best part of this route is witnessing the impressive Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. When you make your way along the Journey through the Clouds, there will be no shortage of chances to experience nature at its finest.

4. If you love coastal scenery - Coastal Passage 

If you want a dash of cosmopolitan cities with your scenic terrain, the Coastal Passage is the perfect route for you. Combined with your choice of the above three main routes, this is a cross-border route connecting the bustling cities of Washington State to the stunning mountain ranges of the Canadian Rockies. The Coastal Passage offers all the beauty and wildness of Canada complemented by the urban skyline of Seattle and glistening waters of Puget Sound. Travel along the Pacific Ocean’s coastline as you pass by the legendary White Rock, Chuckanut Bay, and Fraser River Swing Bridge.

Choose your service class 

Now that you have an idea of the route you’d like to take, the next question is which Rocky Mountain service class to choose?  Of course, it all depends on you, but keep in mind that no matter whether you choose Gold Leaf or Silver Leaf, you can expect world-class service and hospitality aboard the Rocky Mountaineer that make for such a unique and remarkable journey.

Silver Leaf Service Interior

Gold Leaf Service Interior

First, both Gold and Silver Leaf Service guests have the luxury to experience the ALL-DOME fleet for an unparalleled view of the Canadian Rockies and all its beauty. While the Silver Leaf Service guests can enjoy seats in the custom built single-level dome coach, Gold Leaf Service guests board a bi-level glass domed coach with reclined seating on the second level. Both offer great viewing points for a panoramic view of the sceneries – the major difference is that the Gold Leaf Service coach has a glass dome that provides an unobstructed 180-degree view. Additionally, Gold Leaf Service guests have an open-air viewing platform at the end of each car  from which they have an unimpeded view, while Silver Leaf guests have access to a special vestibule between train cars with open viewing window.

Silver Leaf Service Culinary

Gold Leaf Service Culinary

Meals for the Gold Leaf Service guests are served a la carte made to order and served in a private dining room on the main level, while the Silver Leaf Service guests have the pleasure of having their food served to their seats. Both classes can also take advantage of the complementary snacks and drinks to be delivered to their seats, as well as complimentary luggage delivery.


Whichever Rocky Mountaineer route or service class you choose, traversing the Canadian Rockies with Rocky Mountaineer is the best way to make your holiday experience an unforgettable one. Speak to the experts at Canada and Alaska Travel Connection today for the best advice and tips to create your dream holiday!

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