The Rocky Mountaineer train on the scenic Rainforest to Goldrush route
All aboard the famous Rocky Mountaineer. Boasting several spectacular routes through iconic Canadian scenery, those enjoying this train journey will experience Canada and its famous Rocky Mountains in a truly unique way. Look forward to stunning mountain peaks, idyllic glacier-fed lakes, lush rainforests, as well as world-class cuisine and service on board the train itself.
The Rainforest to Goldrush route is an excellent choice for your Rocky Mountaineer train journey, taking you from the beautiful city of Vancouver to one of the finest gems of the Canadian Rockies in Jasper. This guide showcases some of the route’s highlights and the possible excursions you can look forward to.
Highlights of the Rainforest to Gold Rush
– Howe Sound
– Fraser River Valley
– Mount Robson
ALSO READ: What to expect onboard Rocky Mountaineer
Scenic view of Vancouver in Canada
Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and on your Rainforest to Gold Rush train journey, it’s the location where you will start or end your Rocky Mountaineer adventure.
Nestled between the mountains and the sea, this West Coast seaport is very picturesque, and it is recommended that you plan to see as much of it as you can before or after your time aboard the Rocky Mountaineer.
There is so much to see and do, such as Granville Island, Stanley Park, and Grouse Mountain. Vancouver is a treasure trove for city dwellers and outdoor enthusiasts alike, so whether you want to try out the best restaurants and shops or go hiking, biking, kayaking and whale watching, it’s all possible.
If you want to spend more time in Vancouver, it’s certainly possible; just get in touch with our travel team, and we can make all the arrangements.
One of the first highlights of the Rainforest to Gold Rush route is the stunning fjord known as Howe Sound. Located on the southwestern coast of British Columbia, the scenic fjord stretches out west from Vancouver for 26 miles.
This rugged natural wonder is a glacially carved inlet encircled by beautiful coastal mountains, as well as lush rainforests. Howe Sound is known for a rich habitat for marine life, home to the likes of orcas, seals, and salmon.
If you can keep your eye off the impressive landscapes, you might spot kayakers and sailboats during this part of the journey, as the Sound is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
A view of Whistler in the summer
The world-famous mountain resort of Whistler is also part of this incredible Rocky Mountaineer journey. The train pulls into the station, allowing you to spend plenty of time exploring this special location, known for its picturesque nature and outdoor activities like skiing, hiking and ziplining.
Enjoy exploring the pretty mountain village, visiting the local shops and restaurants, and for an experience to always remember, hop on the breathtaking Peak-2-Peak Gondola for the most wonderful views as you ride for 11 minutes over two miles between the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
Dan and Bailey, from the travel blog Destinationless Travel, have spent time in Whistler, enjoying the Peak-2-Peak Gondola, sharing: “Honestly, the views from this 11-minute ride are incomparable – think coastal rainforests, snow-covered mountain peaks, and even glaciers. There really is no better activity to do in Whistler in the summer than this!”
Brace yourself for some of the most impressive landscapes in Western Canada as this Rocky Mountaineer journey takes you through the Fraser Canyon.
In this geographically rich region, you will witness stunning canyons, surging rivers, forests, and arid expanses. The canyon gets its name from the mighty Fraser River, which flows from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
Your view from the train will allow you to take in the canyon in all its glory and rural tranquillity. Sit back as prairie like vistas, forested mountainsides, and narrow rocky gorges pass by your window.
Another highlight is quickly upon you when the Rocky Mountaineer pulls into the pretty community of Quesnel with its rustic charm.
This tiny city is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Fraser and the Quesnel, and on a historic gold mining trail. Nestled inside the Cariboo region, a warm welcome awaits visitors as they step off the train, and you can experience its heritage with historic sites and museums or simply enjoy the captivating surroundings of lush forests and the rolling hills of the Cariboo plateau.
A major highlight that many Rock Mountaineer passengers like to experience is crossing the historic Fraser River Footbridge, the centrepiece of the Riverfront Trail system and the longest wood truss walking bridge in the world.
After passing through the wilderness of northern British Columbia and past rushing waterfalls, your eastward journey towards Jasper will offer you some spectacular views of the majestic Mount Robson, the highest peak among many impressive mountains in the Canadian Rockies.
Your Rocky Mountaineer hosts won’t fail to point out this impressive feat of nature, but the mountain is hard to miss when gazing out at the scenic views that pass by your window.
Take advantage of the train’s outdoor viewing platform to capture photos of this natural landmark and enjoy the lush forest surrounding it.
A view of Spirit Island, Maligne Lake in Jasper
Jasper can be the end or start of your Rocky Mountaineer journey, but whenever you visit, it’s a destination to truly savour. Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jasper National Park is 4,200 square miles of incredible scenery and wildlife.
A perfect example of the jaw-dropping scenery Canada is known for, you can see it all for yourself in Jasper. The quaint mountain town of Jasper is its central hub, where wildlife lovers, adventurers, and holidaymakers come together for the perfect escape.
To make the most of your time in Jasper, consider a ride on the spectacular Jasper SkyTram to the top of Whistlers Mountain, go star gazing in the park’s dedicated dark-sky preserve, or consider amazing excursions to experience the much-photographed Maligne Lake and Columbia Icefield.
Nichole, from the travel blog Nichole the Nomad, has visited Jasper herself and recommends an excursion to Maligne Lake: “If you are looking for something else to do, you can take a journey on a cruise on Maligne Lake! This cruise brings you into the 14-mile-long glacial water of Maligne Lake, allowing you to get some beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains surrounding it. It also brings you around Spirit Island, one of the most photographed places in the Canadian Rockies!”
Rainforest to Gold Rush excursions
The famous Rocky Mountaineer train
When booking the Rainforest to Gold Rush rocky mountaineer route, you can also enhance your experience by adding extra nights and unforgettable excursions.
The Rainforest to Gold Rush route starts in Vancouver and ends in Jasper, but you can catch the Rocky Mountaineer train in both directions. One of the fantastic things about Rocky Mountaineer packages like this is that these holidays can also include a couple of extra nights before or after the train journey. This allows you to add amazing excursions to the likes of Banff and Lake Louise, with motorcoach transfers included.
Below, you can discover some of the excursions you can enjoy from Jasper and Vancouver, though many more are available. Chat with our Canada travel experts, who will tailor-make the perfect Rocky Mountaineer package for you.
An Orca in Vancouver Harbour
Vancouver is a terrific destination to go whale watching from, and it’s an excursion that is easily arranged before or after your Rocky Mountaineer journey. The trip departs from Granville Island aboard a catamaran, allowing you to experience 3-5 hours at sea.
This fully guided whale watching and marine life viewing tour is a lot of fun, providing a unique glimpse of some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. It’s the perfect addition to your Rock Mountaineer adventure.
Legends of Jasper
Jasper is home to many terrific excursions, including the Legends of Jasper vintage bus tour. Lasting 90 minutes, this convenient journey takes you on an exploration of Jasper’s best highlights.
You get to experience must-see scenery via the open-top roof, such as Pyramid Lake, Maligne Lookout, and the Athabasca River, and your guides will tell you about some fascinating stories from Japer’s history.
Columbia Icefield discovery
A parent and child enjoying the Columba Icefield Skywalk
The Columbia Icefield is one of Canada’s must-see locations, and you can experience it yourself on a day trip from Jasper. The Icefield Discovery excursion takes you along one of the most scenic roads in the world – the Icefields Parkway, aboard an all-terrain glacier Ice Explorer vehicle.
You will be taken on to the Athabasca Glacier itself, be treated to lunch, and then experience the thrilling glass-floored Columbia Icefield Skywalk.
The Maligne Valley is a magical alpine location, and it’s the perfect day tour to enjoy from Jasper, featuring many of the area’s most wonderful attractions.
The Explore Maligne excursion includes a stop at the glacier-fed Medicine Lake, surrounded by stunning peaks, and a cruise on the crystal blue Maligne Lake to a special spot known as Spirit Island – make sure to get your camera ready!
Enjoying a Rocky Mountaineer holiday
We hope you have enjoyed this look at some of the highlights along the amazing Rainforest to Gold Rush route and some of the lovely excursions available as part of your holiday. If you want to experience the Rocky Mountaineer train for yourself, speak to one of our Canada experts, and they will help create a Canada holiday that includes everything you want to see and do.
For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our blog.