Wintertime in the Canadian Rockies by Rail

Wintertime in the Canadian Rockies by Rail



starting fromUS $4,599per person

Star Rating 5

5 of 5 stars (2 reviews)

  • Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours
  • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget
Wintertime in the Canadian Rockies by Rail – Map
Sample trip map & photos – personalize your trip by adding extra nights and activities in each location
The Lions Gate Bridge stretches over a foggy Vancouver with the city lights twinkling in the distance
The Lions Gate Bridge stretches over a foggy Vancouver with the city lights twinkling in the distance
Feel the excitement as your journey begins in Vancouver
An ornamental sleigh and wrapped presents sit under a christmas tree in Butchart Gardens
An ornamental sleigh and wrapped presents sit under a christmas tree in Butchart Gardens
Add a visit to see the holiday lights at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island (available seasonally)
A VIA Rail train travels through a wintery forest
A VIA Rail train travels through a wintery forest
A train ride through silent snow covered forests awaits
A couple of hikers explore the rock formations and icefalls on a tour of the Maligne Canyon in winter
A couple of hikers explore the rock formations and icefalls on a tour of the Maligne Canyon in winter
Winter secrets reveal themselves in Maligne Canyon
Horses pull a sleigh carrying passengers over frozen Lake Louise in Banff
Horses pull a sleigh carrying passengers over frozen Lake Louise in Banff
Meet new friends as you jingle your way around Lake Louise
Sitting room of a hotel decorated for christmas with lights and a large christmas tree
Sitting room of a hotel decorated for christmas with lights and a large christmas tree
Indulge in winter festive splendor at your hotels
A couple enjoy warm drinks while sitting by a roaring fire
A couple enjoy warm drinks while sitting by a roaring fire
Cozy up next to a roaring fire after a day of exploring the winter wilderness
A young girl cross country skiing on snowy trails stops to take a break
A young girl cross country skiing on snowy trails stops to take a break
Your Rockies adventures will be at your own pace
A man sits on a bench and watches the sunset behind Cascade Mountain in the distance
A man sits on a bench and watches the sunset behind Cascade Mountain in the distance
End your journey with memories of winter magic
  • Quick Overview

    What we love about this trip

    • Seeing the majestic Canadian Rockies covered in snow

    • Sleeping on the VIA Rail ‘Canadian Train’ in a private cabin

    • Discovering Vancouver, Victoria, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff

    • Choice of luxurious resorts and lodges

    • Sightseeing with small groups

    • Wildlife spotting along the way

    • Choice of activities to suit your pace and interest

    On this two week vacation, see the coastal vistas and winter sights of Vancouver and Victoria, before traveling on a train journey through silent, snow covered forests. The Canadian Rockies will be at their best - snow-covered and brilliant against the clear blue winter skies of Jasper, Lake Louse, and Banff. Take part in winter activities for days of excitement and wonder - at your own pace. End your days snuggled next to a fire, as you indulge in the serenity of mountain retreats. This is truly the best of Canadian winters!

    Trip Outline

    Arrive Vancouver 1 night Vancouver 2 nights Victoria 2 nights Vancouver 2 nights Whistler 1 night VIA Rail 2 nights Jasper 1 night Lake Louise 2 nights Banff Depart Calgary

  • Sample Itinerary
    Please note - all of our Canada vacation packages can be customized to suit your time frame, budget, group size, and interests.

    Day 1 - Your Canada Vacation Begins in Vancouver
    The cool, crisp air in Vancouver invigorates you as you start your Canadian winter train trip. Vancouver’s relatively mild weather is a great introduction to a Canadian winter, but look to the north and you see the winter scene you’ve been dreaming of - Vancouver’s coastal mountains stand before you, covered in pure white snow. Overnight in Vancouver

    Day 2 - Journey to Victoria and Vancouver Island
    Today, prepare for your next adventure as you board a helicopter in the heart of Vancouver. This stunning 35 minute flight will take you for a breathtaking ride over the gulf islands before arriving in downtown Victoria. The capital of British Columbia is the very ‘British’ town of Victoria, where people still ‘take tea’ in the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel. Horse-drawn carriages offer a very gentle tour of the historic harbour. After hotel check-in, head out to explore - a harbor side stroll is the perfect way to stretch your legs and get acquainted with this quaint coastal city. Overnight in Victoria

    Day 3 - Victoria Sightseeing
    The morning is yours to explore Victoria, a city filled with interesting locations and an abundance of history. Discover Government Street through Old Town to Victoria’s Chinatown, a National Historic Site of Canada. Here you pass through Fan Tan Alley and the amazing Gates of Harmonious Interest in the oldest Chinatown in North America.

    This afternoon take part in a time-honoured tradition, Afternoon Tea is an absolute ‘must do’ for all who visit Victoria. The world-renowned tea lobby of The Fairmont Empress has served Victoria's grandest tradition of Afternoon Tea. Overnight in Victoria

    Day 4 - Victoria to Vancouver
    Travel back to Vancouver by coach and ferry, where glistening harbor waters and snow-capped mountains complement the downtown skyline. Sip a cocktail overlooking the busy harbor at sunset, join Vancouverites on a circuit of the Sea Wall, or start loading up on some souvenirs from trendy Robson Street. Overnight in Vancouver.

    Day 5 - Explore Vancouver and Area

    You have
    2 options to choose from today:

    Option 1: Vancouver Sightseeing Tour
    This is the best way to visit the main attractions and neighbourhoods of Vancouver. You will tour along the scenic harbour and through the historic areas of downtown Vancouver. There will be time to visit the totem poles at Stanley Park, browse art galleries and shops at Granville Island, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, and learn about the Pacific Salmon at the Capilano Salmon Hatchery. Overnight in Vancouver.

    Option 2: Eagle Viewing Float Tour
    Just an hour north of Vancouver is one of the world’s largest population of bald eagles. From December to mid-February, these magnificent birds return to the area to feed on spawning salmon. This tour lets you view the eagles from the best place – on the river. In addition, you will travel along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway and enjoy views of ocean vistas, soaring mountains, and rainforest.
    Overnight in Vancouver

    Day 6 - Sightseeing from Vancouver to Whistler and Dinner activity
    Your adventure continues today, as you journey to Whistler. With a small group and naturalist guide, travel the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway through some of Canada's most rugged coastal mountain scenery. Walk through old growth rain forest to witness ancient trees. Stop to view stunning Shannon Falls, before arriving in charming Whistler. Feel the excitement of this busy mountain hamlet, and get out to join in the fun.

    You have 2 options to choose from today:

    Option 1: Fondue Dinner by Snowcat
    Experience the serenity of the high alpine, the twinkling lights of Whistler Village and the active nightlife of Blackcomb Mountain, all from the comfort of our luxury, heated 19 passenger snowcat. After an hour-long cozy snowcat ride you will arrive at the charming Crystal Hut, where your alpine dinner awaits. Overnight in Whistler

    Option 2: Whistler Food and Wine Tasting Tour
    This guided walking tour features 4 delicious courses at four local favourite Whistler restaurants. All the restaurants are a close walk, so it's a great way to explore the Village. If you're looking for a great way to discover Whistler's hidden gems, this is the tour for you. Includes wine pairings. Overnight in Whistler.

    Day 7 - Discover Whistler

    You have 3 options to choose from today:

    Option 1: Snowmobile Adventure
    For those looking for more adventure, take part in a Whistler snowmobile tour. Break away from the crowds and enjoy the ultimate backcountry adventure. This tour is perfect for both beginner and experienced riders. Drive your own snowmobile as you zip down the vast, well-manicured trail network offering limitless adventure possibilities. Overnight in Whistler.

    Option 2: Ziplining Adventure
    Zip over the valley between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains while experiencing stunning aerial vistas above Fitzsimmons Creek. In between the five ziplines on this tour, you will walk along a network of suspension bridges, boardwalks and trails and learn about the local natural environment. Overnight in Whistler.

    Option 3: Scandinave Spa
    Spend a day at the Scandinave Spa, situated just north of Whistler Village. This unique spa overlooks incredible mountain vistas and valleys. Invigorate and cleanse your body and mind in the hot baths and refreshing waterfalls, melt away and breathe in the invigorating mountain air. Overnight in Whistler.

    Day 8 - Whistler, then onboard the Canadian train
    You are on vacation, so enjoy a relaxing morning. Later this afternoon, a transfer takes you from Whistler to Vancouver’s Downtown. You will be met by a private transfer to take you to the train station. Your train awaits, so climb aboard VIA Rail's Canadian train and settle into your cozy cabin. Meet new traveling companions over a glass of wine in the lounge car, as you anticipate tomorrow’s voyage through the snow-covered Canadian Rockies. Tonight you are lulled to sleep by the rocking of the train, as snow falls outside. Overnight on board in a private cabin.

    Day 9 - Arrive in Jasper National Park
    This is one of the most memorable days of your Canadian vacation! Awake onboard the Canadian train, to trees blanketed in fresh snow - with green branches just peeking through - as you near the Canadian Rockies. Enjoy the views over breakfast and lunch onboard. The snow is glistening as you arrive in the mountain town of Jasper. Step off the train this afternoon and take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air, you have arrived! Enjoy the evening at leisure exploring the town. Overnight in Jasper.

    Day 10 - Explore Jasper National Park

    You have 2 options to choose from today:

    Option 1: Winter Discovery Tour
    Join a knowledgeable guide and small group to seek out and learn about ecology and rich diversity of Jasper National Park! You will travel through the Athabasca Valley to some of the park’s most beautiful scenery - have your camera ready to capture some amazing photos! There is minimal walking on this tour, so sit back and enjoy the winter scenery from the comfort of the bus. Overnight in Jasper.

    Option 2: Maligne Canyon Ice Walk
    If you’re feeling adventurous, strap on some ice cleats and walk the floor of Maligne Canyon today with a group and expert guide. You’ll be surrounded by icefalls and rock formations that will take your breath away. Learn about Jasper’s Maligne Valley and disappearing “Medicine Lake” as you walk approx. 2 miles exploring one of Jasper’s most impressive winter adventures. Overnight in Jasper.

    Day 11 - Travel the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise on your Canada Vacation
    This morning, enjoy a scenic transfer along the most famous road in the Rockies - the Icefields Parkway - recognized as one of Canada’s most beautiful drive. Each turn reveals frozen waterfalls and impossibly vast mountain valleys, so be sure to have your camera ready!

    You have
    2 options to choose from today:

    Option 1:  Snowshoe Adventure
    Take to the great outdoors by putting on snow shoes and exploring the area - if you can walk, you can snow shoe! Your guide will help you venture into the forest for the walk of a lifetime. But you’ll do more than just put one foot in front of the other: Learn to read the tracks of different animals and discover who is hunting who for lunch!

    Option 2:  Enchanted Sleigh Ride
    A winter sleigh ride by horse drawn carriage is the perfect way to start your afternoon in Lake Louise. Blankets will keep you warm as you travel slowly to the end of the lake and relive the experience of the original visitors to Lake Louise.

    Reflect on your unique Canadian experience while enjoying a delicious Swiss Fondue dinner at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Your Canadian vacation includes a stay at the spectacular Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Overnight in Lake Louise.

    Day 12 - Lake Louise to Banff
    Spend the morning at leisure in Lake Louise. Later this morning, travel the short distance from Lake Louise to Banff.

    You have
    2 options to choose from today:

    Option 1: Snowshoe to Marble Canyon
    Strap on snowshoes and venture through a 40-meter deep gorge! Suitable for beginners or experts, you will love taking in the views and mountain air as you walk approximately 2 miles through the beautiful crisp snow. After this winter walk, enjoy a uniquely Canadian treat: hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert!

    Option 2: Banff Gondola Ride
    Journey to the top of Sulphur mountain with admission to the Banff Gondola. Glide up over the treetops and step out into a jaw-dropping mountaintop experience at an elevation of 2,281 metres (7,486 feet). There is a boardwalk to enjoy, theater with short shows, interpretive center, and a restaurant for those who want to dine with a memorable view! The scenery is stunning - you won’t want to miss this!
    Enjoy your evening at leisure. Overnight Banff.

    Banff is the liveliest of the mountain towns on your Canadian holiday and the energy on Banff Avenue is contagious. Quaint shops give off a warm welcoming glow, and the scent of homemade maple fudge wafts out of sweet shops.

    Day 13 - Explore Banff

    You have
    2 options to choose from today:

    Option 1: Dog Sledding Experience
    Travel to Canmore today, about an hour from Banff where you will meet a team of friendly huskies awaiting to whisk you through the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. You will have the option to harness the dogs and drive the team, or simply enjoy the experience as a passenger. Either way, this is sure to be one of your most memorable Canadian experiences. Overnight in Banff.

    Option 2: Helicopter Flight Tour
    A bird’s eye view of the Rockies will be one you’ll never forget! Views of the Bow River, and endless snow capped mountains can be seen as you head to the skies to explore the National Park by helicopter. Your helicopter adventure will take you past the famous Three Sisters Peaks as you spectacularly escape to the Spray Valley in the air. Overnight in Banff.

    Day 14 - Banff to Calgary Airport
    Filled with memories of winter splendor, take time to watch for wildlife as you depart the Canadian Rockies. A two hour journey to Calgary's International Airport will bring your Canada vacation to an end.
  • What's Included
    Accommodations & Train Inclusions:
    • 12 nights of hotel accommodation - choose from Comfort, Superior, or Deluxe level
    • 1 night onboard the Canadian Train, in a private cabin for 1 or 2

    Sightseeing & Activities in Vancouver:
    • Choose 1 of 2 Vancouver activities:
    1. Vancouver sightseeing tour, including Capilano Suspension Bridge
    2. Eagle Viewing Float tour

    Sightseeing & Activities in Whistler:
    • Choose 1 of 2 Whistler dinner activities, day 1:
    1. Snowcat Fondue
    2. Whistler Food & Wine Tasting Tour

    • Choose 1 of 3 Whistler activities, day 2:
    1. Scandinavian Spa
    2. Snowmobile Adventure
    3. Ziplining Adventure

    Sightseeing & Activities in Jasper:
    • Choose 1 of 2 Jasper activities:
    1. Maligne Canyon Icewalk
    2. Winter Discovery tour

    Sightseeing & Activities in Lake Louise:
    • Choose 1 of 2 Lake Louise activities:
    1. Sleigh ride
    2. Snowshoe tour

    Sightseeing & Activities in Banff:
    • Choose 1 of 2 activities in Banff, day 1:
    1. Snowshoe tour
    2. Banff gondola

    • Choose 1 of 2 activities in Banff, day 2:
    1. Dog Sled Experience
    2. Helicopter Flight

    Seasonal Restrictions:
    Occasionally, activities may vary at time of travel due to weather conditions. Your vacation advisor will provide advise on when the best time is for outdoor winter activities

    Meal Inclusions:
    High Tea at the Fairmont Empress
    Breakfast and lunch onboard the train
    Gourmet meal at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

    Transfer Inclusions:
    • Private transfer from Vancouver airport, to your hotel upon arrival
    • One way helicopter transfer from Vancouver to Victoria
    • One way ferry transfer from Victoria to Vancouver
    • Whistler to Vancouver train station
    • Train station transfer in Jasper
    • Jasper to Lake Louise
    Lake Louise to Banff
    • Banff to Calgary Airport

    • Gratuities for private services, unless otherwise mentioned
    • Comprehensive documentation package
    • Friendly and dedicated Fresh Tracks customer service – Peace of Mind
    • From the time you book you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator - whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.

    Inclusion notes:
    ✔ Deluxe level includes a private transfer between Jasper to Lake Louise, Lake Louise to Banff and Banff to Calgary. Superior and Comfort levels include a scheduled bus transfer instead.


    Not Included

    • Meals & activities unless otherwise mentioned
    • Airfare (but don’t hesitate to ask for help)
    • Gratuities (unless otherwise indicated)
    • Taxes
    • Trip Cancellation Insurance (highly recommended)

    Get your personalized itinerary before availability is gone. Because we're now booking into 2019

    • Choose your activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
    • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
  • Accommodations

    Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodation choices. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

    Aava Whistler

    An example of our Standard accommodations

    Set just off the Whistler Village pedestrian walkway, the Aava Whistler Hotel boasts unsurpassed service coupled with modern furnishings and elegant décor, creating the perfect get away. The hotel's rooms boast a fresh contemporary design, created for those for those who appreciate space, comfort and convenience. Rooms are equipped with a plush day bed, full cableservice on a 32” LCD television, a mini-stereo with mp3 dock and available high speed Wi-Fi Internet access. The on-site health facility will sooth tired muscles with a soak in an outdoor pool or hot tub, or guests can use the state of the art equipment in the fitness centre. Patrons may choose to relax in the full lounge area with a favourite beverage or appetizer,enjoying the warmth of a crackling fireplace.

    Rimrock Resort

    An example of our Superior and Deluxe accommodations

    The 4.5 star Rimrock Resort is built into the side of a mountain, when you enter the main lobby, you are actually on the 7th floor, and the views from the pamorama of windows over the Bow Valley are simply stunning. The hotel has an upscale yet understated feel, and the service is impeccable.

    Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

    An example of our Comfort, Superior, and Deluxe accommodations

    The 5 star Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is undoubtedly a beautiful and impressive hotel. Its amazing location overlooking beautiful Lake Louise and the distant mountains can not be compared. There are a variety of restaurant types, so you can do casual or fine dining as you choose. Strolling around the lake, renting a canoe, riding horses, or hiking up to the tea house are all great summer activities. In winter choose from snow shoeing, skating, skiing or taking a sleigh ride around the lake.

    Fairmont Banff Springs

    An example of our Deluxe accommodations

    Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, The Fairmont Banff Springs is located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy one of the many activities that the hotel has to offer from tennis, horseback riding, a round of golf, skiing, relaxing at the the Willow Stream Spa (charge), or enjoying a great meal at one of 12 restaurants, lounges or pubs.


  • Prices & Dates
    2017 - 2018 Trip Start Dates
    (this trip can also start in Calgary, please call or email for start dates)

    December 12*, 15*, 19*, 22*, 26*, 29*
    January 2*, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30
    February 2, 6*, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27
    March 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20*

    Itinerary & price variations may occur for travel over Christmas, New Years and holidays. Give us a call for additional information


    Prices listed may vary by departure date, hotel class and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our travel advisors to get a personalized quote.

    Comfort Level Hotels
    from US $4,599to US $4,967per person

    Our Comfort Level vacations include our favorite 3 star hotels, in great locations. Combined with our unique sightseeing tours and personalized service, you’ll receive exceptional value, a step above what you might expect anywhere else.

    Superior Level Hotels
    from US $5,199to US $5,615per person

    Our Superior Level provides amazing value for clients wanting something more upscale but not at the price of a top-end 5 star resort. Superior level hotels are some of our favorites because of the character and unique charm that you won't find at the average chain hotel. Unique tours and seamless transfers complete your itinerary.

    Fresh Tracks Favorite
    Deluxe Level Hotels
    from US $6,799to US $7,343per person

    On our Deluxe Level vacation, it's likely you'll be staying at one of the iconic Canadian Fairmont Hotels in a room with a view. Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 20th century, these hotels are luxurious and full of history – ensuring an experience you'll never forget. Enjoy unique sightseeing experiences and the insider detail that only Fresh Tracks Canada can provide.

  • Common Questions

    Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

    The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer. The interior of BC, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C).

    What are the best ways to travel around Canada on my vacation

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

    Is it safe to drive in the mountains?

    New visitors will drive with ease because of the wide and well maintained roadways. We'll ensure your trip includes the most spectacular and safest routes throughout your trip.

    When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

    Are your tours escorted?

    No, but you'll feel like it is with all your connections and experiences prearranged. Our clients love the freedom and flexibility it gives them. Some of our wildlife experiences are small group tours led by specialist guides.

  • Customer Reviews (2)

    We did not want to come home

    Star Rating 5
    March 23, 2011

    Read full review...

    We had an amazing time. We did not want to come home, and in fact are thinking about moving over as we liked it so much! The Fairmont hotels we just unbelievable, we regretted not staying in more of them! They gave us free upgrades, champagne, chocolates and they were so helpful. There was a bit of a problem with a flat tire on the car, but it looks like they have under-charged us for the one way drop off fee by about $150 CAD so I wasn't going to follow it up in case they figured it out. We will certainly pass on your details to anyone who is coming over, and we will be in touch if we can afford to come back for our anniversary. The Fairmont Palliser said they would give us a complementary Penthouse suite upgrade! Thanks again for all your help.

    Everyone is very friendly

    Star Rating 5
    May 27, 2006

    Read full review...

    The trip was absolutely wonderful - I'm in love with Banff and hope to return for a longer stay next time. It's the most beautiful area in Canada I've seen - and being a tourist/arts town, everyone is very friendly and relaxed.

Get your personalized itinerary before availability is gone. Because we're now booking into 2019

  • Choose your activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
  • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.