Discover the treasures of Vancouver then travel to the Canadian Rockies by train and explore three of Canada’s spectacular national parks: Jasper, Yoho, and Banff.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary Request Itinerary or Ask Us A Question or Call 855-215-8690
 Moraine Lake, Banff National Park
 Vancouver harbor at night
 View of Vancouver's harbor
 Totem poles and ceremonial house outside the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver. Credit: Museum of Anthropology
 Gallery of the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver. Credit: Museum of Anthropology
 Sculpture by noted artist Bill Reid, Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver. Credit: Museum of Anthropology
 The dynamic cityscape of Vancouver
 In the heart of the Rockies
 Jasper National Park
 Moraine Lake, near Banff Springs Hotel
 Ice coach tour of Athabasca Glacier, Banff National Park
 Black bear near Banff
 Bull elk in Jasper National Park

Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies by Rail: A Tailor-Made Journey

A Self Drive Journey

12 days from $5,235

Discover the treasures of Vancouver then travel to the Canadian Rockies by train and explore three of Canada’s spectacular national parks: Jasper, Yoho, and Banff.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary

or call 855-215-8690


When you travel on a tailor-made journey, you will receive a Friends of the Smithsonian Archivist Circle membership*. Benefits include:

  • A Smithsonian annual engagement calendar with full-color images of exceptional art and artifacts, mailed in the fall.
  • Subscription to Smithsonian, the award-winning magazine of the arts, sciences, and history. Early access to Smithsonian magazine produced events.
  • Invitations to four exclusive virtual programs for Friends of the Smithsonian members with Smithsonian experts.
  • 10% discount in Smithsonian Museum Stores (good on purchases up to $200); 10% discount with the, and Folkways Recordings
  • Recognition in the Friends of the Smithsonian Honor Roll, displayed electronically on the National Mall in the Membership Reception Center
  • Special member rate for tickets to the Smithsonian’s IMAX® theaters and Einstein Planetarium.
  • Free admission to the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.
  • A complimentary copy of the annual Smithsonian museum guidebook.
  • Invitation to a special welcome event for new members at a Smithsonian venue.

*Offer only available for first-time Smithsonian members. 

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 - Vancouver, British Columbia

Arrive in Vancouver and make your way to your downtown hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day to relax or start exploring the city. Depending on your arrival time, you could visit the Museum of Anthropology to learn about the area's First Nations’ culture, or sample street food from one of the many food vendors.

Day 2 - Vancouver

Take advantage of a full day at leisure to discover wonderful Vancouver. You might rent a bike for a ride around Stanley Park where you can explore old-growth forest, spot sea lions and dolphins off the coast, see First Nations’ totem poles, and relax on the beach. Go window-shopping in historic Gastown, poke around the eclectic markets of Chinatown and grab dim sum for lunch, soak up the artsy ambiance of Granville Island, or take a stroll in the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens.

Day 3 - Vancouver

Set sail today on a shared whale watching cruise. You’ll head out onto the Strait of Georgia, home to three native orca pods and one of the best places to view them in the wild. As you track the whales with a naturalist, learn about orcas and other species you may encounter, including porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles, and more. Back on shore, enjoy more time to visit Vancouver’s many attractions.

Day 4 - Vancouver/VIA Rail Canadian

Make your way to the VIA Rail station today and board the Canadian for a fantastic overnight journey by rail. Settle into comfortable seats in a domed glass observation car where experienced guides are on hand to point out wildlife, geology, and historic sites as you make your way through gorgeous mountain scenery. Spend tonight on board the train in your private cabin.

Day 5 - Jasper

Travel deeper into the mountains this morning, passing spectacular Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Arrive in the town of Jasper, gateway to one of the jewels of Canada’s national park system, and disembark the train. You’ll have a rental car waiting for pick up and the afternoon free to walk around town, hit the trails, or relax at your hotel.

Days 6 and 7 - Jasper National Park

Enjoy two full days to explore Jasper National Park and its environs as you wish. You could hike through the alpine meadows near Mount Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier, a great area for wildlife viewing. Or ride the cable car to the top of Whistlers Mountain for high alpine hiking amid an extraordinary panorama of peaks. Consider following the Old Fort Point loop trail, a moderate hike that begins in town and offers fantastic views. We also recommend taking a boat trip across Maligne Lake to Spirit Island in the afternoon for an iconic vista of the turquoise lake surrounded by a cathedral of peaks.

Day 8 - Field

Drive five hours south from Jasper, following the spectacular Icefields Parkway. Stop en route at Athabasca Glacier for a walk on the ice itself, led by knowledgeable guides who will explain the geology behind this ancient glacier and the larger Columbia Icefield. Continue towards Yoho National Park, passing remarkable lakes and glaciers along the way. Arrive in Field this afternoon and settle into your hotel on the banks of the Kicking Horse River.

Day 9 - Yoho National Park

During a free day in Yoho National Park, you’ll have the opportunity to go white-water rafting, fly-fishing, or mountain biking, or head off on a variety of trails. We recommend a visit to Takakkaw Falls, the highest waterfall in the Canadian Rockies, tumbling more than 1,200 feet. Or hike to Natural Bridge, where the often-turquoise waters of Kicking Horse River have sculpted an unusual rock formation. Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are also within easy reach and offer great walking and wildlife-viewing opportunities.

Day 10 - Banff National Park

Continue to Banff this morning. The journey takes around an hour and a half, so you will be able to enjoy much of the day exploring Banff National Park. Consider taking the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, which boasts superb views stretching across the Rockies. Walk along the boardwalk to the summit to get even higher and look down upon Banff below.

Day 11 - Banff National Park

Today is yours to further explore Banff National Park. You could visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, or set off on one of the many hiking trails in the area. One popular option is a hike through Johnston Canyon to the Ink Pots, seven brightly colored mineral springs that bubble up to the surface in a meadow.

Day 12 - Depart for Home

You may have some time to spend in Banff this morning, perhaps browsing the town's shops or enjoying coffee with a mountain view. Then drive two hours to Calgary Airport, where you’ll return your rental car and board your flight home.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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