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Beautiful Banff Rail & Drive

4.7 stars(43 reviews)

Discover the Canadian Rockies by rail and car. Enjoy two days aboard the scenic Rocky Mountaineer, combined with the freedom to discover spectacular Banff National Park at your leisure by rental car.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
6 days From $2,408 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: PP-BBDE-23

About the tour

Your tour kicks off in Vancouver, where you can explore the scenic city on your own. After a relaxing evening, you'll start your second day with travel aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, from Vancouver to Kamloops, the heart of British Columbia. Get your cameras ready for dramatic scenery, from the rushing waters of Hell's Gate to mountain peaks. Continue east to Alberta, across ranchlands, lakeshores, mountain passes and tunnels, arriving in the picturesque resort town of Banff. Spend the next day enjoying Banff on your own, then drive to Lake Louise and Yoho National Park. Travel through Kananaskis Country and the wide-open ranches of Alberta before arriving in Calgary, where you'll spend an evening touring the city before your trip comes to an end.

This itinerary is also available from Calgary to Vancouver based on travel preference.


What’s included


Day 1 - Vancouver

Arrive in Vancouver and spend time exploring this scenic city on your own. Overnight in Vancouver.

Day 2 - Vancouver to Kamloops

Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia's interior. On today's journey, you will see dramatic changes in scenery, from the lush green fields of the Fraser River valley, through forests and winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Coast and Cascade mountains, to the desert-like environment of the interior. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell's Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Your day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer travels along the shores of Kamloops Lake and into Kamloops. Overnight in Kamloops.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 - Kamloops to Banff

Your journey continues eastwards to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Once again you will see a spectacular array of scenery as you travel across ranchlands, along rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes and through the remarkable tunnels that form part of the rich rail history of the Canadian Rockies. Today's highlights include Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, the climb over Rogers Pass, the Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and, of course, the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Your rail journey ends in the resort town of Banff this evening. Overnight in Banff.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4 - Banff to Lake Louise

Today, collect your rental car in Banff, giving you the freedom to explore the area at your own pace. After exploring Banff, enjoy the short drive to Lake Louise and Yoho National Park to see the Spiral Tunnels and Emerald Lake. Overnight in Lake Louise.

Day 5 - Lake Louise to Calgary

Travel through awesome Kananaskis Country and the ranching regions of Alberta before arriving in Calgary. Enjoy admission to the Calgary Tower. Overnight in Calgary.

Day 6 - Calgary

Drop off your rental car in downtown Calgary or at Calgary International Airport, where your vacation comes to an end.

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Take in the awe-inspiring scenery of the Canadian Rockies through the panoramic windows of the custom-designed single-level dome coach in the new SilverLeaf Service. Hotels include the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Rimrock Resort, Post Hotel, and Westin Calgary.

Discover why travelers rave about Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf Service. A custom-designed bi-level dome coach puts you right in the middle of the awe-inspiring scenery of the Canadian Rockies as you enjoy gourmet meals prepared by talented onboard chefs. Hotels include Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Palliser Calgary.

Deluxe Plus
Experience upgraded accommodations at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and Fairmont Palliser. Spoil yourself by making your Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf rail journey through the Canadian Rockies a deluxe one. Enjoy all of the same luxurious onboard amenities in GoldLeaf Service plus deluxe room upgrades.

Please note

Please note all accommodations in Kamloops are of moderate standard and any applicable parking fees during the trip are not included.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


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4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 43 reviews

  1. 5 stars
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  5. 1 star


4 stars

Submitted 29 Sep 2022

The train is quite comfortable, the staff is fantastic and Rocky Mountaineer is very generous with food (which was quite good) and drink. But this is a very loooong train ride. The trip from Vancouver to Kamloops was really nothing all that special. And although the second day scenery was much better we were delayed 3 hours, putting us into Banff at 11:30 p.m. So we saw none of the stunning scenery around Lake Louise and Banff from the train. We did meet many wonderful people and enjoyed the company and camaraderie; especially during the long delay. Once we picked up our car in Banff, we were able to explore on our own and that was much more enjoyable - the area is just stunning and we were treated to perfect weather. The hotels arranged for us were good, The Post in Lake Louise was outstanding! The Westin in Calgary was not, a tiny room in a generic corporate hotel with some very rude staff. But we enjoyed the city of Calgary quite a bit. All in all, we enjoyed the trip and we're glad we did it. Although I hope to return to some of the areas we explored in Western Canada, I don't think I'll be using Vacations by Rail anytime in the future. They were not particularly helpful or communicative. When I asked them to help arrange a few extra nights throughout the tour, there was initially no response to my request - you'll never get anyone to answer their phone, it's all email - and when I followed up a week later, I was simply told that nothing was available. I called the various hotels myself and made my own arrangements for the additional nights. I could have easily done that for the entire trip rather than dealing with VBR.

Collected by Trustpilot

Becky Ann Pintar

5 stars

Submitted 26 Jul 2022

Wonderful trip. Well planned with no issues with any of the accommodations or connections. The scenery was magnificent.

Collected by Trustpilot

Deanna Peters

5 stars

Submitted 23 Jul 2022

The scenery we witnessed while we traveled on this beautiful train was breathtaking! The staff was absolutely amazing and ver attentive. Would definitely take another Rocky Mountaineer Goldleaf trip!

Collected by Trustpilot


4 stars

Submitted 21 Oct 2019

Service was great. Three folks taking care of our car were really good. Food was pretty good. Good mix of tour guide" and downtime. Understand the need for the very early morning start times, but even with that, it would have been nice to arrive at the station in the evening at an earlier time."

Collected by Vacations By Rail


5 stars

Submitted 04 Oct 2019

An absolutely wonderful trip with excellent service and food. My husband and I loved the experience.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Ron Flay

5 stars

Submitted 21 Sep 2019

Our experience on the Rocky Mountaineer was exceptional. The service, food, views, and comfortable seats were all first rate. The two days on the train were long days but filled with great memories.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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