The Rocky Mountaineer's eight day/seven night Western Explorer Rail Tour was created by The Great Canadian Travel Company. It goes from Vancouver on Canada's Pacific Coast across the mountains to the Rocky Mountain resort of Banff. This eight-day itinerary includes all of the "must-see" attractions in the Canadian Rockies. After spending a night in Vancouver, it heads to Kamloops, in British Columbia's interior. Dramatic changes of scenery mark the journey from the 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 terrain 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. The day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer travels along the shores of Kamloops Lake and into the town of Kamloops, where you'll spend the night.
The journey continues north and east to the Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Surrounded by dramatic scenery, the North Thompson River runs through the Monashee and Cariboo mountains, climbing ever nearer to the high peaks of the Continental Divide. Highlights include Mount Robson, at 12,972 feet the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. It climbs over the Yellowhead Pass into Jasper National Park. The rail journey ends upon arrival at the resort town of Jasper for an overnight.
Day Four includes several tour options in Jasper, including a wildlife safari, rafting trip and horseback riding. Then it's on to Lake Louise via one of the most scenic highways in the world, the Icefields Parkway. There's a stop at Althabasca Falls before arriving at the Columbia Icefield where clients ride an "Ice Explorer" to the middle of the glacier to learn more about its geological features. Afterwards there is a brief stop at Bow Lake before arrival in Lake Louise and a night at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
From Lake Louise to Banff, clients spend a half day viewing the natural wonders of Yoho National Park. After an overnight stay in Banff (with a sightseeing tour), they continue to Kananaskis for an adventure that includes a Summit Helicopter Tour over the Rockies landscape. There is lunch at a ranch and time to explore Kananaskis at leisure before transfer to Calgary, where the tour concludes with an overnight stay.
Included in the tour package are seven nights' hotel accommodations, two days aboard the Rocky Mountaineer with choice of Redleaf or Goldleaf Service, two breakfasts and three lunches and a variety of tours that include Summit Helicopter Flightseeing. Frequent departures continue into early October. Cost per person double begins at CAD $1,729 ($1,489) for Redleaf Service, and CAD $2,589 ($2,229) for Goldleaf Service. For more information, call 800-771-4833 or visit www.greatcanadiantravel.com.
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