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Discover Rocky Mountaineer’s Circle Journeys and Return Journeys

Exploring the mountain wilderness from the comfort of a luxurious glass-dome coach; basking in the glory of vast desert landscapes while sipping on signature beverages; reliving history and gazing upon landmarks while you dine on regionally inspired meals… Every journey we create is designed to give you an extraordinary experience while getting unparalleled access to some of North America’s most stunning natural wonders.   

Something for Everyone

Beyond the core experiences we offer, we know that many of our guests have certain things they’re looking to get out of a journey with us, from specific activities they’d like to do at destinations and more time onboard the train to more days to explore iconic locations, hotel preferences, and so much more. 

This is why we have carefully crafted a number of rail packages that cover a wide range of experiences and durations, from short adventures packed with activities to long, meandering journeys that feature more days on the train and give plenty of time for reflection and exploration. 

For those who Wander

The longest, most comprehensive of these packages are our Circle Journeys in Western Canada and Return Journeys in the American Southwest.  

These epic adventures are designed to be seamless round-trip experiences. With these packages, you end your journey where you began, making travel plans easier and worry-free. Whether you start and finish in Vancouver or Denver, the journey comes full circle, allowing you to relax and enjoy the ride without the need for arranging additional transportation. 

There is an additional luxury you get to enjoy with these longer packages: time. 

More time onboard Rocky Mountaineer means more time to indulge in the world-class service and storytelling we give each of our guests, spectacular views from our glass-dome coaches, and exquisite dining. More than anything, we love the idea that our guests can have plenty of time to deeply immerse themselves in the Rocky Mountaineer experience; to sit back, relax, and connect with themselves and other like-minded explorers. 

Jasper SkyTram

Speaking of immersion, our iconic destinations have so much to offer those looking to make the most of every moment, whether it’s thrilling gondola rides that bring you up above the trees or walking trails that allow you to lose yourself in the pristine freshness of the mountain air or the sunburnt beauty of arches and spires.  

Circle Journeys and Return Journeys are built to reward those who seek more immersion by including more days at our destinations, giving guests the freedom to really dive in and explore. Sightseeing motorcoach transfers are also part of the journey, taking you to areas of the destinations beyond the tracks. Some packages will even include tours provided by some of our trusted partners, giving you more to do and more to experience.  

Beyond those similarities, Circle Journeys and Return Journeys do have some key differences. Let’s take a look at them now. 

Circle Journeys

Circle Journeys give you our most immersive way to explore the Canadian Rockies, combining two of our Canadian routes to give you adventures that last anywhere from 9 to 15 days depending on which package you book.  

By combining two routes, you get to enjoy up to 5 days onboard the train. You begin your journey by boarding the train in the coastal city of Vancouver, BC. From there, Rocky Mountaineer takes you through a loop around the Canadian Rockies, including stops at Kamloops, Lake Louise and/or Banff, Jasper, and, on certain packages, Quesnel and Whistler before circling back to Vancouver.  

Downtown Banff

At each endpoint destination (Vancouver, Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper), you get to enjoy free days which, crucially, give you more time to explore these varied locations. This means more time to wander the streets of charming mountain towns like Banff, take a walk alongside the startlingly blue Lake Louise, or visit the bustling Granville Island Market. 

Circle Journeys also include key immersive tours. Depending on the package, you could enjoy the thrill of crossing a magnificent glacier, learn more about the area at educational cultural centres, and so much more. You could also further customize your journey by booking optional add-on tours from our trusted partners. 

All in all, these packages are some of the best ways to truly make the most of your stay in the Canadian Rockies. But what if you’re looking for something different? What if you still want to enjoy a unique round-trip adventure, but are looking to trade the cool mountain air for warm desert winds?  

Return Journeys

For round-trip adventures that immerse you in the rugged desert landscapes of the American Southwest, turn to our Rockies to the Red Rocks Denver Return Journey which begins in the vibrant city of Denver, Colorado. From there, you will trek across stunning vistas, taking in sights that are usually only seen from horseback or the waters of the Colorado River.  

After an overnight stop at the historic town of Glenwood Springs, you make your way further west towards the crimson canyons of Utah before finally reaching Moab, the gateway to some of the United States’ most iconic national parks. 

Bryce Canyon | Photo Credit: Moab Adventure Center

And yet, on this package, your adventure doesn’t stop there. Built into this Return Journey is extra time at Moab, giving you plenty of opportunity to experience the grandeur of the storied red rock formations of Arches National Park, marvel at the mesas and buttes of Canyonland National Park, or book optional tours from our trusted partners. Whether you’re looking to carve time for yourself or take a guided tour, the choice is yours.  

Then, after a couple of days at Moab, you climb back onboard Rocky Mountaineer and return along the same historic railway to Denver. The magic of this is that, since you would be retracing your initial journey, you would also get a chance to catch new angles and vantage points of the stunning American Southwest… and even take in something you may have missed the first time around.  

Full Circle

At Rocky Mountaineer, we want to make sure that all our guests make the most of their time with us, getting everything they want, and more, out of the journeys they book. For those looking for short, but sweet, treks through the mountains or desert, we offer packages that are just right. 

But for those looking to experience as much as they can; for those looking to immerse themselves in as much of the Canadian Rockies or American Southwest as possible; for those looking for the ultimate Rocky Mountaineer experiences… have a look at our Circle Journeys and Return Journeys.  

And get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.  

Click here to explore all our Circle and Return Journeys.