This is one of our most magical Canadian winter adventures. Imagine climbing aboard a train in Vancouver, sharing a glass of wine with fellow travelers, then being lulled to sleep as snow falls outside. Awakening in a Rockies winter wonderland, for a few days of discovery, fun, and indulgence.
9 Days / 8 Nights
Arrive Vancouver → 2 nights Vancouver → 1 night VIA Rail → 2 nights Jasper → 1 night Lake Louise → 2 nights in Banff → Depart Calgary
Our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.
Can this trip be made shorter or longer?
Absolutely! We personalize all our clients' trips to fit their exact tastes and needs. You can add days at locations that you'd like to explore and spend more time at. Or leave out certain areas that don't interest you as much. Discuss your travel goals with our Canadian Insiders who make sure that your trip fits your needs and budget.
Can I customize this trip?
Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can get your FREE personalized trip plan and decide what you'd like to see and do.
If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.
Am I on the train the whole time?
All of our trips include stops to get off the train to explore Canada's beautiful locations, national parks and unique cities. However, if you're keen to maximize your time onboard, we'll pair you up with the perfect train experience.
Where am I staying on this trip?
This trip features an overnight rail journey, and you'll get a comfortable private cabin on the train for the duration of your train ride. The trains feature common lounge areas and dining cars where you can socialize with fellow travelers.
When not on the train, you'll be staying at various three to five star hotels or lodges along your route. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.
What is the train experience like?
Because most Canadians typically do not use the train for commuting (as in the US or Europe), the two main rail providers here are driven by tourism. You'll experience the romance of true trans-continental rail travel, with a wide selection of services, accommodation types, and great food.
Featured train experiences:
VIA Rail is Canada's national train provider, with routes running Coast to Coast and through remote parts of northern Canada. The type of train depends on your journey, and can vary from the classic trans-continental sleeper trains to daylight trains with overnight stops.
Sleeper Trains feature a once in a lifetime adventure of sleeping on the train in comfortable cabins. You can relax in your private onboard accommodations, or enjoy local wines and chef-prepared meals in the dining car during this unforgettable trip.
How much does my trip cost?
All our trips are personalized to fit our clients' schedule and budget. The price of your trip generally depends on the travel season, train service, accommodations, and the sightseeing tours you take. Please request your personalized quote which will provide you with the detailed information you need.
What is included in the price?
Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive your detailed digital travel documents, and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal throughout your trip to answer any questions.
What are the best ways to travel around Canada?
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.
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.
This Trip in Pictures
Embrace the beauty of winter in Canada as you explore the Canadian Rockies.
Ride the overnight VIA Rail train to the Canadian Rockies.
In Jasper National Park, seek out wildlife with a naturalist on a small group tour.
Strap on ice cleats and walk the floor of Maligne Canyon, surrounded by icefalls and rock formations.
Enjoy a sleigh ride on the beautiful frozen Lake Louise.
Admire the majestic landscapes with beautiful snow covered mountains everywhere you look.
Explore Banff, one of the liveliest towns in the Canadian Rockies.
Join a dogsledding tour for a memorable Canadian Winter Wonderland experience.
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized trip plan for you that matches your travel style, schedule and budget.
Day 1 – Begin Your Canadian Vacation – Arrive in Vancouver
Arrive in Vancouver where a friendly driver meets you at the airport. As you make your way downtown you’ll spot the winter scene you’ve been dreaming of – Vancouver’s coastal mountains covered in pure white snow.
Feature Dinner in Vancouver
Feel like a local as soon as you arrive. We’ve arranged dinner at one of our favorite harbourfront restaurants. Watch seaplanes land on Coal Harbour while the lights of the North Shore Mountains glitter in the background.
Overnight in Vancouver.
Day 2 – Discover Vancouver
Spend a day exploring Vancouver. Surrounded by mountains and ocean, Vancouver is one of the few cities in the world where a typical day might include a morning on the ski slopes, a relaxing afternoon sail or round of golf, and an evening enjoying the nightlife of Yaletown.
Choose from 2 activity options:
Option 1: Eagle Viewing River Float Trip
Head into the mountains of the sea to sky highway for a chance to see one of the world’s largest population of bald eagles. Sipping on hot drinks from a river raft boat, watch as these magnificent birds return to the area to feed on spawning salmon.
There is so much to see in Vancouver – we recommend a private local guide to get the most out of your day. At your own pace, discover historic Gastown and the 2010 Olympic Cauldron. Then make your way to Stanley Park – an oasis of towering rainforest surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Savour the laid-back beach vibe of English Bay, eclectic Granville Island Market, and the lush VanDusen Botanical Garden.
Overnight in Vancouver.
Day 3 – Board VIA Rail’s Canadian Train – Vancouver to Jasper
This morning the excitement builds as you board the Canadian Train for your overnight journey to the Canadian Rockies. A panoramic dome car – where you can relax, unwind, and see the sights all around you – is only a short walk from your cabin. Tasty meals are served in an elegant yet casual dining car and chatting over a drink with fellow travelers makes the day pass by all too quickly. Enjoy the journey as you travel further toward the Canadian Rockies.
Overnight in a private cabin.
Day 4 – Rockies Winter Wonderland – Arrive in Jasper
By the time you wake, you’ll see deep snow glistening on the mountain peaks of Jasper National Park. Step off the train in the little mountain town of Jasper and breathe the fresh mountain air – you’ve arrived! A friendly driver awaits to whisk you to your hotel.
Overnight in Jasper.
Day 5 – Explore Jasper Jasper’s vast wilderness consists of wide valleys, rugged mountains, frozen lakes and rivers, and forest. Head out with a guide on your first Rocky Mountain adventure.
Choose 1 of the following 2 options:
Option 1: Maligne Canyon Ice Walk Tour
See one of the Rockies’ most impressive winter treasures. With a small group and guide, you’ll strap on ice cleats and walk right along the frozen floor of Maligne Canyon. The icefalls and rock formations are breathtaking – you’ll feel like you’re in another world. Ice climbers scaling the frozen waterfalls make for great photos too!
Activity rating: Moderate
Option 2: Morning Discovery Tour of Jasper
Travel through the Athabasca Valley to see some of the park’s most beautiful scenery. Have your camera ready to snap photos of winter wildlife as you learn about the ecology of the park. There is minimal walking on this tour – you can sit back and enjoy the winter scenery from the comfort of a small sightseeing coach.
Activity rating: Easy
Suggested Add-On: Jasper Food Tour
What better way to warm up after a morning winter activity than a gourmet food adventure? Right after your morning tour, join a foodie guide to explore Jasper’s eclectic (and delicious) food scene on an afternoon tasting tour. Sample Canadian classics, locally brewed beers, and globally inspired cuisine through four handpicked dishes – paired with an alcoholic beverage.
Activity rating: Easy
Overnight in Jasper.
Day 6 – Travel the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise
Welcome the sunrise as you head south along the Icefields Parkway. You’re traveling along one of the most scenic highways in the world, so wipe the sleep from your eyes quickly! This scenery is just a warm-up for the sight that greets you in Lake Louise – glaciers, ice castles, and frozen waters, this is truly a magical winter wonderland.
Included Activity: Lake Louise Sleigh Ride
Take in the beauty of Lake Louise on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Cozy underneath a blanket, you’ll follow the lakeshore to frozen Louise Falls where Ice Climbers often can often be spotted.
Activity rating: Easy
Feature Dinner: Lake Louise Fondue
Warm up with a delicious fondue dinner at the Walliser Stube restaurant. The cozy, swiss inspired décor and big view windows make this the perfect place to spend a winter evening.
Overnight in Lake Louise.
Insider Tip: Ask about how you can combine a privately guided transfer with a helicopter adventure on the way to Lake Louise. Included is a visit to Abraham Lake to see its mysterious bubbles frozen in ice.
Day 7 – Lake Louise to Banff
Spend a leisurely morning in Lake Louise. There is always plenty going on at the Chateau, from Ice Sculpting contests, Christmas activities, to outdoor adventures or spa sessions. Ask us about arranging additional activities for your free morning here.
This afternoon, travel the short distance from Lake Louise to Banff on a private transfer. 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.
Overnight in Banff.
Day 8 – Explore Banff
Choose 1 of the following 3 options in Banff today:
Option 1: Dog Sledding Tour from Banff
Travel to Canmore where you’ll meet a team of friendly huskies waiting to whisk you through the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. You will have the option to harness the dogs and drive the team yourself, or simply enjoy the experience as a passenger. Either way, this is sure to be one of your most memorable Canadian experiences.
This morning head up the Banff Gondola for spectacular views of Banff’s vast, intersecting mountain ranges. This afternoon, snowshoe on an easy trail across the frozen Vermilion River and along the snowy path winding through a forest of pine trees to the colourful Paint Pots, a cultural treasure within Banff National Park.
Activity rating: Moderate
Option 3: Privately Guided Banff & Area Tour
At a leisurely pace, head out with your own private guide and vehicle to discover the icy wilderness around the town of Banff. You’ll learn about the natural environment, historic landmarks, and the survival habits of the region’s wildlife.
Activity Rating: Easy
Overnight in Banff.
Day 9 – Departure from Calgary
Your Canadian Rockies winter trip comes to an end as you transfer from the Canadian Rockies to the Calgary Airport. As you head home, you take the great memories you made on this voyage, while you look forward to your next adventure in Canada.
Note: Transfer time from Banff to Calgary is approximately 2 hours but can take longer depending on weather conditions. Please book a late afternoon flight to ensure you have enough time.
Our Comfort Level vacations include our favorite 3 star hotels, in great locations. Combined with unique sightseeing tours and personalized service, you’ll receive exceptional value, a step above what you might expect anywhere else.
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.
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.
Learn more about the onboard service and look inside the trains you will be traveling on during this trip.
VIA Rail trains take passengers across the vast country of Canada through some of the most amazing scenery in North America. The service includes sleeper cars, gourmet meals, and lounge and viewing areas.
Sleeping on the train
Experience a once in a lifetime adventure of an overnight train journey. Sleep on board the train and enjoy chef-prepared meals in the dining car during this unforgettable trip.
In addition to the sleeper train cabin, below are examples of the places you can stay on this trip. Please get in touch to discuss your options and to check availability.
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 Jasper Park Lodge
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is it’s own Canadian wilderness resort. The property is made up of many buildings with different room types throughout the resort. Relax by the lake, or enjoy a round of golf on the beautiful Stanley Thompson Golf Course, or enjoy a game of ice hockey on the lodge’s pond. Be sure to keep your eyes open for Elk as they walk past your building!
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
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.
The Banff Caribou Lodge And Spa
After a full day of skiing, hiking and sightseeing in the mountains it is wonderful to retreat to this quiet mountain lodge and relax in your comfortable room. Soak your muscles in the jetted whirlpool or get a massage at the Red Earth Spa. The hotel is also home to one of the most popular steakhouses in Canada, so treat yourself to a special meal while you watch the sunset over the mountains.
These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.
• 7 nights of hotel accommodation
• 1 night onboard The Canadian Train, in a private cabin for 1 or 2
• Sleeper Plus Class, onboard The Canadian Train between Vancouver and Jasper
Vancouver Activity Options:
• Choose 1 of 3:
1. Eagle Viewing River Float Tour
2. Privately Guided Sightseeing (extra cost)
Jasper Activity Options:
1. Maligne Canyon Icewalk Tour
2. Morning Discovery Tour of Jasper
Optional Add-On: Jasper Food Tour
Lake Louise Included Activity:
• Lake Louise Sleigh Ride
Banff Activity Options:
• Day 1 – Choose 1 of 3:
1. Dogsledding Tour
2. Paint Pots Snowshoe Tour + Gondola Ride
3. Privately Guided Sightseeing Tour
• Meals onboard VIA Rail’s Canadian Train
• Feature Dinner in Vancouver
• Feature Dinner in Lake Louise
• Private transfers between Vancouver airport, hotel and train station
• Jasper train station transfer
• Transfers between Jasper and Lake Louise*
• Private transfer between Lake Louise and Banff
• Transfer between Banff and Calgary*
* Bus transfer for Comfort & Superior Level, Private driver for Deluxe Level
• Digital Travel Documents
• Gratuities for private transfer and tours (unless otherwise noted)
• Fresh Tracks Canada customer service – from the time you book, you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.
• Activities may vary during the late and early seasons. Your Vacation Advisor will provide advice on the best timing for outdoor winter activities.
• Activity options are limited over Dec 24–26 and on Jan 1, your Vacation Advisor will provide advice on your available options.
• Train schedules are subject to change and delays may occur.
• Meals and activities unless otherwise mentioned
• Airfare (but don’t hesitate to ask for help)
• Gratuities (unless otherwise indicated)
• Canadian Sales Taxes
• Trip Cancellation Insurance (highly recommended – please ask for your personalized quote)
Ideas to customize your trip
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.
• Add on a longer, full day dog sledding experience in Jasper
• Optional winter activities, including skiing (downhill and cross-country), spa treatments or skating
• Add on a multi-day Northern Lights experience in the Yukon
• Extra nights in Vancouver or the Rockies
Customer Reviews (19)
Truly a memorable trip that we all will cherish for many years to come
We liked the range of activities that we were able to do. Everyone in the group had a great time. We got to experience many things in the snow and ice of Canada. Truly a memorable trip that we all will cherish for many years to come.
We loved having all of our arrangements made for us
Our trip was a wonderful way to see a part of the world we had never experienced before. It was great to be immersed in the culture, and close to nature in its unspoiled state. We loved having all of our arrangements made for us, and that everything went well without any challenges. It was a perfect balance between activities and unscheduled time. All of the hotel accommodations and meals included in the trip package were superb. The train trip was fun and one night was the ideal length of time for us.
Fantastic! We lucked out with beautiful weather. Everyone that we encountered on the trip for transports, accommodations, tour guides, bartenders, wait staff and tourists were all wonderful! Fresh Tracks was a pleasure to work with.
We loved everything! Lake Louise is perfect. The helicopter and dogsledding were amazing on a perfect day. We were very impressed by the efficiency and good advice from Fresh Tracks. A small misunderstanding was fixed quickly and all arrangements worked perfectly. We would highly recommend them and received a positive comment from one of the tour operators as well who said there were good lines of communication with them as well as the travellers.
It was great doing an elaborate winter vacation. This is something we have not really done before, where we pieced together an itinerary of dynamic and varied snowy activities. It was a very memorable experience.
The overall experience of Canada was amazing! The people were friendly, the accommodations were top notch, the food was excellent, and the scenery was breathtaking. We had an excellent time, and all of arrangements made by Fresh Tracks went smoothly. Everyone was wonderful, helpful, and excellent! We loved the train from Vancouver to Jasper, and the Fairmont properties were something very special. We would gladly repeat the trip as we experienced it.
We will definitely be returning to Canada again, it's just a question of when
The Rockies were amazing, and our family really enjoyed the trip. The only thing which would have made it better is if we had more time! Lake Louise was beautiful, unfortunately, we didn't have much time there so other than the sleigh ride and dinner, we didn't really get a chance to do much else. We were thinking the next time we visit, will likely do a free and easy trip since we now have some idea of what to expect. Appreciate all the arrangements you made to accommodate our family. Will definitely recommend you guys to our friends (actually already did!). For my family, we will definitely be returning to Canada again, it's just a question of when.
We were truly in a winter wonderland and loving every second of it
We have had the most amazing holiday. We were truly in a winter wonderland and loving every second of it. All of the hotels we stayed at were very welcoming and comfortable. We were beyond impressed with the hotel in Lake Louise. We felt very fancy. The fondue experience was great too! We absolutely loved the Heli-Tour in Banff. I think that was our favourite activity out of all of them. But they were all amazing! The sleigh ride and the ice walk were both amazing experiences. On our free days in Banff and Jasper we caught the bus to the ski resorts and skied for a whole day. My favourite place was Banff. I love the village and the amount of snow they have! We unfortunately never got to do the Dog sledding because when we arrived in Whistler, there was not enough snow, so the company hadn't even opened for the season yet. I wish we chose to do it in banff now! But I am definitely coming back so that gives me another reason. Thank you so much for all your help and organisation. We really appreciate everything and are incredibly happy with everything. We will be recommending you to any friends who are thinking of travelling to Canada :)
We had a stupendous trip with great drivers and accommodations. Our last day in Banff was frigid and we almost didn't go on the dog sledding trip. They told us that if the temperature was 2 degrees colder, they would have canceled. The dogs were up to it, just not the "tourists". Fortunately we got to go but I have never been so cold. Again THANK YOU so much for your help. The train trip was a real highlight and the larger "cabin" was so appreciated.
We were all most impressed with Fresh Tracks as a company and more particularly with Eva. She really went out of her way to make sure we had everything organised to perfection. Professionalism was amazing. A big thank you and warm regards for a great holiday.
We greatly enjoyed our experience and appreciate your company's excellent service
You did a wonderful job of putting together a great itinerary for us. I think everyone's favorite stops were Whistler and Banff. Hank and I thoroughly enjoyed the train ride (the kids probably not so much but thats okay because they weren't footing the bill haha). Now that we can critique our experience, if we were to do it all over again we would probably leave out the stop in Jasper and would transfer directly to Lake Louise or Banff after getting off the train. The Fairmont in Jasper is about 10 minutes from the town and the Fairmont does not offer complimentary shuttle service to town during winter months ($20 for taxi or Fairmont charges $20 for their shuttle). This was surprising to us since the Fairmont is rated so highly. Also the Fairmont Jasper's accommodations are detached from the main lodge building and are in cottages spread out over the property. I am sure that this setup is quite enjoyable during fairer weather but in the wintery conditions during our stay it was not comfortable transferring between our two rooms and back/forth to the lodge. At least not for us southerners who are not used to the conditions! Please don't misunderstand this as a complaint, we enjoyed our stay there but I am just sharing our observations. ALL of our private transfer drivers were outstanding. They were all on time, transfer vehicles were clean, comfortable, and late model vehicles. All drivers were accommodating to our needs if we wanted to stop for food or bathroom and they were great in giving us information about the various areas. In summary, we greatly enjoyed our experience and appreciate your company's excellent service. We will surely recommend you to anyone we know that needs Canadian travel services.
Absolute highlight of the trip – the dogsledding while it was snowing
A wonderful surprise White Christmas from my husband for my December birthday – I just loved it. Thank you so much for your wonderful and thoughtful arrangements. Except for having snow in Vancouver when I was supposed to wake up to snow in the Rockies on the train, but all is forgiven as it was a wonderful experience to actually be in it and not just looking at it. And it was neat to actually meet the people who made it all happen. Absolute highlight of the trip – the dogsledding while it was snowing – unbelievable. By the way, Trevor arranged a surprise flight over Vancouver on our last full day. We also visited Odysseo, Grouse Mountain and of course, Capilano by night. Wow – we should come back in the summer as so many people recommended.
I would just like to thank you and everyone else at Fresh Tracks Canada who helped make it such an enjoyable time. From the moment we arrived in Vancouver everything went smoothly. We were met at the airport and, from then on, all the transport, tours etc. ran like clockwork. I could not believe it. Your organisation exceeded my expectations. All the accommodation was great. The weather (except for Vancouver) was lovely. We even got to thinking 'only -12, it is not that cold'. Many thanks once again for all your attention to detail and your quick responses to my many emails.
We had such a great time that we may do the trip again
We had a wonderful time on our trip. All the hotels were outstanding and the transfers went very smoothly. We especially enjoyed the trip from Lake Louise to Banff with our driver Carolyn of Sundog. She was a great driver and told us all about the area. The VIA Rail trip was a lot of fun. In Jasper, the night we arrived they were having a street fair and fireworks, it was great fun. We loved our room overlooking the lake at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. We had a great time from the Ice Carving Festival to a walk on the lake, a sleigh ride around the lake and of course the shopping. We loved Banff and wished we had two nights there instead of one. The Roam bus stopped right near the hotel so it was very easy to get around town. But with all the great stores maybe it was really better I only had one day to shop. When we left the downtown restaurant after dinner that night it was snowing, we walked back to the hotel loving every minute of the walk. We had such a great time that Rich and I may even do this trip again. Thanks again for arranging such a great trip.
We returned from our wonderful and flawless trip through the Canadian Rockies. What great scenery and hotel accommodations. Attached is a photo of me and my husband James at Lake Louise which as you can see had lots of snow. Thanks for all of your help. Many of my friends are anxious to hear about our trip.
My wife and I travelled from Edmonton to Vancouver via Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. The train trip over the Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer was spectacular. The holiday went like clockwork and we will use Fresh Tracks again when we are in Canada. They were friendly, informative and very helpful.
Get your personalized trip plan organized and arranged for you
Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.