Whistler Mountaineer Train Ride

Comments 96 by Rebecca Bollwitt

This morning we woke up at dawn to head to the Rocky Mountaineer / Whistler Mountaineer train station in North Vancouver.

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

I haven’t been on a big train since I took a commuter to Salem with my mom when I lived in Boston. Before that, I rode on the Royal Hudson when I was wee.

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

When we set out from the station we glided through the backyards of West Vancouver, spotting mega tree houses and unique views of the city.

Glacier Dome Car Glacier Dome Car

A tradition on the train is to have a toast when we set out on our journey. Mimosas at 8:30am were followed by a fresh fruit plate and then a full breakfast, which was delicious.


Along the way our hosts highlighted points of interest and let us know when we could wander to the observation car (which was built in 1914).

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

Horseshoe Bay Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler Squamish

Below the Sea to Sky and above Howe Sound, we slinked smoothly through tunnels, over bridges, and across roads.

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

Whistler Mountaineer - N. Vancouver to Whistler

The journey was so lovely and the hospitality was superb. I instantly fell in love with train travel.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

The Whistler Mountaineer takes about 3 hours to get up to Creekside but it’s the most relaxing and scenic trip you’ll make between Vancouver and Whistler. You can book round trips, take the train one way (and fly or drive back), and day trips are also possible, giving you a few hours in the village before returning home.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

From the station in Whistler we were whisked away by motorcoach directly to our hotel where we checked in and went exploring (I’ll have a seperate post about our afternoon adventures). I’m looking forward to our trip back home tomorrow but in the meantime, you can check out all of my photos from the train on Flickr and John has some amazing shots in a set as well.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

I am pleased to announce that Whistler Mountaineer would like one of my readers to experience this as well. They’re offering 2 round trip passes in the Glacier Dome car (where we rode today) valid at the end of this season or next year. If you would like to see all this for yourself simply leave a comment on this post or re-tweet this link including @miss604 and @rmountaineer.

Update: There was such a great response to this contest, I’d like to thank all 167 participants however I have just drawn one winner…. and that is Coach T.I.A. – congratulations!

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96 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Tyler IngramFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 8:11pm PDT

    I love trains, I have always wanted to try out the Whistler Mountaineer!

  2. AshleyFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 8:19pm PDT

    Those are some amazing pictures Rebecca! I’ve never taken the train myself, but have heard some unbelievably amazing reviews from friends and family who have! My Nikon D80 saw your pictures and wants to go too πŸ˜‰

  3. GarryFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 8:26pm PDT

    Awesome! I’ve been meaning to do this! Train travel in North America is dying but I’m glad to see that this is still running!

  4. KimFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 8:33pm PDT

    Looks like a fantastic way to spend the day…

  5. DilaraFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 8:48pm PDT

    Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing your experience and photos πŸ™‚

  6. JonnekFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 9:02pm PDT

    Please add me to the raffle. I havent tried the mountaineer and based on your photos, I’m sure it will be a memorable experience if I win the raffle. Thanks.

  7. AliFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 9:09pm PDT

    Oh wow, that looks beautiful! Winning this would make my entire life. I love trains but I have never been on the Whistler Mountaineer!

    Consider me entered in the contest, please πŸ™‚

  8. BlissfulGirlFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 9:10pm PDT

    Now winning this train trip would make me even more blissful! πŸ™‚

  9. RobertFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 9:27pm PDT

    Would love to ride the train! Please!

  10. Aaron AFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 9:31pm PDT

    Great photos, and commentary. Thanks for sharing what looks like an amazing trip. Definitly one of those things that are on my list of things to do someday in Vancouver. Will W.M. be running additional trips during Olympics I wonder?

  11. Miss604Friday, September 4th, 2009 — 9:40pm PDT

    @Ashley Nice! John is just aching to get his Nikon D90 – I can’t even fathom how awesome his pics will be then.

  12. Angela HubbardFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 10:08pm PDT

    wasn’t it just the BEST!!!!! even the ‘non-dome’ area was great and even more old school romantic!

  13. garyFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 10:35pm PDT

    wow. me please.

  14. Peter vT ~ @PvTFriday, September 4th, 2009 — 11:44pm PDT

    Breaky looks delish. Takes me back to that Twighlight (or Starlight) dinner train they used to run from North Van to Porteau Cove. That was one romantic Date train. Thanks for the pics and diary. :~)

  15. Alan HawkerSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 1:12am PDT

    What a gorgeous train ride, I would love to take that trip one day.

  16. Michael KwanSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 1:12am PDT

    Aside from public transportation like our Skytrain and Hong Kong’s MTR, I’ve never ridden on a “real” train. I’d love to go for a quick jaunt to Whistler with these guys. Sounds like fun. πŸ™‚

  17. Neil ParkerSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 1:15am PDT

    That looks like an awesome day trip πŸ˜€ – thanks for the post!

  18. BradSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 3:38am PDT

    I hope the weather was nice enough…I heard they have an outdoor observation car but don’t see it in the pictures?

    Looks like a fun and romantic trip!

  19. KarynSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 9:45am PDT

    Always see the rmountaineer pulling into Kamloops all summer long – would luv to experience it myself!

  20. Sarah@EmergingMummySaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 9:49am PDT

    We’ve been dreaming of taking this trip for a while now. How beautiful!

  21. LauraSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 10:48am PDT

    Oh! Wow, would this ever be fun!

    PS – Terrific photos!!!!!

  22. GiseleSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 11:11am PDT

    Wow what amazing photos of your trip. We’ve always wanted to take this trip, now we have to!

  23. ElsaSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 11:14am PDT

    Wow, the views are amazing!

  24. NeilSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 11:33am PDT

    Always wanted to take this trip. Haven’t been on a train in years and years.

  25. Keira-AnneSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 12:34pm PDT

    I’ll enter – I have a particular idea of who I’d like to take on such a fun journey, and his name ain’t Jordy.

  26. lucSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 12:46pm PDT

    Looks like a perfect romantic gift for her birthday!

  27. Paul KSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 1:00pm PDT

    I’ve always wanted to make this trip! I wish there were more regular train service to Whistler that wasn’t so expensive.

    Have you taken the Amtrak train down to Oregon yet? Leave early morning, get there by early afternoon…

  28. wynSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 3:16pm PDT

    Just a few days before the long weekend, I heard on CanadaAM about the Rocky Mountaineer and how there were still seats available for the Vancouver-Jasper route for a cool $800. Then, to reinforce the link, you’re now blogging about your Vancouver-Whistler experience! Would love to be entered in the raffle – the Glacier Dome car sounds so fancy!

  29. Marcio TMSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 3:55pm PDT

    That’s simply awesome! A wicked train ride indeed!! I’d retweet even w/out prizes; as a matter of fact, I’m retweeting right now! (…and of course, I hope to win this round trip!)

  30. MargaretSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 5:27pm PDT

    Oh, wow. We were just up on Whistler; train was too pricey for us. We’d absolutely love to go!

  31. RobSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 8:01pm PDT

    Looks fantastic! That meal does not look like “train” food at all…then I guess it’s more than a “train” ride.

  32. vancouver limousineSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 10:22pm PDT

    this is a fantastic trip. Have done it twice and the scenery and service is great.

  33. christinaSaturday, September 5th, 2009 — 10:39pm PDT

    I have always wanted to do this! This would be a great gift!

  34. RachelSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 1:18am PDT

    never done it before, sounds fun !

  35. YingSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 2:31am PDT

    Amazing….Wow….What Views!

  36. PeteSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 2:37am PDT

    Perfect gift for our wedding anniversary!

  37. RoseSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 2:41am PDT

    The breaky looks yummy. The view superb! Tranquil elegance.

  38. JamieSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 7:54am PDT

    I would love to take this trip.

  39. KevinSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 1:08pm PDT

    A day trip would not be enough for Whistler, sadly. Looks great though, I’ll throw my hat in this contest too. πŸ™‚

  40. OanaSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 2:31pm PDT

    Oooh I’d love to take this train! Maybe for Cornucopia this year.

  41. TLCSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 2:59pm PDT

    I’ve always wanted to do this trip and it looks and sounds even better after reading this post.

  42. KirbySunday, September 6th, 2009 — 6:55pm PDT

    Me please!

  43. SabineSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 7:46pm PDT

    thanks for the great description of your trip, I hope I can go one day πŸ˜‰

  44. RyanSunday, September 6th, 2009 — 8:42pm PDT

    What a beautiful romantic trip. I’m sure my wife (and I) would love to make this excursion on our upcoming anniversary. Please enter us in the contest. Thanks!

  45. GangaMonday, September 7th, 2009 — 9:11am PDT

    This is amazing! We were in Whistler on Friday & Saturday too, although we drove. Awesome pictures of the train ride! Would love to take the train next time! We did some hiking at Whistler and Blackcomb and it was beautiful, despite (or maybe because of) the rain!

    Was going to comment on seeing the pictures anyway, but consider me in the contest as well! πŸ™‚

  46. DomMonday, September 7th, 2009 — 9:25am PDT

    Count me in for the contest. Looks like you had a lovely day. Great photos too.

  47. MarkMonday, September 7th, 2009 — 9:41am PDT

    Looks amazing! I would love to go to Whistler for my first time by train!

  48. nancy (aka citizens banker)Monday, September 7th, 2009 — 9:47am PDT

    tweeted! πŸ™‚ and hoping! Looks gorgeous.

  49. KyleMonday, September 7th, 2009 — 9:54am PDT

    Looks like an amazing time. Have always wanted to take a train through the mountains, heck I have just always wanted to take a train anywhere.

  50. JoyceTuesday, September 8th, 2009 — 11:27am PDT

    Nice post! The view was gorgeous and that looks like a wonderful experience to have. I saw the Mountaineer featured on the Bachelorette show and since then have wanted to give it a try. However the cost involved is just beyond my budget. It’ll be great to be picked to win a trip on the train!

  51. Victor TangTuesday, September 8th, 2009 — 11:53am PDT

    That looks like plenty of fun! I’d definitely want to try that. πŸ™‚

  52. JenTuesday, September 8th, 2009 — 12:53pm PDT

    I would LOVE to ride the Whistler Mountaineer. The views on the way up are gorgeous from the road and having the chance to see them from the train, without worrying about driving would be amazing πŸ™‚

  53. AlexTuesday, September 8th, 2009 — 2:32pm PDT

    I don’t want to miss this nice ride filled with memorable sceneries.

  54. Susan OlsenTuesday, September 8th, 2009 — 9:07pm PDT

    Wow! This looks like it would be an amazing ride! I’m all the way down here in Texas – it is HOT down here and those mountain scenes just gave me the nice cool down I needed! I’d love to be there in person some day!

  55. Jeff O.Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 — 9:13pm PDT

    Canada, trains, whistler, vacation…what else needs to be said?

  56. ArieTuesday, September 8th, 2009 — 9:22pm PDT

    Wow, what amazing photos! I would love the chance to check this out πŸ™‚ Thanks for running the contest.

  57. Celia RWednesday, September 9th, 2009 — 12:40am PDT

    Great pictures! Have always wanted to take the train myself, but I didn’t realize all the great perks that came with it. I wish you could ride the train in winter to ski.

  58. Rob GrahamWednesday, September 9th, 2009 — 7:11am PDT

    Beautiful pictures! Looks like great service too. Reminds me of some train trips in Norway many years ago.

  59. ShannonWednesday, September 9th, 2009 — 8:42am PDT

    great post. looks like an amazing trip.

  60. Stv.Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 — 12:42pm PDT

    oooh – train to Whistler! Count me in!

  61. SamanthaWednesday, September 9th, 2009 — 9:13pm PDT

    I have heard so many great things about the train! The pictures are absolutely beautiful!

  62. Aryn BurtonWednesday, September 9th, 2009 — 9:15pm PDT

    I live in Whistler and have always wanted to take my son on the train, I have heard so many wonderful people tell me all about it. I used to do yoga inside the train station in the winter time before the studio called “loka yoga and wellness” opened up beside the station! I have seen this train pass so many times and always wanted to be one of the people hanging over the railings with there cameras!

  63. AdamWednesday, September 9th, 2009 — 10:01pm PDT

    Looks like a great trip!

  64. Cait BrenchleyWednesday, September 9th, 2009 — 10:03pm PDT

    WOW! Looks fantastic. No wonder the Bachelorette took her potential bachelors there =)

  65. ErinaWednesday, September 9th, 2009 — 10:12pm PDT

    Phenomenal views, and riding in style – what a way to travel to Whistler. Wouldn’t it be great if train travel was the norm again.

  66. BreenThursday, September 10th, 2009 — 9:16am PDT

    Amazing views! Never have been on a train. Since I have lived in Whistler I have always wanted to do this.

  67. Carolyn TaylorThursday, September 10th, 2009 — 9:24am PDT

    Sounds amazing! I would definitely down for some train fun!!!!

  68. Dave WealeThursday, September 10th, 2009 — 9:44am PDT

    Great pics. Some of those views are amazing!

  69. LisaBThursday, September 10th, 2009 — 11:27am PDT

    I’ve been wanting to take this train since I moved here (am saving pennies for it)!!!! Those photos are amazing!

  70. PeterKThursday, September 10th, 2009 — 11:27am PDT

    Trains are definitely the way to travel in style.

  71. andreaThursday, September 10th, 2009 — 1:26pm PDT

    Wow. Amazing views. I would love to see this in person!

  72. JeffFriday, September 11th, 2009 — 9:09am PDT

    This looks like a fantastic trip – entering the draw!

  73. Karen GFriday, September 11th, 2009 — 9:18am PDT

    Us BC’ers are so fortunate to have these amazing views in our backyard! Trains just add a certain charm to the experience– I just want to pack my hat box and curl my hair.

  74. JoyFriday, September 11th, 2009 — 9:21am PDT

    Wow, looks like an amazing train ride…gorgeous views! I’d love to try this. πŸ™‚

  75. Danny DangFriday, September 11th, 2009 — 9:32am PDT

    Those are some great photos! So much nicer than the Cascades train.

  76. BethFriday, September 11th, 2009 — 9:45am PDT

    75 comments already? Plus tweets!! Looks like everyone wants a ride on the train! Including me!

  77. ElaineFriday, September 11th, 2009 — 9:54am PDT

    There is nothing more exciting that scenic vistas from a train! What a wonderful opportunity for one of your readers!

    Thanks to you and Whistler Mountaineer!

  78. TaraFriday, September 11th, 2009 — 10:14am PDT

    Photos are incredible, I would love to have this experience, thanks!

  79. KatFriday, September 11th, 2009 — 10:18am PDT

    Such a gorgeous trip – taking the train looks like an amazing way to see the scenery!

  80. Sarah MFriday, September 11th, 2009 — 4:40pm PDT

    I would love to go on the Rocky Mountaineer! It looks like a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing photos from your trip πŸ™‚

  81. Lynn MontesSaturday, September 12th, 2009 — 7:33am PDT

    I just returned from Whistler on one of the more gorgeous days in Vancouver. It seems I only get up there when I have out of town guests! I would love to go on the mountaineer and enjoy a trip just for me (and a friend)for a change and become the tourist instead!! Thank you for the opportunity!!

  82. ShazronTuesday, September 15th, 2009 — 8:07am PDT

    Looks like an awesome trip! Those transparent roofs would really make this experience worthwhile

  83. FawnTuesday, September 15th, 2009 — 8:08am PDT

    Since the Bachelorette this season, I’ve been meaning to look into the Rocky Mountain Railtour offering. Looks lovely!

  84. BobGTuesday, September 15th, 2009 — 9:07am PDT

    Awesome trip, would love to do it.

  85. TaranomTuesday, September 15th, 2009 — 9:41am PDT

    Would love to win this trip. I’ve wanted to check the train out ever since I saw it on The Bachelorette!

  86. AdelaideTuesday, September 15th, 2009 — 10:35am PDT

    Have always wanted to check them out!

  87. AdrienneTuesday, September 15th, 2009 — 10:57am PDT

    So cool. I remember when I first moved to Van for university and I took the train home to Prince George (through Whistler). I’m so happy it’s back baby! Would love to do the trip to Whist and back!

  88. Coach T.I.ATuesday, September 15th, 2009 — 11:29am PDT

    I have been wanting to do this since I got to Canada last year! Please please pick me, I’ll blog, take pix, wear a T-shirt with their logo and anything (almost) else they (or you) want me to do πŸ˜€ I want to eat that breakfast, sit on those seats, see the amazing views .. heaven. Thanks! Tia

  89. MelissaTuesday, September 15th, 2009 — 3:04pm PDT

    Remember that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie and Samantha take a train to California and it wasn’t what they expected? This totally looks more like the experience they were looking for πŸ™‚ would definitely like to experience this myself and will do just about anything if I were picked!

  90. shiatstormThursday, September 17th, 2009 — 3:09pm PDT

    I’ve lived here my entire life and never knew this was available. I will be sharing this site with everyone i know in hopes that some one will want to come with me. I’ve never been on a train and its been on my list of things to do. was supposed to go this summer but circumstances prevented it :(. Thanks!

  91. JP HoleckaSaturday, October 3rd, 2009 — 5:58am PDT

    We took this http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebel_base/3321539967/in/set-72157613810988365/in Spain last summer and although very, very different I can’t get enough trains. In fact I’ll even ride the Canada Line to get me my fill. Hell that is 80% underground. I too used to ride the Royal Hudson and would love to take the Whistler Mountaineer

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