America’s Great National Parks
Featuring six amazing National Parks: Glacier, Waterton Lakes, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, and Canyonlands.
Your tour begins in Chicago where you will board the Empire Builder bound for the first National Park on your trip, Glacier, where you will explore the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road and enjoy a full-day excursion to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada (passport required). Next, your travels take you to Yellowstone National Park for a two-night stay. Continue on to Wyoming for visits to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park, and finally to Utah for visits to Salt Lake City and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Board the California Zephyr in Colorado for your return trip home through the Colorado Rockies.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Roundtrip rail transportation on Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights including a 3-night stay at Glacier Park Lodge and 2-nights inside Yellowstone National Park
- 22 meals including lunch at Prince of Wales Hotel
- Going-to-the-Sun Highway aboard vintage Red Jammer buses
- Waterton Boat Cruise
- Yellowstone touring
- Oregon Trail Historical Center
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Transportation aboard a deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage handling
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder
Arrive at Chicago's historic Union Station, meet your tour manager, and board the famed Empire Builder for your scenic overnight trip. As the Empire Builder begins its journey northwest at 2:15 pm, settle into your comfortable seat, meet your fellow travelers, and enjoy the passing scenery. Important cities along this afternoon's route include Milwaukee, WI, the city by the lake made famous by its breweries, and Portage, once a regular stop for traders on their trips between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan. Don't miss a Trails and Rails presentation in the Sightseer Lounge car as you travel from Chicago to Winona, MN, allowing you to meet volunteer rangers from the Chicago/Mississippi National River and Recreation Area sharing historical stories and cultural artifacts from the region you're traveling. At 10:30 pm the train arrives in Minneapolis/St. Paul, where you'll have a 45-minute break to disembark the train and stretch your legs before the Empire Builder continues its journey west tonight. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - Glacier Park Montana
When you awake this morning the train is nearing Minot, ND for a 30-minute rest stop. When it continues its journey a little after 9:00 am, the train will cross the renowned Gassman Coulee Trestle just west of the city. Spend the day enjoying the passing scenery as you make your way into Montana and toward Glacier National Park. Take time to learn about North Dakota and Montana parks from volunteer rangers who will be sharing stories and artifacts from the area as part of the Trails and Rails program in the Sightseer Lounge.
We're scheduled to arrive in East Glacier Park at 6:45 pm. With more than 25 glaciers, over 130 named lakes, 200 waterfalls, and more than 1,000 different plant species, Glacier National Park is a breathtaking wonder. Your hotel for the next two nights is the Swiss chalet-inspired Glacier Park Lodge, one of the historic lodges built by the Great Northern Railroad and the largest log structure in the world. Your hotel is a two-minute walk from the station. The evening is at your leisure to relax at your hotel. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - "Going-to-the-Sun" Road Excursion
Mid-morning board a vintage red open-air Jammer bus for a tour of Glacier National Park. The tour will take you along the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road across the Continental Divide. There will be a stop at historic Lake MacDonald Lodge, where you will enjoy lunch on your own as well as time to explore the area. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore Glacier National Park. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge. (B, D)
Day 4 - Waterton Lakes National Park
Don't forget your passport this morning because after breakfast you depart for Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada's fourth National Park and also the country's smallest. With a diverse ecosystem, Waterton Lakes National Park contributes to the Crown of the Continent. Separated only by an international border, Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park joined together in 1932 to create the world's first Peace Park. The Waterton-Glacier National Peace Park was created as a symbol of goodwill between the U.S. and Canada.
A highlight of Waterton Lakes National Park is Upper Waterton Lake, on which you will enjoy a boat cruise. Take in the stunning scenery, the chain of lakes throughout the Park, and quaint Waterton Village. After your boat cruise enjoy lunch at the Prince of Wales Hotel, overlooking Waterton Lake and Waterton Village. The hotel was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1927 and is one of the most photographed hotels in the world. Return to Glacier National Park later today with the remainder of the day at your leisure. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge. (B, L)
Day 5 - Yellowstone National Park
After breakfast, depart Glacier National Park for the scenic drive to Yellowstone National Park. Our scenic drive takes us through Lewis and Clark country. Grant Village is located alongside Lake Yellowstone. Overnight Yellowstone National Park. (B)
Day 6 - Yellowstone National Park
Spend the day exploring America's first National Park, Yellowstone, on a guided tour of the Park's most well-known attractions including the Upper and Lower Falls, Hayden Valley, Old Faithful, Fountain Paint Pot and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Overnight Yellowstone National Park. (B)
Day 7 - Jackson, WY and Grand Teton National Park
The morning is yours to explore Yellowstone National Park at your leisure. Later in the day, board the motorcoach for your drive south to Grand Teton National Park, a picturesque landscape filled with towering mountains, sparkling lakes and an abundance of wildlife. Overnight Jackson. (B)
Day 8 - Grand Teton National Park
After breakfast, embark on a float trip in Grand Teton National Park. As you float along the Snake River, admire the Teton mountain range and glaciers that surround the forests and wetlands in the Park. Keep an eye out for bison, elk, and moose! The remainder of the day is yours to visit the shops and restaurants in Jackson. Overnight Jackson. (B)
Day 9 - The Oregon Trail Historical Center and Salt Lake City
Depart Jackson this morning, stopping at the Oregon Trail Historical Center in Montpelier, Idaho. Located at what was once the rest stop for pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail, this interpretive center gives you the opportunity to step back in time and experience pioneer life in the 1850's, including a simulated wagon train. Your journey continues to Salt Lake City, where you will have the remainder of the day on your own to explore the city. Overnight Salt Lake City. (B, L)
Day 10 - Moab
This morning embark on the scenic drive from Salt Lake City to Moab. We will travel through the San Rafael Valley. Overnight Moab. (B)
Day 11 - Arches National Park
After breakfast embark on a guided tour of Arches National Park. You'll be stunned by the more than 2,100 rock formations of varying sizes and colors. Highlights of the park include Delicate Arch, the free-standing arch that is the symbol of Utah, and Landscape Arch, the world's longest natural arch. Overnight Grand Junction. (B, D)
Day 12 - Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park
Today's excursion takes you to Canyonlands National Park for another spectacular day of scenery. This National Park showcases colorful canyons, mesas and buttes along the Colorado River. Your day continues with a visit to Dead Horse Point State Park, offering stunning views of the Colorado River. Overnight Moab. (B)
Day 13 - California Zephyr
Your journey home begins this morning as you board the California Zephyr for the breathtaking journey through the Colorado Rockies. Share your favorite moments of the trip with your fellow travelers or savor the quiet morning hours to reflect on your journey through the western U.S. This afternoon you may wish to visit the Sightseer Lounge for a Trails and Rails presentation as you travel between Grand Junction and Denver. Meet volunteer rangers who will share their stories and artifacts from the region. Overnight train. (L, D)
Day 14 - Arrival in Chicago
When you awake this morning you will be passing through Creston, the highest point between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The California Zephyr crosses the Mississippi River around lunchtime and continues its journey through the fields and farmlands of Illinois as the train chugs toward Chicago, where your tour comes to an end this afternoon. Post-night stays in Chicago are strongly recommended to prevent missed connections. (B, L)
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include Glacier Park Lodge, Grant Village in Yellowstone National Park, The Lodge at Jackson Hole, DoubleTree by Hilton (Salt Lake City), Red Cliffs Lodge* (Moab), and DoubleTree by Hilton (Grand Junction).
Amtrak accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette, and Bedroom. Coach accommodations include a reclining seat with leg rest. Roomette accommodations include a private cabin featuring two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, converting to an upper and lower berth at night. Bedroom accommodations feature a sofa and chair by day, and upper and lower berth by night. Bedroom accommodations also include a sink and self-enclosed toilet and shower. All travelers have access to the Sightseer Lounge. All meals are included on board the train
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
Click here to view testimonials for America’s Great National Parks.
Kileen, You are the best. We had a wonderful trip with you and remember all of the knowledge you shared and how much you cared. That was especially true on the train trip home. Thanks for letting us use your room. You were tired but went the extra mile. Hope all is well for you at home. We know that another trip is on your horizon. We wish Godspeed on all of your journeys. You also were so clear with your narratives - terrific ability to communicate. Thanks. We had hoped that the investment in the trip would be worth it - and it truly was!! We traveled with a great group of people with a fine tour manager and bus driver. I enjoyed learning about the Mormon faith through discussion with Karl. Peace be with you, Rich and Carol
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|16th June 2015||$3,489||Book Now|
|14th July 2015||$3,489||Book Now|
|16th August 2015||$3,489||Book Now|
|6th September 2015||$3,489||Book Now|
|16th June 2015||$4,014||Book Now|
|14th July 2015||$4,014||Book Now|
|16th August 2015||$4,014||Book Now|
|6th September 2015||$4,014||Book Now|
|16th June 2015||$4,884||Book Now|
|14th July 2015||$4,884||Book Now|
|16th August 2015||$4,884||Book Now|
|6th September 2015||$4,884||Book Now|
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America's Great National Parks - Amtrak Coach: Departs 16th June 2015 ($3,489), 14th July 2015 ($3,489), 16th August 2015 ($3,489), 6th September 2015 ($3,489)
America's Great National Parks - Amtrak Roomette: Departs 16th June 2015 ($4,014), 14th July 2015 ($4,014), 16th August 2015 ($4,014), 6th September 2015 ($4,014)
America's Great National Parks - Amtrak Bedroom: Departs 16th June 2015 ($4,884), 14th July 2015 ($4,884), 16th August 2015 ($4,884), 6th September 2015 ($4,884)
upgrade to roomette or bedroom accommodations. Passport is required to cross
the border into Canada for the Day 4 excursion to Waterton Lakes.*June 2014
departure will overnight at La Quinta Inn in Moab. Prices are land only. Prices
are at the time was published, however are subject to change at time of booking.
Pre and Post hotel nights are recommended in Chicago. Vacations By Rail can
supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.