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Best of the West - 14 Day Tour
The American West is graced with five truly astonishing National Parks: Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches and Canyonlands and it is with great pleasure that they have combined them, along with two legendary train journeys, all in one leisurely and glorious holiday that offers comfort, extraordinary sightseeing, personalized attention and an intelligent itinerary.
The journey begins in Chicago, Portland or Seattle with an overnight ride aboard the famed Empire Builder train. You will first travel to the magical Glacier National Park, Montana where you stay overnight. The next day you will be embarking on the fabled 'Going to the Sun' Highway over the Continental Divide aboard one of the famous red 'jammer' buses.
You then travel south to relaxing Fairmont Hot Springs with an overnight stay in this soothing setting before the visual feast of Yellowstone where we stay two-nights. This tour features complete sightseeing and includes Old Faithful, Upper & Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. From Yellowstone, travelers head to Grand Teton National Park for a two-night stay that also includes a scenic float trip on the Snake River. Then south, to Salt Lake City for an overnight stay in this lovely city before another double-header of amazing sights, Canyonland and Arches National Parks!
- Train travel from Chicago, Seattle, or Portland to Glacier National Park, Montana aboard the famous Empire Builder train, a speedy scenic overnight trip.
- Hosted by professional tour manager that handles all the details.
- Two-night stay and full day in stunning Glacier National Park including the famed Going to the Sun Highway across the Continental Divide by red open-air Jammer bus.
- A blissful overnight stay in Fairmont Hot Springs with plenty of time to enjoy the healing waters (admission is included).
- Gates of the Mountain cruise on the Missouri River so vividly described by Lewis & Clark, a visual feast.
- Two-night hotel stays in Yellowstone, Jackson Hole and Arches National Park.
- Complete sightseeing throughout including all admission fees and special treats such as the scenic float trip on the Snake River in Jackson Hole, all at no extra charge.
- Luxury hotel stay in Salt Lake City, a nice 'urban indulgence' during our tour.
- All motorcoach travel.
- Many meals including breakfast daily.
- Train travel from Utah to California through the Sierra Nevadas or to Chicago aboard the California Zephyr train with a spectacular daylight trip through the Colorado Rockies over the storied Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad 'Mainline through the Rockies'.
Day 1 - Chicago, Seattle, or Portland
Travelers depart Chicago, Seattle, or Portland for Glacier National Park aboard the famed Empire Builder train, a scenic overnight journey via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company.
Day 2 - Glacier National Park
Guests arrive in East Glacier today aboard the Empire Builder train. Transfer to the charming Izaak Walton Inn, one of the historic lodges built by the Great Northern Railroad.
Day 3 - Going-to-the-Sun Highway
Depart this morning aboard one of the famed red open-air Jammer buses for the stunning trip over the famed Going-to-the-Sun Highway across the Continental Divide. Later today, visit shimmering Lake McDonald for a boat cruise. Many of our passengers rate this the prettiest day of the entire tour and you will soon see why. Overnight Izaak Walton Inn. (B, D)
Day 4 - Gates of the Mountain cruise
After breakfast we depart for the Gates of the Mountain Cruise, a lovely two-hour excursion in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains between Helena and Great Falls, Montana. Aboard an open-air boat (covered in case of rain), you'll glide through magnificent country Meriwether Lewis would still recognize with great towering walls of limestone, Bighorn sheep, Mountain Goats and eagles.Today is a special treat and a relaxing coda after a few days of travel as we arrive at enchanting Fairmont Hot Springs, the perfect 'Travelers Rest' to borrow a line from Lewis & Clark on their epic journey through the same area. Nestled between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone this idyllic setting features a variety of soothing mineral pools (admission is included) and there is also golf and a fine spa with massage. The perfect refresher and a highlight for our guests that no other tour company offers. (B, L)
Day 5 - Virginia City, Montana - Yellowstone National Park
After breakfast, embark on another beautiful day as we head off to Virginia City, Montana, a historic mining town of great charm and later today, arrive at Lake Yellowstone to begin our two-night stay. (B, L)
Day 6 - Yellowstone National Park
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first National Park and after breakfast, travelers begin a day that is a visual feast. You will see Upper and Lower Falls, Hayden Valley, Old Faithful, Fountain Paint Pot and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Overnight in Lake Yellowstone cabins. (B)
Day 7 - Grand Teton National Park
Drive south today to spectacular Grand Teton National Park, a spectacular landscape rich with jagged mountains, glaciers, pristine lakes and amazing wildlife including bison, moose and antelope. Here too, like in Yellowstone, guests enjoy a two-night stay with plenty of free time. Overnight at the 49er Inn. (B)
Day 8 - Jackson Hole
Today you tour Jackson Hole with the highlight being an afternoon float trip on the Snake River. Grand Teton National Park protects stunning mountain scenery and a diverse array of wildlife. The Teton Range is the focal point of the park, the youngest range in the Rocky Mountains. An active normal fault, the Teton Fault, lies on the 40 mile long mountain front. Rock is jetted into the sky some 7,000 feet from the flat plains, with the highest peak at 13,770 feet, the Grand Teton. Happily, we have all afternoon and evening at leisure to enjoy this quaint and historic setting. Overnight at the 49er Inn. (B)
Day 9 - The Oregon Trail Historical Center - Salt Lake City
Departing Jackson Hole this morning we travel south, stopping at the Oregon Trail Historical Center and then traveling along the Great Salt Lake before an afternoon arrival in Salt Lake City. After our time in the National Parks, luxury awaits tonight in the Four-Diamond rated Little America Hotel in the heart of downtown. There is even time to visit Temple Square with all evening at leisure. (B, L)
Day 10 - Moab and the Red Cliffs Lodge
Depart Salt Lake City for Moab and the Red Cliffs Lodge, possibly the best of all of our hotels and certainly the most stunning setting possible, overlooking the Colorado River. Our guests uniformly praise this as the highlight of a trip filled with many highlights and we enjoy a three-night stay in this extraordinary setting. All afternoon is free to enjoy the facilities, spa or nearby winery of this remarkable resort. (B)
Day 11 - Arches National Park
We tour Arches National Park this morning, with the afternoon free to enjoy the resort. The forces of nature have acted in concert to create the landscape of Arches, which contains the greatest density of natural arches in the world, over 2100 amazing formations of varying colors. Throughout the park, rock layers reveal millions of years of deposition, erosion and other geologic events. (B)
Day 12 - Canyonlands National Park
Today's highlight is a visit to Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The rivers divide the park into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the rivers themselves, another spectacular day of scenery. Tonight is your hosted Farewell Dinner. (B, D)
Day 13 - All aboard the California Zephyr
All Aboard! Board the California Zephyr this morning in Grand Junction, CO for the epic daylight passage through the Colorado Rockies over the storied Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad traveling through Grand Junction and Glenwood Canyon for a journey described by the BBC as one of the top ten train rides in the World. The train has a full dining car and Sightseer Lounge car and later tonight, pass through Denver en route to Chicago. Guests traveling home to the West will be transferred to Salt Lake City to board the train for the overnight journey to California. Overnight on-board. (B)
Day 14 - Arrive Chicago and continue home.
Cross the Mississippi River after breakfast and are soon speeding through the rich farmland of Illinois bound for Chicago with an afternoon arrival in the Windy City. West coast guests will cross the Sierra Nevada mountain range this morning for an afternoon arrival in Sacramento and the Bay Area.
If you like this tour you'll love America's Great National Parks
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your Best of the West vacation.
Prices are land-only, per person based on double occupancy. Single pricing is available upon request. Prices are are correct at the time of this web page going live; however, are subject to confirmation at time of booking.
3rd/4th persons sharing a room pay $1,995 per person. No additional taxes or fees.
Guests who wish to upgrade from the included coach accommodations may upgrade to bedroom accommodations. Pricing varies by date and room type.