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America's Great National Parks - 14 Day Tour
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 the historic mining town of Virginia City before arriving in 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 Utah for your return trip home through the Colorado Rockies.
Round-trip rail can be provided from your closest Amtrak Station. Contact a rail specialist at 877-929-7245 for details.
- One-way overnight transportation aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder from Chicago to Glacier National Park
- One-way overnight transportation aboard Amtrak's California Zephyr from Grand Junction to Chicago
- Transportation aboard a deluxe motorcoach
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
- 22 meals
- Sightseeing and scenic excursions (admission to all attractions included in tour price)
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage handling
- Taxes and service charges
Scenic highlights include:
- Glacier National Park
- Going-to-the-Sun Road
- Waterton Lakes National Park (passport required)
- Yellowstone National Park
- Hayden Valley
- Old Faithful
- Upper and Lower Falls
- Grand Teton National Park
- Jackson Hole
- Oregon Trail Historical Center
- Arches National Park
- Delicate Arch
- Landscape Arch
- Canyonlands National Park
- Dead Horse Point State Park
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
This 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. You will arrive with enough time in the day to explore Yellowstone on your own for a bit. You may wish to make time to see Old Faithful and kick off your stay with one of its scheduled eruptions. Overnight Grant Village, 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 Grant Village, 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 Antler Inn. (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 Antler Inn. (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 DoubleTree by Hilton. (B, L)
Day 10 - Moab
This morning embark on the scenic drive from Salt Lake City to Moab. Overnight La Quinta Inn. (B)
Day 11 - Arches National Park
After breakfast embark on a guided tour of Arches National Park. You'll be stunned by 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 La Quinta Inn. (B)
Day 12 - Canyonlands National 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 DoubleTree. (B, D)
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)
Glacier Park Lodge: The 161-guest room Glacier Park Lodge was built almost a century ago by the Great Northern Railway. In addition to well-appointed rooms, the Lodge contains the Great Northern Dining Room, Empire Bar, Empire Café Espresso Stand, a gift shop, outdoor swimming pool, nine-hold golf course, day spa, and more.
Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park: Located on the southwestern shore of Yellowstone Lake—about 20 minutes from Old Faithful— the complex includes six 2-story buildings, each containing 50 rooms. There are two restaurants with lake views, a lounge, and a small gift store.
Antler Inn: Located 1 block south of Jackson's town square and steps away from restaurants, shops, art galleries, and nightspots, the hotel features a hot tub, fitness center, and guest laundry among other amenities.
DoubleTree by Hilton (Salt Lake City): Guests will enjoy two-room suites that include high-speed wireless Internet access as well as hotel amenities that include a pool, whirlpool, and fitness center.
La Quinta Inn (Moab): Situated near the entrance of Arches National Park, the 99-room hotel includes amenities such as free high-speed Internet, pool, and guest laundry facilities.
DoubleTree by Hilton (Grand Junction): Located in the heart of Colorado's Wine Country, hotel features include a fitness room, pool, putting green, business center and on-site restaurant.
Guests who wish to upgrade from the included coach accommodations may upgrade to roomette or bedroom accommodations.
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your America's Great National Parks vacation.
Passport is required to cross the border into Canada for the Day 4 excursion to Waterton Lakes.
Prices are per person based on double occupancy, tax included. Prices are subject to change, and all reservations are based upon availability 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.