Independent Amtrak Tours
Escorted Amtrak Tours
New England and Autumn Tours
Winter Escapes on Amtrak
Yellowstone & Yosemite Winter Magic is not being offered this year. A variety of other spectacular tours to see America by rail are currently available for travel.
America's West beckons this winter with a spectacular journey through the snow-capped Colorado Rockies to renowned National Parks and the greenery of the west coast. Your adventure begins in Chicago, where you will board the legendary California Zephyr for the overnight journey to Salt Lake City. Explore Utah's capital city before continuing your journey by coach to the Old West town of Jackson Hole followed by America's first National Park, Yellowstone. After uncovering the many natural wonders throughout the 2 million-acre Park, return to Salt Lake City where you will board the Zephyr for the journey west to Sacramento. Your west coast adventure includes visits to Yosemite National Park as well as Los Angeles before boarding the Southwest Chief for your journey through the desert and plains to Chicago.
Yellowstone & Yosemite Winter Magic Route Map
Scenic Highlights Include:
- Overnight rail transportation aboard Amtrak's California Zephyr
- Overnight rail transportation aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief
- Private Roomette sleeping accommodations onboard trains for four nights
- First-class hotel accommodations for eight nights
- 27 meals
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Sightseeing per itinerary (admission to all sights included in tour price unless noted otherwise)
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage handling
- Taxes and service charges
- Colorado Rockies
- Mormon Temple
- Great Salt Lake
- National Oregon/California Trail Center
- Jackson Hole
- National Elk Reserve
- Yellowstone National Park
- Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
- Yellowstone Falls
- Old Faithful
- Sierra Nevada Mountains
- Yosemite National Park
- El Capitan
- Bridalveil Falls
- Half Dome
- Los Angeles
- Griffith Park
- Graumann's Chinese Theatre
Day 1: Chicago - Where the Magic Begins
Your winter vacation begins at Chicago's historic Union Station, where you'll meet your tour manager and fellow travelers at 12:30 pm. Board the legendary California Zephyr at 1:15 pm, settle into your private Roomette, and prepare for a 2:00 pm departure. Take time to explore the many features of this outstanding double-decker train as it makes its way west across Illinois and into America's heartland. Of special note is the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge, offering spectacular views of the winter scenery through which you're traveling. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2: Through the Colorado Rockies to Salt Lake City
The snow-capped peaks of the majestic Colorado Rockies greet you this morning. Enjoy a hot breakfast in the Dining Car and grab a front row seat for the breathtaking scenery that will unfold before you today as the California Zephyr climbs over the Front Range toward the Continental Divide, hugging sharp mountain curves that tower over icy streams. After a full day of incredible sights, the train will pull into Salt Lake City around 11:00 pm. Disembark the train and transfer to your downtown hotel. Overnight Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Salt Lake City Sightseeing
This morning join a local guide for a tour of Salt Lake City. Highlights include the Mormon Temple in Temple Square, the Utah State Capitol building, the Great Salt Lake, some of the sites from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games as well as the Utah Olympic Park, a training center for the USA Winter Olympic Team. Lunch will be included with your tour. After the tour, the group will return to the hotel, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure. Overnight Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown. (L)
Day 4: Salt Lake City/Trail Museum/Jackson Hole
Begin your day with a live broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Following the broadcast, board your motorcoach for the drive into Wyoming. One the way, stop at the National Oregon/California Trail Center where you will learn about this historic pioneer route as well as what it was like to travel by wagon train. After a stop for lunch, continue on to the ranching and resort town of Jackson. After checking into your hotel, there will be a group dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Best Western Lodge at Jackson Hole. (L, D)
Day 5: Grand Tetons
After breakfast this morning, visit the National Elk Reserve, where you will enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the scenic Reserve with the impressive Grand Teton mountain range offering a delightful wintry backdrop. A box lunch is included in your excursion. Your day continues with a drive to beautiful West Yellowstone, where you'll transfer from the motorcoach to a series of 16-passenger Glaval Snow Coaches. Enter Yellowstone National Park through the West Gate and travel through the ice and snow-encrusted mountains to the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, the newest lodge in Yellowstone. This is truly one of the best locations in the Park, just 300 feet from Old Faithful! After traveling through the snow, warm up with some hot food and drinks. Overnight Old Faithful Snow Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Grand Canyon of Yellowstone & Yellowstone Falls
Following breakfast board one of the Snow Vans and head over the mountains to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Yellowstone Falls. A boxed lunch will be included in today's excursion. Return to the Snow Lodge late this afternoon with the promise of hot chocolate and some quiet time. Overnight Old Faithful Snow Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Yellowstone National Park
Be sure to see one of Old Faithful's classic eruptions one more time before boarding one of the Glavals, boxed lunch in hand, for the return journey to West Yellowstone. Your motorcoach will be waiting to take you back to Salt Lake City. There will be a stop for dinner along the way. Plan to arrive in Salt Lake City around 10:00 pm. You will meet the California Zephyr at 11:00 pm and settle into your Roomette for an 11:30 pm departure for California. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Zephyr to Sacramento
Enjoy all of the train's amenities today, from the Sightseer Lounge car to delicious full-course meals in the Dining car. As you travel west through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the rugged terrain gives way to greenery and palm trees. You'll arrive in Sacramento around 2:13 pm. Upon arrival, board a deluxe motorcoach and transfer to your hotel with the remainder of the day at your leisure. Overnight Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza. (B, L)
Day 9: Yosemite National Park
After a morning at your leisure, board your motorcoach for the journey to Yosemite National Park. Upon arrival this afternoon check into your hotel, located near Yosemite Falls, and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. Overnight Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. (D)
(Occasionally during the winter months, the road to Yosemite may be closed due to snow accumulation. In the unlikely event the group should encounter such conditions, you will overnight in Sacramento and visit the California State Railroad Museum on Day 10 to view the country's most extensive collection of rail equipment and memorabilia.)
Day 10: Yosemite National Park
Spend the morning exploring the beautiful winter scenery near your hotel. El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome are the must-see sights. This afternoon embark on a guided tour of the Park. After your tour, travel to Merced where you'll enjoy dinner before transferring to the Merced Amtrak station where you will board the 7:03 pm San Joaquin Valley train scheduled to arrive in Bakersfield at 10:03 pm. Overnight Hilton Garden Inn. (D)
Day 11: Los Angeles/Southwest Chief to Chicago
After breakfast at your hotel, depart Bakersfield for Los Angeles. Your first stop of the day will be the famed Farmers Market, where you will have time to browse the stalls and enjoy lunch on your own. After lunch, embark on an extended tour of Los Angeles including visits to Chinatown, Griffith Park, Exposition Park and Graumann's Chinese Theatre. There will also be time to shop along sophisticated Rodeo Drive.
Later this afternoon, arrive at Los Angeles' Union Station, where you'll board Amtrak's iconic Southwest Chief bound for Chicago. Settle into your Roomette accommodations onboard the train and experience the train's many amenities as you travel through California toward the deserts of America's southwest. Overnight train. (CB, D)
Day 12: En Route to Chicago
As the Southwest Chief travels through Arizona and New Mexico, you'll be fascinated by the colorful desert scenery. The train's Sightseer Lounge is the best seat on the train to drink in the lovely winter scenes unfolding before you. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 13: Return to Chicago
The Southwest Chief arrives in Chicago late this afternoon. Due to the train's later arrival time, we suggest extending your stay in Chicago for one night if your travels onward take you outside of the city.
Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown:
This 381-room hotel is located in the heart of the city, near Temple Square, shopping and dining. Hotel amenities include high-speed Internet access, pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant.
Best Western Lodge at Jackson Hole:
Located near Jackson's wonderful shops and restaurants, this 154-room hotel includes an assortment of amenities including an indoor/outdoor heated pool, hot tubs, sauna, guest laundry, business center, and complimentary shuttle to downtown Jackson.
Old Faithful Snow Lodge:
Completed in 1999, the Snow Lodge is Yellowstone's newest of the Park's full service hotels. The rustic western-style building is located just 300 feet from Old Faithful. Amenities include a full service dining room, a quick service grill and gift store.
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza:
Located across the street from "Old Sacramento" in a historic landmark district of the city, the hotel is conveniently located to shops, dining and world-renowned museums. Contemporary rooms feature rich mahogany furniture and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Hotel amenities include a fitness center, outdoor pool, and business center.
Yosemite Lodge at the Falls:
The 226-room hotel is the closest Park property to beautiful Yosemite Falls. Amenities include a swimming pool (seasonal), restaurant and bar, complimentary wireless Internet access, complimentary entertainment nightly at the Amphitheater (year-round), and a nearby Nature Shop.
Hilton Garden Inn:
This 120-room hotel offers a variety of amenities including a fitness room, indoor pool and whirlpool, and business center.