Independent Amtrak Tours
Escorted Amtrak Tours
New England and Autumn Tours
Winter Escapes on Amtrak
Join Carl Fowler on our wonderful winter trip to the great National Parks of the Rockies: Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier. The highlight will be a winter exploration of the geothermal wonders of Yellowstone. Please note this very popular tour sells out months in advance, so make your reservations soon!
Our tour includes the magnificent daylight crossing of the Colorado Rockies on Amtrak’s California Zephyr and of the Montana Rockies on the Empire Builder. We also ride the historic “Heber Creeper” train through Provo Canyon. Other rail highlights include a tour of the Ogden Union Station Museum; a dinner at the beautifully restored former Milwaukee Road depot in Missoula, Montana; and a visit to the new railway museum in the still-active Great Northern Railway/Amtrak station at Whitefish, Montana. New this season is a ride on the just inaugurated commuter rail service from Ogden to Salt Lake City on the Union Pacific mainline.
Sightseeing includes the Sunday morning concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at historic Temple Square in Salt Lake City; scenic drives through the Rockies in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana; an elk safari by horse-drawn sleigh at Jackson Hole; and a visit to the historic Grant-Kohrs (cattle) Ranch, a National Historic Site. Special features include winter visits by motor coach through Grand Teton National Park, by tracked Snow Coach through Yellowstone National Park, and on Amtrak’s Empire Builder across the southern boundary of Glacier National Park.
A tour highlight is our two-night stay in Yellowstone National Park at the comfortable Old Faithful Snow Lodge, located within sight of Old Faithful Geyser. We enjoy two days here to explore the thermal features. The tour package includes a voucher for a 10% discount on selected services at Old Faithful booked during your free day; or you can simply stroll the paths and boardwalks on your own while enjoying the grandeur of Yellowstone in the winter! Included in our package is a full-day Snow Coach Tour to see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and its towering waterfalls. Our tour also includes two additional Snow Coach drives, first from the Flagg Ranch to Yellowstone Lake and Old Faithful, and later from Old Faithful past the Norris Geyser Basin to Mammoth Hot Springs. Complete details follow. All aboard!
- Experience Amtrak's magnificent California Zephyr and the Empire Builder, two of the most beautiful rail trips in North America.
- Ride the "Heber Creeper" train through Provo Canyon.
- Tour of the Ogden Union Station Museum.
- Sunday morning concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at historic Temple Square in Salt Lake City
- Scenic drives through the Rockies in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana
- Visits by motor coach through Grand Teton National Park, by tracked Snow Coach through Yellowstone National Park
- A full-day Snow Coach Tour to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
- Roundtrip Rail and Coach fares from Chicago
- 10 Nights Lodging
- Sightseeing Passes
- 23 Meals
- Motor coach, Snow Coach and sleigh transportation
- Services of a Professional Tour Director
- All Transfers during the Escorted Portion of the Tour
- Luggage Handling during the Escorted Portion of the Tour
Day One, Thursday, February 18, 2010 (D for sleeper passengers)
Westbound to the Rockies on the California Zephyr. Depart Chicago this afternoon on Amtrak’s California Zephyr Superliner and streak west across the farm fields of Illinois and Iowa. This great train uses spacious two-level Superliner cars. Leg-rest reclining coach seats are included in the basic tour price. Also availabe is the option to upgrade to Pullman sleeper accommodations. If you choose to take the sleeper upgrade, all meals on the train are included. The Zephyr features a full-service dining car and a glass-topped dome-lounge car open to all passengers.
Day Two, Friday, February 19, 2010 (B,L,D for sleeper passengers)
All-daylight journey across the Colorado Rockies on the California Zephyr. You depart Denver at breakfast time this morning and begin the spectacular ascent on the Union Pacific’s former Denver and Rio Grande Western RR “Moffat” route to the Continental Divide. In the first 52 miles west from Denver, the train slants along the Front Range past the towering rock formations of the Flatirons (with views of three states visible to the east on a clear day), then traverses stunning South Boulder Canyon. The 6.2 mile long Moffat Tunnel takes you under the Continental Divide, where you join the headwaters of the Colorado River. In turn plunge through the ever-deeper Byers, Gore, Red, Glenwood and Palisade Canyons. After traversing over 250 miles of deep gorges, you leave the great river of the Rockies while passing beneath the red-tinged bluffs of Ruby Canyon on the Colorado/Utah state line. Late this evening you cross the Wasatch Mountains and arrive Salt Lake City at 11:33 p.m., where the hotel for the next two nights is the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, directly adjacent to Temple Square and the Mormon Tabernacle.
Day Three, Saturday, February 20, 2010 (B,L)
This morning we can optionally take an unusual look at Salt Lake City riding on the new Light Rail (trolley car) line. The fare is less than $6.00 per person (and free in the center city area). We then drive into the beautiful Wasatch Mountains to Heber City and board the “Heber Creeper” of the Heber Valley Railroad. We enjoy a three hour round-trip on the former Rio Grande Provo Canyon branch along the flanks of Mount Timpanogos and deep into Provo Canyon.
Later we drive north to Ogden, long the most important junction on the joint Union Pacific/Southern Pacific “Overland Route”, America’s first transcontinental railroad. Although only freight trains regularly pass through Ogden today, the magnificent Union Station has been restored as a museum of railroads and the Old West. The collection ranges from firearms to engines, including a fast UP 4-8-4 “Northern” steam engine, an original 19th century Rio Grande Western narrow gauge steamer, and a “Centennial” diesel, the largest and most powerful diesel engine ever built. New this season is a ride on the just inaugurated commuter rail service from Ogden to Salt Lake City on the Union Pacific mainline. This line departs directly from the Ogden Depot Museum complex.
Day Four, Sunday, February 21, 2010 (B,L)
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert, Scenic Concert: Scenic drive to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We walk across the street to the Mormon Tabernacle this morning to hear the weekly Sunday morning radio concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Later we take a beautiful drive to north to Jackson hole, Wyoming. We stop for lunch at Logan , then we cross the Beaver River Range to Bear Lake Valley. We continue north into Idaho and Wyoming, where we follow the fast-snake river deep into the Rockies. Our hotel tonight is the Wyoming Inn in the village of Jackson, which lies in the shadow of the magnificent Teton Range in the great valley of Jackson Hole.
Day Five, Monday, February 22, 2010 (B,L)
The National Elk Reserve lies just north of the village of Jackson; and we have a unique elk photo-safari through the Reserve this morning, riding in a horse-drawn sleighs. We continue through the winter snows of Grand Teton National Park [try to find a winter picture], making photo stops overlooking the towering peaks and the Snake River. Later we change to the unique tracked Snow Coaches of the Yellowstone Park Company for the drive from Flagg Ranch to Old Faithful, eating a picnic lunch enroute. Our Snow Coach travels from the South Gate of Yellowstone National Park through snow-clad mountains, past Yellowstone Lake, and over the Continental Divide enroute to our two-night stay at Old Faithful Snow Lodge.
Day Six, Tuesday, February 23, 2010 (B,L)
Full-day Snow Coach Tour to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Yellowstone Falls. We enjoy a full-day’s excursion over the mountains to view the awesome spectacle of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and the tremendous cataracts of the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls. A boxed lunch is included.
Day Seven, Wednesday, February 24, 2010 (B)
Snow coach tour from Old Faithful to Mammoth Hot Springs. The morning is free for continued explorations at Old Faithful. The Old Faithful Geyser is only 300 feet from our hotel. There are boardwalks and paths through the Middle Geyser Basin to additional thermal features, including geysers, boiling springs and brightly colored thermal pools (definitely not for swimming; hot tub rentals are available at the Snow Lodge). There are shops and a Visitors Center to explore, or you can take a walk with a National Park Service ranger. The choice is yours.
This afternoon we reboard the Snow Coaches to drive the winter roads along the Madison River Valley, past Norris Geyser Basin and on to Mammoth Hot Springs at the North Gate of the park. At Mammoth we reboard our motorcoach for a very short drive to our hotel for the night, the Best Western Mammoth Hot Springs.
This afternoon reboard the Snow Coaches to drive the winter roads along the Madison River Valley, past Norris Geyser Basin and on to Mammoth Hot Springs at the North Gate of the park. At Mammoth you'll reboard the motorcoach for a very short drive to your hotel for the night, the Best Western Mammoth Hot Springs.
Day Eight, Thursday, February 25, 2010 (B,L,D)
Scenic drive through “Big Sky” country of Montana to Butte, Grant- Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Missoula. We drive north and west this morning over Bozeman and Pipestem Passes, following the former mainline of the Northern Pacific Ry, “The Yellowstone Park Line”. Much of the drive follows the route of Lewis and Clark. From the summit of Pipestem Pass there are sweeping vistas west to the copper-mining region at Butte, where we stop for an included lunch at the Perkin's Café.
This afternoon we continue west to Deer Lodge and tour the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site. Once this was one of the richest cattle spreads in the west, and the ranch still has an active cattle herd. We visit the restored ranch house before continuing to Missoula, where we overnight at the Holiday Inn Parkside, centrally located along the Clarks Fork River. Dinner is included at the Depot Restaurant and Bar.
Day Nine, Friday, February 26, 2010 (B,L)
Scenic drive past Flathead Lake to Whitefish; tour Whitefish Depot Museum. This morning we drive north into the spectacular valley of Flathead Lake. There are stunning vistas across the lake to the peaks of the Continental Divide. Lunch is included at the beautiful Grouse Mountain Lodge in the historic Great Northern Railway town of Whitefish. In the afternoon we visit the Whitefish Depot Museum, which occupies the still active Great Northern/Amtrak station. Exhibits here tell the story of railway tourism to Glacier National Park. Our accommodations tonight are at the Red Lion Kalispell, a restored historic hostelry.
Day Ten, Saturday, February 27, 2010 (B,L,D on the train for sleeper passengers)
Our group returns to Chicago on the legendary Great Northern Railway route today. We transfer to the Whitefish Depot and board Amtrak’s Empire Builder. The journey begins with a rugged ascent to the Continental Divide following the rapids of the Flathead River. Departing Essex we follow the southern boundary of Glacier National Park, crossing the Continental Divide over Marias Pass. We then roll across the vast “Badlands” and sweeping plains of eastern Montana. This evening we cross into North Dakota as we speed east. TheEmpire Builder provides us with comfortable leg-rest reclining seats at the basic tour price. For the supplements noted below, participants can upgrade to Pullman sleeper accommodations, which include all meals on the train. The train offers a full-service dining car and a glass-topped lounge car. We overnight on the train.
Day Eleven, Sunday, February 28, 2010 (B,L for sleeper upgrade passengers)
Amtrak’s Empire Builder along the Mississippi River and into Chicago. Morning finds us winding along the shores of the upper Mississippi River, passing the bluffs looming above the river from St. Paul to La Crosse. We speed across Wisconsin, through the Wisconsin Dells, and through Milwaukee before a 3:55 p.m. Chicago arrival, where the tour ends.
NOTE: Prices are subject to change without notice.
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your Winter Rails
TOUR PRICES include all hotels; sightseeing; admissions; meals noted as included above; motor coach, Snow Coach and sleigh transportation; tour manager services; and luggage handling. The full tour includes Amtrak leg-rest reclining seat coach fare round-trip from Chicago. Amtrak Economy Bedrooms (also called Roomettes) provide two arm-chairs by day and an upper/lower berth at night. Economy Bedrooms have access to toilet and shower rooms on the lower level of each car. Deluxe Bedrooms provide a sofa and arm chair by day and an upper and large lower berth at night. Deluxe Bedrooms have a compact private toilet and shower in each room.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Yellowstone & the Rockies vacation.