America’s Great National Parks
Tour Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks - five of America's most awe-inspiring sites - on this two-week roundtrip journey.
Save up to $150 per couple* on select independent, escorted and locally-hosted rail vacations to America’s national parks. Book by February 29, 2016 to take advantage of this limited time offer.
Your tour begins in Chicago, where the Empire Builder awaits for your trip to the first national park on the itinerary, Glacier National Park. Glorious spectacles of nature and the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road are just some of the sites to behold before we continue onto Yellowstone National Park for a 2-night stay. The adventure continues as we head to Wyoming for visits to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park. Finally, a visit to Utah brings us to Salt Lake City and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. While the park sightseeing concludes after these stops, the mighty Colorado Rockies, vast plains and much more are visible as we travel through Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois on our return trip aboard the California Zephyr.
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
- Glacier National Park
- Going-to-the-Sun Highway aboard vintage Red Jammer buses
- Swiftcurrent Lake Boat Cruise
- Yellowstone National Park Tour
- Oregon Trail Historical Center
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Transportation aboard a deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
- 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 this afternoon, 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. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - Glacier National Park Montana
When you awake this morning the train is nearing Minot, ND for a 30-minute rest stop. When it continues its journey this morning, 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.
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 three 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. 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
This afternoon 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 McDonald 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 - Many Glacier and Swiftcurrent Lake Boat Cruise
The day begins with a trip to Many Glacier, an area within Glacier National Park, which is surrounded by the tall peaks of the Lewis Range. Many Glacier features a large lake - Lake Sherburne - and a historic town that dates back to the early 1900s. Waterfalls, hiking trails and lush meadows appeal to nature lovers. From Many Glacier, we board a boat for a tour of Swiftcurrent Lake and to marvel at the splendor of Glacier National Park. Animal sightings are common from the water. Lunch is served at Many Glacier Lodge, a historic Swiss-style chalet right on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake. You will have free time to enjoy scenery or hike around Many Glacier Lodge before returning to Glacier Park Lodge. 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 enter into Yellowstone National Park at the North Entrance going through the Roosevelt Arch past Mammoth Hot Springs. 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 and Grand Teton National Park
The morning we have a leisurely departure from Yellowstone National Park with a stop to view Lewis Falls before entering Grand Teton National Park with it's 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 - National Oregon/California Trail Center and Salt Lake City
Depart Jackson this morning, stopping at the National Oregon/California Trail 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. This afternoon is yours to explore scenery around Moab and the Colorado River Red Rocks. Overnight Moab. (B)
Day 12 - Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point 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 Grand Junction. (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 through the Rocky Mountains 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!
Extend Your Vacation
Extend your rail vacation with new city packages in Chicago, Toronto, and Vancouver. Optional pre- or post-night packages include hotel accommodations for two nights and popular local sightseeing, and may be added to the beginning or end of qualifying rail vacations.
Look for the Extend Your Vacation icon to identify those vacations which offer new city stay packages. Ask your rail specialist for details about these pre- and post-night extensions.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include Glacier Park Lodge, Canyon Lodge or 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.
Everything was well organized and suitable for our diverse group.
The tour was phenomenal. Sally and Clair were an incredible team. The two of them kept the crowd of travelers on schedule, entertained and enthusiastic for each activity.
This journey was all I hoped for and more. The itinerary was well designed and the days flew by with new and interesting activities each day. We will recommend it to our friends.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|21st June 2016||$3,499||Book Now|
|5th July 2016||$3,499||Book Now|
|14th August 2016||$3,499||Book Now|
|4th September 2016||$3,499||Book Now|
|21st June 2016||$4,024||Book Now|
|5th July 2016||$4,024||Book Now|
|14th August 2016||$4,024||Book Now|
|4th September 2016||$4,024||Book Now|
|21st June 2016||$4,844||Book Now|
|5th July 2016||$4,844||Book Now|
|14th August 2016||$4,844||Book Now|
|4th September 2016||$4,844||Book Now|
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America's Great National Parks - Amtrak Coach: Departs 21st June 2016 ($3,499), 5th July 2016 ($3,499), 14th August 2016 ($3,499), 4th September 2016 ($3,499)
America's Great National Parks - Amtrak Roomette: Departs 21st June 2016 ($4,024), 5th July 2016 ($4,024), 14th August 2016 ($4,024), 4th September 2016 ($4,024)
America's Great National Parks - Amtrak Bedroom: Departs 21st June 2016 ($4,844), 5th July 2016 ($4,844), 14th August 2016 ($4,844), 4th September 2016 ($4,844)