California Zephyr with Yellowstone National Park - Chicago to San Francisco
More than 2,000 acres of geysers, hot springs, and lava formations await you in Yellowstone, the world's first national park established in 1872.
More than 2,000 acres of geysers, hot springs, and lava formations await you in Yellowstone, the world's first national park established in 1872. Located in three states, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone's most famous sights include Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the Continental Divide. Keep your cameras handy as the vast Yellowstone is teeming with roaming wildlife, including wolves, grizzly bears, bison and elk.
Your "Yellowstone National Park" 8-day adventure includes two nights onboard Amtrak's California Zephyr as well as one night in Salt Lake City, three nights at the Yellowstone Park Hotel and one night in San Francisco. This well-planned itinerary combines rail touring with scenic driving and land tours to give you the "best of the West" independent vacation. Consider upgrading to a roomette or bedroom, which includes meals aboard the train.
The vacation is available with Eastbound travel from San Francisco to Chicago based on your travel preference.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Transportation aboard Amtrak (2 nights)
- Hotel accommodations for five nights
- Four days mid-size car rental (taxes not included)
- Yellowstone National Park
- Yellowstone sightseeing tour
- Coach class with upgrades to comfortable Roomettes and Bedrooms available
- Additional hotel nights in Chicago or San Francisco
- Additional Sightseeing Tours and attractions in Chicago and San Francisco
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the California Zephyr
Get set for your "Wild West" adventure as you board the California Zephyr at Chicago's Union Station. The Zephyr features double-decker Superliner equipment so you can relax in comfort in a reclining coach seat with leg rest. (Sleeping car passengers settle inside their private room.) Walk through the train to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car and enjoy panoramic views through the heart of the Rockies. Follow along on your route map as you course through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado and Utah as spectacular scenery comes into view. Overnight train.
Day 2 - Arrive in Salt Lake City
Tonight you'll arrive in Salt Lake and taxi on your own to the Royal Garden Inn for an overnight stay. The hotel is conveniently located to the city, giving you easy access to Salt Lake's major attractions. Overnight Salt Lake City.
Day 3 - Car Rental in Salt Lake City, Drive to Yellowstone National Park
Enjoy complimentary hot buffet breakfast this morning at the hotel. Then, shuttle to the Salt Lake City airport and pick up your mid-size rental car. Visit some of Salt Lake's famous attractions like the Mormon Temple, 2002 Winter Olympic Game sites and historic State Capitol. Or, start your magnificent drive to West Yellowstone which takes you through northern Utah and Idaho, before entering Montana. Your accommodations for the next three nights are at the Yellowstone Park Hotel, the newest hotel in West Yellowstone. This Western-boutique style hotel offers a variety of amenities and is located across the street from the Grizzly Discovery Center and IMAX Theatre. Overnight Yellowstone National Park.
Day 4 - Full Day Yellowstone National Park Tour
Enjoy complimentary hot breakfast in your hotel. Then, board your motorcoach for a full day tour of the lower loop. Highlights of the tour include Old Faithful Geyser, the Old Faithful Inn, Isa Lake on the Continental Divide and more. Lunch is on your own at the Old Faithful Village. Overnight Yellowstone National Park.
Day 5 - Explore Yellowstone National Park
Enjoy complimentary hot breakfast in your hotel and then spend the day as you wish. Drive through the Hayden Valley of lush forests. And visit the bubbling hot springs. Will you hike the trails, go biking, white water rafting or participate in a ranger-led tour? Or will you visit the Yellowstone Historic Center, watch a live rodeo, go horseback riding' The choices are as wide as the endless sky. At night come back and relax at your hotel, or see an IMAX presentation about the park. Overnight Yellowstone National Park.
Day 6 - Return drive to Salt Lake City
After complimentary breakfast at your hotel, begin your scenic drive back to Salt Lake City. Return your rental car at the airport and taxi on your own back to the Amtrak Station for a late evening departure. Overnight train.
Day 7 - Arrive in San Francisco
On this leg of your journey, you'll pass by the Sierra Nevada (snowy mountains in Spanish) Mountains, historic Donner Pass and quaint snow towns before arriving in Emeryville, California. Here you'll connect to San Francisco's Ferry Building on the Amtrak Thruway Bus. Overnight San Francisco.
Day 8 - Explore San Francisco on your own or return home.
Take a few days to explore the golden "City by the Bay." considered America's playground. Named one of the world's top cities, San Francisco is a cultural and culinary wonderland, where the spirit of the Gold Rush continues to fill the air. From the Golden Gate Bridge to Chinatown to Alcatraz, ride the cable cars, see the world's most crooked street and stroll around Fisherman's Wharf. You won't be able to resist the goodies at The Ghirardelli Chocolate Ice Cream Shop at Ghirardelli Square. And be sure to cruise around San Francisco Bay, where you're sure to leave your heart. Or, transfer on your own to the airport for your return flight home.
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!
Add a Cruise
Many of our rail vacations begin and end in popular port cities. Spice up your vacation by adding an ocean or river cruise aboard your preferred cruise line to your itinerary and experience the best of both worlds. Popular cruises include Alaska’s Inside Passage, the Panama Canal, New England and Eastern Canada, and historic river towns along the Mississippi River.
Look for the Add a Cruise icon to identify those vacations that offer pre- or post-cruises. Ask your rail specialist how you can Add a Cruise!
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the Royal Garden Inn, Yellowstone Park Hotel, and Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf.
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. Roomette and Bedroom accommodations include all meals aboard 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 California Zephyr with Yellowstone National Park - Chicago to San Francisco.
Contacting with- and getting questions answered from- Vacations by Rail was easy, everyone was professional and gave me lots of confidence that the trip would go smoothly.
Very well arranged tour.
This was our first rail vacation. We had a wonderful experience. Everything went as planned and we will use Vacations By Rail for our future rail vacation planning.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|Departs Daily between 1st May 2015 and 7th October 2015||$1645||
|Departs Daily between 1st May 2015 and 7th October 2015||$1899||
|Departs Daily between 1st May 2015 and 7th October 2015||$2299||
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Amtrak Coach: Departs daily between 1st May 2015 and 7th October 2015 from $1645
Amtrak Roomette: Departs daily between 1st May 2015 and 7th October 2015 from $1899
Amtrak Bedroom: Departs daily between 1st May 2015 and 7th October 2015 from $2299
Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Prices do not include National Park entrance fees or car rental tax. Car rental tax must be paid locally. Prices are subject to change, and all reservations are based upon availability at time of booking. Prices are correct at the time this webpage is published; however are subject to changes. Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.