National Parks & Big Sky Country
Your 12-day adventure through Big Sky Country includes the best of the Old West with visits to Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, Big Sky Country and Yellowstone National Park, the Wild West town of Cody, and Glacier National Park. Formally National Parks of the Wild West.
Travel on a 12-day tour through America's Wild West. Beginning in Chicago, board the legendary California Zephyr for the overnight journey west, crossing the Colorado Rockies en route to Provo. Travel by coach to Jackson, gateway to Grand Teton National Park and a quintessential cowboy town complete with wooden plank sidewalks and saloons. From here, your travels take you to the Big Sky Country of Montana where you can be a cowboy for a day; America's first national park, Yellowstone; Buffalo Bill's stomping grounds in Cody; and Glacier National Park.
Vacations By Rail can provide rail from your nearest Amtrak Station.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Rail transportation aboard Amtrak (1 night on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 10 nights including 3 nights at the 320 Ranch and Resort
- 17 meals including a chuckwagon supper
- Float trip on the Snake River through Grand Teton National Park
- Yellowstone National Park touring including Old Faithful and Hayden Valley
- Visit to Buffalo Bill Center of the West
- Cody National Rodeo
- Visit to Charles Russell's home and studio
- Glacier National Park including the Going-to-the-Sun Road
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Baggage handling
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the California Zephyr
Your tour to the West and some of America's best-loved National Parks begins at Chicago Union Station, where you will meet your tour manager and fellow travelers. Board the California Zephyr and prepare for your afternoon departure. As the train begins its journey west, get acquainted with the features of this legendary train including the Sightseer Lounge Car, offering panoramic views of the passing scenery. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - California Zephyr through the Rocky Mountains
Keep your camera handy today because you will be traveling through some of the USA's most breathtaking scenery as the Zephyr climbs across the Colorado Rockies, through the Moffat Tunnel, and along the Glenwood, and Ruby Canyons. Take time to visit the Sightseer Lounge Car, not just for glimpses of the stunning vistas but to enjoy an educational Trails and Rails presentation conducted by volunteer park rangers as you travel between Denver and Grand Junction. The train is scheduled to arrive in Provo, Utah in the late evening. Overnight Provo. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Jackson, Wyoming
After breakfast, make the scenic journey by coach to the cowboy town of Jackson, Wyoming. Visit the Silver Dollar Saloon and mosey up to the saddle bar stools at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar with its wild west décor. Upon arrival, the entire day is yours to stroll the wooden plank sidewalks and enjoy the stunning views of the Grand Teton Mountains, which rise over 13,000 feet without foothills. Overnight Jackson. (B)
Day 4 - Snake River Float Trip
This morning's excursion takes us on a float trip along the Snake River. As you wind through Grand Teton National Park, keep an eye out for elk and other wildlife indigenous to the area. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Jackson as you like. This evening enjoy a delicious chuckwagon dinner and cowboy entertainment. Overnight Jackson. (B, D)
Day 5 - Grand Teton National Park
Discover the hidden treasures of Grand Teton National Park during your visit this morning. Highlights include the Chapel of Transfiguration and a visit to the Colter Bay Visitor Center. Later, we'll travel by coach to Big Sky Country. Our accommodations for the next three nights are the 320 Ranch located alongside the Gallatin River. Your evening is free to enjoy your surroundings and start planning your cowboy activities like horseback riding or fly fishing. Overnight Big Sky Country. (B)
Day 6 -Yellowstone National Park
Experience the grandeur of America's first national park, Yellowstone, home to the world's most extensive region of geothermal activity including thousands of hot springs and fumaroles that dot the landscape. Today's Upper and Lower Loop sightseeing tour showcases some of Yellowstone's most renowned sights including Old Faithful, the Fountain Paint Pots, Canyon Village and Hayden Valley. Overnight Big Sky Country. (B, D)
Day 7 - The Ranch at Leisure
You have an entire day free at the ranch to live like a cowboy. Saddle up for a trail ride, enjoy some fly fishing, or embark on a special interest tour through Yellowstone National Park. Dinner this evening is at the ranch followed by a get together around the fire pit sharing our experiences from earlier today. Overnight Big Sky Country. (B)
Day 8 - Buffalo Bill Center of the West / Cody Rodeo
Wyoming is steeped in Old West history. The day begins with a visit to Pahaska Teepee, a former hunting lodge of Buffalo Bill Cody listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Next, we'll visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, where we'll learn about Buffalo Bill's early days riding for the Pony Express, his exploits as a sharpshooter and showman, and other renowned figures of the Old West including Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, and Texas Jack. This evening we'll visit the Cody National Rodeo, one of the longest-running successful professional rodeos featuring bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and more! Overnight Cody. (B, D)
Day 9 -Scenic Drive Through Big Sky Country
Today we embark on a scenic drive through the Golden Valley and Judith Basin County Mountain en route to Great Falls, Montana, the home of “cowboy artist” Charles Russell who is known for his depictions of the 1800's Old West in his artwork. Overnight Great Falls.
Day 10 - Scenic Drive to Whitefish
This morning we visit the C.M. Russell Museum complex, which includes a museum to collect and preserve his paintings and sketches, Russell's original home and his log studio. Afterwards we travel north through Glacier Country to Whitefish for arrival late in the afternoon. Evening at leisure. Overnight Whitefish. (B)
Day 11 - Glacier National Park
Embark on a full-day tour of one of America's most beloved national parks, Glacier. A highlight of our visit is a journey along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. We'll traverse this famous highway aboard vintage open-air red Jammer buses, traveling over the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner hosted by your tour manager. Overnight Whitefish. (B, D)
Day 12 - Tour Conclusion
Your Western adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Depart at your leisure for the Whitefish Amtrak station or Kalispell Airport. (B)
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 the Marriott (Provo), BW Plus The Lodge at Jackson Hole, 320 Guest Ranch and Resort (Big Sky), Holiday Inn Cody, Hilton Garden Inn Great Falls, and Grouse Mountain Lodge (Whitefish).
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.
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At the end of your tour, you are happy, sad that it is over, and you had a great trip. Loved it all, would do it again!!
Dates & Prices
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Amtrak Coach: Departs 23rd August 2017 ($2,969)
2017 - Amtrak Roomette - Pricing not Inculded: Departs 23rd August 2017 ($2,969)
2017 - Amtrak Bedroom - Pricing not Included: Departs 23rd August 2017 ($2,969)
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Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closes Amtrak station.