Western Treasures & Natural Wonders
Visit six of America’s storied National Parks on this 14-day escorted rail tour.
Visit six of America's storied National Parks on this 14-day escorted rail tour. Beginning in Chicago, board Amtrak's Southwest Chief for the overnight journey through the USA's colorful southwestern states to Flagstaff, where your discovery of western treasures and America's natural wonders begins. Highlights include visits to the gaping Grand Canyon; Bryce Canyon's hoodoos; Zion National Park's hanging gardens; the majestic Grand Teton mountain range; America's oldest park, Yellowstone, steeped in geothermal wonders; and, magnificent Glacier National Park, home to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the most renowned roadways in the United States. Return to Chicago aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder, following the pioneer trail through the northern prairies.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Roundtrip transportation on Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
- 24 meals including dinner at the Rainbow Room and a Chuckwagon dinner
- Visit to the Grand Canyon
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon
- Yellowstone National Park touring
- Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard vintage red Jammer buses
- Salt Lake City Tour
- Transportation aboard a deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage handling
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief
Arrive at Chicago's Union Station early this afternoon to meet your tour manager and fellow travelers. Board the legendary Southwest Chief, settle into your onboard accommodations and prepare for your 3:00 pm departure to the colorful southwest. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - Southwest Chief to Flagstaff
When you awake this morning, the train will be nearing the Colorado border. Spend the day admiring the sights from the train's glass-walled Sightseer Lounge and chatting with your fellow travelers about the adventure that awaits. The Southwest Chief is scheduled to arrive in Flagstaff at 8:51 pm. Overnight Flagstaff. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - The Grand Canyon
Your discovery of some of America's natural treasures begins this morning with a visit to the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World! Highlights include expansive views—and excellent photo opportunities—from several observation areas including Mather Point and Grand View. This afternoon, we'll cross the Colorado River en route to Lee's Ferry, located at the lower mouth of Glen Canyon. Visit the Carl Hayden Visitor Center before arriving in Page, AZ. Dinner tonight will be at the popular Rainbow Room. Overnight Page. (B, D)
Day 4 - Zion National Park
This morning we set off to explore Utah's first National Park, Zion. The Park is full of stunning sights including the gigantic stone masses of the West Temple, hanging gardens and waterfalls, and Zion Canyon, the spectacular gorge carved by the Virgin River. Your tram ride through the Park shows off all of this and more! Dinner tonight is at the nearby Cowboy's Buffet and Steak Room. Overnight Bryce Canyon City. (B, D)
Day 5 - Bryce Canyon National Park
Today we visit Bryce Canyon National Park, where we'll see some spectacular hoodoos, colorful rocks which have been sculpted by erosion into pillars. A local guide will take us along the high rim to major vantage points like Inspiration Point and Sunset Point. Following our exploration, we'll travel to Salt Lake City with the evening at leisure. Overnight Salt Lake City. (B)
Day 6 - Salt Lake City
Embark on a comprehensive tour of Salt Lake City this morning. Highlights include the Mormon Temple and Tabernacle, Brigham Young's Monument and private burial ground, Beehive House, Lion House, Eagle Gate, University of Utah, Fort Douglas, Trolley Square, Utah Olympic Park, and Tracy Aviary. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the city on your own. Overnight Salt Lake City. (B)
Day 7 - Jackson Hole
Travel by coach today to Jackson, WY. After your scenic journey, there will be time to explore this resort community before a chuck wagon dinner and Western musical entertainment. Overnight Jackson Hole. (B, D)
Day 8 - Grand Teton Range
Your day begins with a visit to the Chapel of Transfiguration, a rustic log church with fantastic views of the looming Grand Teton Mountains rising from the ground with no foothills. Enjoy lunch at Jackson Lake Lodge followed by a visit to the Colter Bay Visitor Center. This afternoon our travels continue to Yellowstone National Park, featuring the world's most extensive area of geothermal activity. Overnight West Yellowstone. (B, L)
Day 9 - Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is America's first National Park, established in 1872. Begin to explore this two million-acre treasure with visits to some of its most renowned sights like Madison Junction, Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction and Tower Falls. Following lunch on your own, visit Artist Point, Inspiration Point and the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. Overnight West Yellowstone. (B)
Day 10 - Explore Yellowstone
Your second day in Yellowstone finds you on a drive through the Hayden Valley. Keep an eye out for bison and other wildlife! Highlights of the day include Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the Paint Pots. Overnight West Yellowstone. (B)
Day 11 - Scenic Drive to Whitefish, MT
Today we travel north by coach to Whitefish, MT. Plan to arrive in the late afternoon with your evening at leisure. Overnight Whitefish. (B)
Day 12 - Glacier National Park
Embark on an all-day tour of one of America's most beautiful attractions, the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Considered one of the outstanding scenic roadways of the world, the drive offers magnificent views of the mountain scenery. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner hosted by your tour manager. Overnight Whitefish. (B, D)
Day 13 - Amtrak's Empire Builder to Chicago
Transfer to the Whitefish Amtrak Station and prepare for your scheduled boarding of the iconic Empire Builder at 7:46 am. Settle into your onboard accommodations as the train begins its journey east. Sit back and enjoy the scenery, the company of your fellow travelers, and some delicious meals. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 14 - Arrival in Chicago
When you awake this morning the Empire Builder will be departing Minneapolis, winding along the banks of the Mississippi River. You're scheduled to arrive in Chicago late this afternoon where your discovery of the West's natural wonders comes to an end. (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!
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff, Courtyard by Marriott (Page), Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel, Doubletree by Hilton Salt Lake City, The Lodge at Jackson Hole, Yellowstone Park Hotel, and Grouse Mountain Lodge.
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.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|25th July 2015||$3,345||Book Now|
|2nd September 2015||$3,345||Book Now|
|25th July 2015||$3,970||Book Now|
|2nd September 2015||$3,970||Book Now|
|25th July 2015||$4,820||Book Now|
|2nd September 2015||$4,820||Book Now|
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Amtrak Coach: Departs 25th July 2015 ($3,345), 2nd September 2015 ($3,345)
Amtrak Roomette: Departs 25th July 2015 ($3,970), 2nd September 2015 ($3,970)
Amtrak Bedroom: Departs 25th July 2015 ($4,820), 2nd September 2015 ($4,820)
Pre and Post night hotel stays are recommended in Chicago.
Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.