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How to Visit 5 National Parks in One Trip

1 September 2021

National parks preserve the world's most breathtaking scenery and the wildlife that roams within them. Each year, millions of visitors are welcomed to marvel at scenic overlooks, embark on sightseeing tours, traverse hiking trails, explore the parks' history, learn about the native wildlife, connect with nature and their sense of adventure.

The best part of visiting national parks is when you're wonderstruck by impressive landscapes that you might have seen before in photos or videos, but that appear magical, as if straight out of a storybook, or otherworldly, like a scene from a sci-fi movie on mars, when you experience it for yourself. This feeling amplifies with every new park you're able to visit, witnessing just how splendid, vast and varied landscapes are in the USA.

National park tours are the best way to see multiple national parks and their must-see destinations. Why go through the headache of planning a trip that makes stops at different national parks on your own when someone else has already perfected an itinerary that does? Sit back and relax as our escorted national park tours take you to America's most awe-inspiring sites at national parks like Yellowstone, Glacier, Zion, Grand Teton and Arches.

Mesa Arch Canyonlands National Park Utah USA

America’s Great National Parks

America's Great National Parks is a 14-day escorted tour that visits five incredible national parks: Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches and Canyonlands. It's one of our most popular national park tours in the USA because it's jam-packed with picturesque scenery, exciting excursions and guided sightseeing tours that showcase the best parts of each national park.

First, meet your tour manager, fellow travelers and board Amtrak's Empire Builder at Chicago's Union Station. Settle in for an overnight journey to Glacier National Park, where we'll journey to Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard vintage Red Jammer buses and later enjoy a Swiftcurrent Lake boat cruise.

Then we're headed to Yellowstone National Park, where we'll embark on a guided tour that visits its most famous sites, including the Upper and Lower Falls, Hayden Valley, Old Faithful, Fountain Paint Pots and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. We then travel onto Grand Teton National Park, where we'll float along the Snake River, admiring the mountains, forests, wetlands and looking out for bison, elk, moose and other wildlife.

Arches National Park is up next, where we'll explore the Delicate Arch, a free-standing arch that is the symbol of Utah, and Landscape Arch, the world's longest natural arch, on a guided sightseeing tour. Finally, we'll marvel at the colorful canyons, mesas and buttes along the Colorado River on a tour of Canyonlands National Park.

Mount Moran In Grand Teton National Park

America’s Treasures and Natural Wonders

America's Treasures and Natural Wonders is another one of our phenomenal escorted national park tours and it visits six national parks in just 12 days: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Grand Teton and Yellowstone. It also departs from Chicago's Union Station onboard Amtrak's Empire Builder headed for Glacier National Park, where we'll enjoy an excursion to Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard vintage Red Jammer buses.

Then it's off to Yellowstone, where we'll have some leisure time and then a full-day tour with a certified guide. Grand Teton National Park is up next, where we'll visit the Chapel of Transfiguration, a rustic log church with fantastic views of the Grand Teton Mountains rising from the ground with no foothills.

From there, we'll head to Bryce Canyon National Park, where a motorcoach drive takes us along the high rim at Bryce Canyon National Park to major vantage points, such as Sunset Point, where we can see colorful wind-shaped hoodoos. Lastly, we enjoy an open-air tram tour at Utah's first national park, Zion, with stops at the Great White Throne and Temple of Sinawava.

South And North Rim In Grand Canyon USA

Great Parks of the Southwest featuring the Grand Canyon

Great Parks of the Southwest featuring the Grand Canyon is a 10-day escorted tour that visits five national parks: Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Arches. It also departs from Chicago Union Station, this time onboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief headed to Flagstaff, AZ and then onto Grand Canyon National Park. Board the historic Grand Canyon Railway to the South Rim for incredible views at the Desert Watchtower. Then, enjoy a leisure day to see the park the way you want to, whether it's via their complimentary hop-on hop-off shuttle buses, on one of the many hiking trails or a leisurely walk to scenic viewpoints like Hermit's Rest.

Zion National Park is up next, where we'll learn the geological history on a guided tram tour that takes us to the most stunning sites, keep an eye out for bighorn sheep along the sandstone slopes! Then it's onto Bryce Canyon National Park, where we'll view the majestic hoodoos and spires that seem to stand erect as if mimicking people frozen in time.

Next up is Capitol Reef National Park, a pristine wilderness famous for its Navajo Sandstone that erodes into dome-like structures that resemble our nation's capital. We'll make stops at two spectacular viewpoints for pictures and to see some ancient ancestral Pueblo petroglyphs before continuing on our way to Arches. Arches is our final national park, where we'll enjoy a jetboat ride on the Colorado River as we view the densest concentration of sandstone arches, fins, spires and balancing rocks.

These are three of our escorted tours that visit five national parks in one trip, but we have a much larger collection of both escorted and independent National Park Trips to suit a wide range of travel goals. Interested in visiting just Glacier National Park? We have an itinerary for that. Want to experience Denali National Park aboard the legendary Alaska Railroad? We have an itinerary for that. Looking to take on Canada's Banff & Jasper National Park in one trip? We have an itinerary for that. Want to embark on an African safari and look for the "Big Five" (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo) at Kruger National Park? We have an itinerary for that. Want to spot a Bengal tiger in Ranthambore National Park? We have an itinerary for that.

The only question is - where will your next national park adventure with Vacations By Rail take you?