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America's Great National Parks

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4.5 stars(128 reviews)
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Tour Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks - five of America's most awe-inspiring sites - on this 14-day journey.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
14 days From $4,320 per person

2021 Tour code: RM-AGPA-21

About the tour

 Discover five of America's beloved national parks on this 14-day rail tour to America's West. Start your tour with a classic overnight rail adventure aboard the  Empire Builder,  following the pioneer route into Big Sky Country. Here, we visit the first national park of 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. We see all the most popular attractions, including the Upper and Lower Falls and the most famous sight of all, Old Faithful. The adventure continues as we head to the resort town of Jackson Hole and the picturesque landscapes in Grand Teton National Park. Finally, a visit to Utah brings us to Salt Lake City, the red rocks of Moab and the natural wonders in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

Additional departure dates are available featuring a 13 Day itinerary.

Highlights

Activity level Keep it Going

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Less sitting, more walking. You don’t mind longer days of physical activity and sightseeing with some activities that go into the evening. Some rest periods are nice but only when necessary.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart Chicago aboard the Empire Builder

Arrive at Chicago Union Station and board the Empire Builder. Settle into your onboard accommodations and prepare for your overnight rail journey. Travelers may elect to travel from Seattle or points in-between and meet your tour manager in Glacier National Park. Overnight train.

Day 2 – Glacier National Park, Montana

The  Empire Builder continues its journey to East Glacier Park or Whitefish today. With more than 25 glaciers, over 130 named lakes, 200 waterfalls, and more than 1,000 different plant species, Glacier National Park promises breathtaking wonder. The evening is at your leisure to relax at your hotel. Overnight East Glacier Park or Whitefish, MT.

Day 3 - Free Day

Today is free to explore East Glacier or Whitefish at your leisure.  Your Tour Manager will be available with dining and sightseeing suggestions.  Overnight East Glacier Park or Whitefish, MT.

Day 4 – Going-to-the-Sun Road

Mid-morning, board a vintage open-air Red Jammer bus for a tour of Glacier National Park. The tour takes you along one of the most scenic roadways in the world, the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road across the Continental Divide. There is a stop at historic Lake McDonald Lodge for 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 East Glacier Park or Whitefish, MT.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Many Glacier and Swiftcurrent Lake Boat Cruise

The day begins with a trip to the Many Glacier region of 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. There is free time to enjoy the scenery or hike around Many Glacier Lodge before returning to Glacier Park Lodge. Overnight East Glacier Park or Whitefish, MT.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 – Yellowstone National Park

After breakfast, depart Glacier National Park for the scenic drive to Yellowstone National Park. Our route takes us through Lewis and Clark country, into Madison Canyon Gorge and past Quake Lake into Yellowstone National Park's West Entrance. Overnight Yellowstone National Park.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 – Yellowstone National Park Touring

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 Pots and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Overnight Yellowstone National Park.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 – 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 a picturesque landscape filled with towering mountains, sparkling lakes and an abundance of wildlife. Overnight Jackson, WY.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 – 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, the 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, WY.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 – 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 have the remainder of the day on your own to explore the city. Overnight Salt Lake City, UT.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 11 – Moab

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day to sleep in or linger over morning coffee. Later this morning, we embark on the scenic drive from Salt Lake City to Moab, the gateway to two renowned national parks. Our route takes us through the grasslands of the San Rafael Valley. Overnight Moab, UT.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 12 – Arches National Park

After breakfast embark on a guided tour of Arches National Park, home to 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 the scenery around Moab and the Colorado River Red Rocks. Overnight Moab, UT.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 13 – 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 from 2,000 feet above the Colorado River. Overnight Grand Junction, CO.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14 – Tour Conclusion

Your journey concludes after breakfast today with a motorcoach transfer to Grand Junction Amtrak station for an optional return aboard the  California Zephyr or to the Grand Junction Airport for flights departing after 1:00 pm.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Glacier Park Lodge, East Glacier Park

Glacier Park Lodge, East Glacier Park

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DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Junction

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Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa, Jackson

Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa, Jackson

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Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab

Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab

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DoubleTree by Hilton Salt Lake City Downtown, Salt Lake City

DoubleTree by Hilton Salt Lake City Downtown, Salt Lake City

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The Firebrand Hotel, Whitefish

The Firebrand Hotel, Whitefish

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Canyon Lodge & Cabins, Yellowstone National Park

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Train

Amtrak's Empire Builder

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Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 128 reviews

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THOMAS

5 stars

Submitted 05 Aug 2019

My wife and I had seen many of our national parks, but had never been to the northwest. We took a trip in September sponsored by Vacations By Rail to Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Canyonlands, and Arches. We met the remainder of our group (46 in all from various parts of the country) in Chicago along with Jennifer, our guide for the tour. The journey from Chicago to East Glacier, Montana, was long (30 hours), but smooth riding. Our hotel for the next 3 nights was the beautiful Lodge, a very imposing log building built by the Great Western RR in the late 1800s. The scenery was fantastic, especially on our Going to the Sun Road on the famous Red Jammers. We saw lots of game, but no bear or wolves. Our 2 night stay in Yellowstone was equally impressive, especially The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Lots of elk and bison along the way. The Grand Tetons were impressive. If we had to pick our favorite park at this point in the tour, we could not. Each was beautiful in its own way. The highlight of our Tetons portion of the trip was the rafting down the Snake River past the Teton Range. We spent 2 nights in Jackson at The Jackson Lodge, the nicest of our hotels in creature comforts. The highlight of Jackson was our evening at The Bar J Ranch for a chuckwagon dinner (those cowpokes sure do eat well) and country entertainment. A must do evening. I, unfortunately, became ill on our trip to Salt Lake City, and had to return home. I give kudos to Vacations By Rail in arranging such a fantastic trip. They employed a wonderful guide, Jennifer, who was so knowledgeable about every place we went. She and our very capable driver, Glenn, arranged rest stops that were not only spaced just right, but in places that were extremely interesting. One was at a bakery in the middle of nowhere that had the best cinnamon rolls. Another was at a picturesque chapel by the Snake River. Another was next to an elk horn bridge and a candy store. Thank you, Vacations By Rail, for a wonderful trip.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Mary F., Chesterton, IN

5 stars

Submitted 31 Dec 2018

On a score of 10 - it was excellent. Our 1st rail trip but many motor coach tours - it was an adventure. Robin was a walking encyclopedia, happy, friendly, funny, very caring and helpful. He is and was all good thing wrapped into one. Thank you Vacations By Rail.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Linda B., Waverly, TN

4 stars

Submitted 20 Dec 2018

We've had a wonderful time and would recommend VBR. It met my expectations.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Jean S, Bloomington, MN

4 stars

Submitted 20 Dec 2018

It was one of the best tours we have been on. Would do it again.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Linda A, Oakfield, WI

5 stars

Submitted 20 Dec 2018

Overall we are happy with this trip. The National Parks and scenery were breathtaking. The driver and four leaders made travel very easy for us. We have wonderful pictures and more importantly memories

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Leslie H, Frederick, MD

5 stars

Submitted 20 Dec 2018

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.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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