Call to book1-877-929-7245
Tour Search
#Favorites

California Zephyr with Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Save
4.6 stars(9 reviews)
Gallery

Uncover the natural treasures in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, including towering mountains, sparkling lakes, geysers, and hot springs on a refreshing rail and drive vacation.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
9 days From $2,360 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary
USA Rail Sale

Book a qualifying USA rail vacation by May 31 and save up to $125 per person.   

 

Terms and Conditions

2022 Tour code: TU-ZYSW-22

About the tour

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks offer some of the most impressive natural sights, and they are yours to discover on this best of the west rail and drive vacation. Admire the expansive Teton Mountains, Old Faithful bursting to the sky, waterfalls and hot springs, and of course, an outstanding variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, bison, and elk. 

Your grand adventure begins with a classic overnight rail journey from Chicago to Salt Lake City aboard the legendary California Zephyr. The following four days are filled with independent explorations by car. Perhaps take time to discover Salt Lake City's famous sites, such as Temple Square and the historic State Capitol, before embarking on a scenic drive into Wyoming. Here, the cowboy town of Jackson brims with western charm, and Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks showcase their natural treasures. When your national park explorations conclude, return to Salt Lake City and board the California Zephyr for your onward journey to San Francisco.

 

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the California Zephyr

Get set for your Wild West adventure as you board Amtrak's California Zephyr at Chicago Union Station. Settle into your onboard accommodations, sit back and relax as the train begins its journey west. Walk through the train to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car for panoramic views of the passing scenery. Overnight train.

Day 2 - Arrive in Salt Lake City

Spend the day enjoying the changing scenery from your onboard accommodations or the Sightseer Lounge car, the train's social center. Follow along on your route map as the train makes its way through Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado on its way to Utah. Arrive in Salt Lake City this evening and transfer independently to your centrally located hotel. Overnight Salt Lake, UT. 

Day 3 - Drive to Jackson

Transfer on your own to the Salt Lake City airport and pick up your rental car. Visit some of Salt Lake City's famous attractions, such as the Mormon Temple and historic State Capitol, before driving to the cowboy town of Jackson. Walk the wood-plank sidewalks, take a picture by the elk antler arch, and enjoy its excellent shops and restaurants. Overnight Jackson, WY. 

Day 4 - Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks

Jackson is the gateway to Grand Teton National Park. Enjoy a leisurely drive through the park, stopping to admire the spectacular mountain scenery, on your way to Yellowstone National Park. En route to your accommodations in West Yellowstone, stop to see some of Yellowstone National Park's scenic wonders, including West Thumb Geyser Basin. Overnight West Yellowstone, WY.

Days 5-6 – Explore Yellowstone National Park

You have two full days to explore the natural wonders in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is the largest active geyser field in the world and home to the most, Old Faithful. There are also many colorful hot springs and pools, such as the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Norris Geyser Basin. Explore the Upper and Lower Falls or take a hike on one of the many trails throughout the parks 1,300-mile trail system.

Wildlife spotting is the main event. The park is home to abundant wildlife. Grizzly and Black bears, bison, elk, wolves, coyotes, and eagles are just some of the animals that call this national park home. See how many you can spot! Take a drive through Hayden Valley for the chance to encounter roaming bison. Overnight West Yellowstone, WY.

Day 7 - Return to Salt Lake City

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 an evening departure aboard the California Zephyr. Overnight train. 

Day 8 - Arrive in San Francisco

On today's train journey, pass by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, historic Donner Pass and quaint towns before arriving in Emeryville, CA. Connect to San Francisco's Ferry Building on the Amtrak Thruway Bus. Overnight San Francisco, CA.

Day 9 - San Francisco

Your vacation concludes today. Ask a rail specialist about extending your stay to explore the "City by the Bay." 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 and 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 sweet treats 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. 

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Amtrak accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette, and Bedroom.

Coach accommodations have spacious reclining seats with leg rests, fold down trays and individual reading lights. 

Roomette accommodations are private, cozy cabins ideal for 1-2 travelers. Daytime configuration features 2 reclining seats beside a picture window, which convert to upper and lower berths at night. A single shower is located on the lower level of each car. (Dimensions: 3'6" x 6'6")

Bedroom accommodations are best for 2 travelers. During the day, relax on a large sofa and 1 reclining chair next to a picture window. Nighttime configuration features an upper and lower berth. Bedrooms include a private en suite toilet, sink and shower. (Dimensions: 6'6" x 7'6")

Please note

Please be aware Amtrak may experience occasional schedule changes and service disruptions.  Vacations By Rail recommends visiting the Amtrak web site prior to your departure for the latest 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

Holiday Inn Express Salt Lake City Downtown

Holiday Inn Express Salt Lake City Downtown

View hotel

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco

View hotel

Yellowstone Park Hotel, West Yellowstone

Yellowstone Park Hotel, West Yellowstone

View hotel

Train

Amtrak's California Zephyr

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Elevate Your Adventure
Extend your stay
Explore More
Rail Your Way

Reviews

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 9 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (5)
  2. 4 stars
    (4)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Lana B, Houston, TX

5 stars

Submitted 03 Sep 2021

The package put together by Vacations By Rail went above and beyond what I could have done on my own. They really considered logistics when booking overnight hotels and rental car pick up/drop off. Overall as our first experience with long distance rail travel, I am very happy we chose Vacations By Rail.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Lana B, Houston, TX

5 stars

Submitted 03 Sep 2021

The package put together by Vacations By Rail went above and beyond what I could have done on my own. They really considered logistics when booking overnight hotels and rental car pick up/drop off. Overall as our first experience with long distance rail travel, I am very happy we chose Vacations By Rail.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Subhash K, Scarsdale, NY

4 stars

Submitted 17 Dec 2018

Very well arranged tour.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Mary & William P, Baltimore, MD

5 stars

Submitted 03 Dec 2018

Having taken many tour vacations, this is the first vacation with tours that really met my expectations I would do it again if the occasion comes up.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Judith H, Concord, OH

4 stars

Submitted 25 Oct 2018

Train travel allowed both of us to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Pamela S, Kernersville, NC

4 stars

Submitted 02 Mar 2018

Staff and people on train were very nice. Liked the coach seats for a one night stay on train. Would recommend a sleeper car if more than one night say.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Show all 9 reviews
Global Rail Adventures Brochure

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

The definitive guide to our 2022/23 Global Rail Adventures

Download brochure
Related inspiration from our journey blog