Call to book1-877-929-7245
Tour Search

California Zephyr with Yellowstone National Park

4.6 stars(9 reviews)

More than 2,000 acres of geysers, hot springs, and lava formations await you in Yellowstone, the world's first national park established in 1872.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
8 days From $1,835 per person

2022 Tour code: TU-ZYSW-22

About the tour

Located in three states, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone's most famous sights include Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the Continental Divide. Keep your cameras handy as the vast Yellowstone is teeming with roaming wildlife, including wolves, grizzly bears, bison and elk.

Your "Yellowstone National Park" 8-day adventure includes two nights onboard Amtrak's California Zephyr as well as one night in Salt Lake City, three nights at the Yellowstone Park Hotel and one night in San Francisco. This well-planned itinerary combines rail touring with scenic driving and independent exploration to give you the "best of the West." Consider upgrading to a roomette or bedroom, which includes meals aboard the train.

What’s included


Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the California Zephyr

Get set for your "Wild West" adventure as you board the California Zephyr at Chicago's Union Station. The Zephyr features double-decker Superliner equipment so you can relax in comfort in a reclining coach seat with leg rest. (Sleeping car passengers settle inside their private room.) Walk through the train to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car and enjoy panoramic views through the heart of the Rockies. Follow along on your route map as you course through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado and Utah as spectacular scenery comes into view. Overnight train.

Day 2 - Arrive in Salt Lake City

Tonight you'll arrive in Salt Lake City. Taxi on your own to your centrally-located hotel, giving you easy access to Salt Lake's major attractions. Overnight Salt Lake City.

Day 3 - Drive to Yellowstone National Park

Transfer on your own to the Salt Lake City airport and pick up your rental car. Visit some of Salt Lake's famous attractions like the Mormon Temple, 2002 Winter Olympic Game sites and historic State Capitol. Or, start your magnificent drive to West Yellowstone which takes you through northern Utah and Idaho, before entering Montana. Your accommodations for the next three nights are at the Yellowstone Park Hotel, the newest hotel in West Yellowstone. This Western-boutique style hotel offers a variety of amenities and is located across the street from the Grizzly Discovery Center and IMAX Theatre. Overnight West Yellowstone.

Day 4 - Yellowstone National Park

Today begins your first full-day of exploration in Yellowstone. Yellowstone is the largest active geyser field in the world, and home to the most famous, Old Faithful. There are also many colorful hot springs and pools such as the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring. Go rafting or paddling, explore Lower Falls, look for wildlife, or take a hike on one of the many trails throughout the park; Yellowstone boasts a 1,300 mile trail system! Overnight West Yellowstone.

Day 5 - Explore Yellowstone National Park

Drive through the lush forests of the Hayden Valley. And visit the bubbling hot springs. Will you hike the trails, go biking, white water rafting or participate in a ranger-led tour? Or will you visit the Yellowstone Historic Center, watch a live rodeo, go horseback riding? The choices are as wide as the endless sky. At night come back and relax at your hotel, or see an IMAX presentation about the park. Overnight West Yellowstone.

Day 6 - Return drive 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 a late evening departure. Overnight train.

Day 7 - Arrive in San Francisco

On this leg of your journey, you'll pass by the Sierra Nevada (snowy mountains in Spanish) Mountains, historic Donner Pass and quaint snow towns before arriving in Emeryville, California. Here you'll connect to San Francisco's Ferry Building on the Amtrak Thruway Bus. Overnight San Francisco.

Day 8 - San Francisco

Take a few days to explore the golden "City by the Bay." considered America's playground. 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 to 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 goodies 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. Or, transfer on your own to the airport for your return flight home.

Additional information

Pricing Plans

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. Roomette and Bedroom accommodations include all meals aboard the train. 

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.


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


Amtrak's California Zephyr

Enhance your holiday


Elevate Your Adventure
Extend your stay
Explore More
Rail Your Way


4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 9 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Lana B, Houston, TX

5 stars

Submitted 3/Sep

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 3/Sep

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 2021/22 Global Rail Adventures

Download brochure
Related inspiration from our journey blog