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Best of the Western Parks

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4.2 stars(12 reviews)
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Behold the most impressive national parks in the United States – Yellowstone, Glacier and Grand Teton – on this new rail tour to the wild west.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
11 days From $3,895 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager
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2023 Tour code: RM-BWPA-23

About the tour

Train rides, mountain scenery and national parks highlight this rail tour of America's West. Begin with an overnight rail journey aboard the legendary California Zephyr into the Colorado Rockies to Grand Junction. From here, we travel the scenic route to Midway, UT, for two nights at the relaxing Homestead Resort in the Heber Valley. There are plenty of ways to unwind while at the resort, and the surrounding scenes are breathtaking. We immerse ourselves in the regional beauty with a ride on the Heber Valley Railroad into Provo Canyon. Our travels continue to Jackson, WY, stopping en route at the National Oregon/California Trail Center to learn the plights of those that traveled the Oregon Trail. Upon arrival in Jackson, Old West vibes become immediately apparent. From the wooden sidewalks to the antler arch, and from the saloons to the wood-front buildings, this town is an attraction in and of itself. A guided tour through Grand Teton National Park is a highlight of our time here before departing for yet another national treasure: Yellowstone National Park. Two days of touring present some of the most majestic sites in the park, including the Paint Pots and Old Faithful. On the road again, we travel to Kalispell, MT, where the Crown of the Continent awaits our discovery: Glacier National Park. We take in the vistas of this awe-inspiring land from the seats of a vintage Red Jammer Bus as we tour the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Eleven days of adventures, three national parks and beloved destinations throughout the Wild West: These are the makings of a rail tour to remember!

Highlights

Activity level Natural Explorer

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You don’t mind spending the day on your feet. You enjoy sightseeing that includes walking, standing or stair climbing. You’re okay with longer days that are more active, such as multiple sightseeing stops, longer motorcoach journeys and getting on and off ships and trains.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart Chicago aboard the California Zephyr

Arrive at Chicago Union Station and board the California Zephyr. Settle into your onboard accommodations and prepare for your overnight rail journey. Travelers may elect to travel from San Francisco or points in between and meet your tour manager in Grand Junction. Overnight train.

Day 2 – California Zephyr to Grand Junction

Admire the changing scenery aboard the train and watch as Colorado's Rocky Mountains come into view. Upon arrival in Grand Junction, we transfer to our hotel with time to freshen up before a welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight Grand Junction, CO. 

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 3 – Scenic Drive to Homestead Resort

After breakfast, board your deluxe motorcoach for the drive to Midway, UT, along a scenic route presenting the rugged beauty of Colorado and Utah. Arrive at Homestead Resort with time to enjoy dinner on own. Overnight Midway, UT. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – Provo Canyon aboard the Heber Valley Railroad

Discover the glacier-carved landscape of Provo Canyon during a ride aboard the Heber Valley Railroad. The train takes us along the shores of Deer Creek Reservoir and along the banks of the Provo River. We disembark briefly at Vivian Park to take in the scenery before the return journey. The remainder of the day is free to explore on your own. Overnight Midway, UT.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - National Oregon/California Trail Center

Immerse yourself in the mountainous scenes of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming as we travel from Midway to Jackson, WY. En route, we stop at the National Oregon/California Trail Center, situated on the site of the original Oregon Trail. Hear stories of the harrowing journey presented by actors in period clothing and experience a simulated wagon ride. Back on the road, we continue to Jackson-Wyoming's quintessential cowboy town-with the evening free to enjoy out hotel's amenities or the activities in Jackson's historic Town Square. Overnight Jackson, WY. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 – Grand Teton National Park

Delight in the grandeur of the Grand Teton Mountain peaks as we travel through Grand Teton National Park. Highlights include the Chapel of Transfiguration, a beautiful log chapel with outstanding views of the Tetons, and the Colter Bay Visitor Center. Lunch is on your own at the Jackson Lake Lodge, where 60-foot floor-to-ceiling windows frame Jackson Lake and the majestic Teton Range. This afternoon, we drive to America's first national park, Yellowstone.  Overnight Yellowstone National Park, WY. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 – Yellowstone National Park

Today's full-day guided tour showcases some of Yellowstone's most impressive sites, including Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Falls, Tower Junction, Artist Point and the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. Overnight Yellowstone National Park, WY. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 – Old Faithful & Yellowstone National Park

Enjoy a day of touring in Yellowstone National Park.  Our Tour Manager takes us through Hayden Valley, where meadows, forests and geothermic hot spots collide, the famous Paint Pots and the park's hot springs. A highlight of the day is seeing Old Faithful in action. This geyser sends a hot stream of water 100 feet into the air every 91 minutes, and we are lucky enough to see an eruption. Tonight, enjoy dinner with new friends. Overnight Yellowstone National Park, WY. 

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 9 – Big Sky Country Scenery to Kalispell, MT

See the magnificent landscapes of Big Sky Country on our way to Kalispell, MT, with a lunch stop at Wheat Montana Deli for a taste of farm-to-table goodness. We arrive at the Western Gateway to Glacier National Park, Kalispell, with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Kalispell, MT. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 – Going-to-the-Sun Road & Glacier National Park

Experience Glacier National Park's pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains and spectacular lakes today. We travel along the Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard a vintage Red Jammer bus. The drive covers 50 miles and showcases stunning sights of mountain scenery and abundant wildlife. This evening, we join the cowboys for a western outdoor barbecue dinner.  Overnight Kalispell, MT. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 – Tour Conclusion

Your western experience concludes after breakfast this morning.  Transportation is provided from the hotel to Whitefish Amtrak Station or Glacier International Airport. 

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

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

DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Junction

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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Homewood Suites by Hilton Kalispell, MT

Homewood Suites by Hilton Kalispell, MT

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Canyon Lodge & Cabins, Yellowstone National Park

Canyon Lodge & Cabins, Yellowstone National Park

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Train

Amtrak's California Zephyr

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Reviews

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 12 reviews

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

KAREN NUSSBAUM

4 stars

Submitted 12/Sep

Great trip we plan on another trip next year

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MALINDA PAULINE VALDEZ

4 stars

Submitted 5/Sep

This was a great trip. The train ride overnight was not comfortable for the money we paid for overnight accommodations. The food was not good and the dining car people were unorganized. The 3 days at Yellowstone was too much. No TV and AC was challenging. The food at Yellowstine was not good. The walk to get to the food was too long and not worth it. I shopped at the grocery store and ate that food instead. The rest of the trip was amazing. Good hotels and great food.

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Ivorysview

5 stars

Submitted 5/Sep

This was our first escorted tour. We are hooked! Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Park in one trip. Our tour director (Dewi) and driver (Francey) really made this vacation special. They took us to several places not on the schedule because they wanted to share their special places. They went well beyond what anyone expected. We stopped for a relaxing glass of wine on our way to Yellowstone. I loved the hike thru the Geyser Basin. We even managed to get to the grand prismatic due to the heroic effects of our tour directed us into the parking lot. On the way out of Yellowstone we saw our first bear. It was so quick no one got a picture. Thinking quicky our driver saw a chance to circle back, and we followed the bear as it for foraged for food along the road. While the places we saw were incredible it was the VRB team that made this vacation beyond all expectations. I will be traveling with VBR again. I will also say the hotel in Midway was subpar. The grounds were beautiful, but the rooms needed renovation and the staff was not friendly. VBR needs to use a different hotel. The Farwell dinner was a disaster. Bees everywhere several guess were sting. The host did not use a mic and shouted his stories which made him sound angry and not funny. He was very rude to our tour director. We had to take the bus down a very narrow gravel drive which was very difficult for the driver. We decided to leave early, headed back to the hotel and had a great time chatting in the lobby. I suggest VBR find another sight for this event.

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ANTHONY JEDLINSKI

5 stars

Submitted 5/Sep

A wonderful "right paced" tour of some of America's greatest scenery.

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JOSEPH V PETRONIE III

3 stars

Submitted 19/Aug

During our stays in Midway and Yellowstone it was quite a distance for the older travelers to walk to dinner. Weren't any dinner options either. I would have preferred to stay in Jackson 2 nights and maybe skip Midway. Attractions were in easy walking distance and many choices for things to do during our downtime. Edgar was a great tour guide!! Enjoyed him very much.

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MONICA SANDRA PINETTE

3 stars

Submitted 5/Aug

Well they charge unreasonable prices for the roomettes on the train, which we found out would have been less booked through Amtrak. So we didn't get one. Which made the 1st part of the trip hell. The guide was awesome but yeah id book my own trip next time not through vacations by rail .

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