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Empire Builder with Glacier National Park - Chicago to Seattle

4.2 stars(21 reviews)

Discover all the natural beauty and scenic wonders of Glacier National Park, "The Crown of the Continent" in the majestic Pacific Northwest.

You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
7 days From $1,670 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2024 Tour code: RM-EGPW-24

About the tour

Travel from Chicago or Seattle aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder and relax in comfort as the glorious scenery passes by.

Your Glacier National Park 7-day adventure includes two nights onboard Amtrak's Empire Builder as well as two nights each in Glacier Park Lodge and St. Mary Lodge. This well-planned itinerary lets you enjoy the best of Glacier National Park with tour highlights including the Swift Current Lake Boat Cruise and "The Crown of the Continent." Consider upgrading to a roomette or bedroom, which includes meals aboard the train.

This vacation can be booked online for departures from the following Amtrak stations: Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul/Minneapolis. For other departure cities, please select the Chicago location, and a rail specialist will contact you within 48 hours with a package customized with a departure from your most convenient Amtrak station.

This itinerary is available from Seattle to Chicago based on your travel preference.


What’s included


Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the Empire Builder

Board Amtrak's Empire Builder for your 2:15 pm departure and follow the route of the explorers as you head towards the magnificent Pacific Northwest. Read, listen to music or chat with your fellow travelers as you gaze at the magnificent scenery. Check out your journey on a map as the train makes it way through Wisconsin, Minnesota and the grasslands of the "Northern Prairie State" of North Dakota. Overnight train.

Day 2 - East Glacier Park, Montana

Welcome to East Glacier Park, covering more than 1.2 million acres of lakes and waterfalls, dramatic peaks and breathtaking ice-carved glaciers. Your hotel for the evening is the Glacier Park Lodge. Modeled after a Swiss Chalet, this historic lodge offers enticing amenities including a heated outdoor swimming pool and nine-hole golf course. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge.

Day 3 - St. Mary's Lake Boat Cruise

Your adventure continues as you arrive at the St. Mary Hotel, situated at the eastern entrance to the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Enjoy a delightful boat ride on St. Mary Lake showcasing the alpine beauty and grandeur of the park. Overnight St. Mary Lodge. 

Day 4 - Crown of the Continent Tour

Spend another day in Glacier National Park by taking a breathtaking "Crown of the Continent Tour." The historic Red Jammers of Glacier National Park will take you around the park just as they did in the 1930's. Journey across one of the most stunning roads in North America. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is unsurpassed in alpine splendor and you will enjoy several picture-perfect stops along the way. Overnight St. Mary Lodge.

*Subject to change based on seasonal road closures

Day 5 - Glacier National Park

Today, experience pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes and discover why Glacier National Park is considered the birthplace of mountaineering in North America. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Deer are among the most commonly spotted wildlife but elk, moose, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, wolves, grizzly and black bears roam its wild vastness and are often seen by visitors. Spend another night at Glacier Park Lodge. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge.

Day 6 - Empire Builder to Seattle

Board your Amtrak train in the evening bound for Seattle and relax as you watch the Cascade Mountains come into view. Snow-capped volcanoes and forested mountains dot the landscape as you reach your destination. Overnight train.

Day 7 - Seattle

When you see Mount Rainier looming in the distance, you'll know you've arrived in Seattle. Visit the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, a combination shopping mecca and farmer's market, Chinatown, and the Experience Music Project. Sip a cup of java at any one of the hundreds of coffee shops throughout the city and reflect on your amazing Alpine adventure.

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 that features two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, which converts 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. 

Please Note

Prices do not include National Parks Entrance Fee.

Arrival and Departure times are subject to change without notice. Please be advised that passengers traveling on Empire Builder Trains may encounter delays of approximately three to six hours due to heavy congestion, speed restrictions and other operating conditions.

Prices are off-peak rates, per person based on double occupancy and include taxes.

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.


Glacier Park Lodge, East Glacier Park

Glacier Park Lodge, East Glacier Park

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St. Mary's Lodge, St. Mary

St. Mary's Lodge, St. Mary

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4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 21 reviews

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


3 stars

Submitted 19 Sep 2022

Loved the train trip with one big exception.Customer service was Horrible!, We left to figure out how best to get in our roomette where anything was where to put our luggage and how to pull down the bed. I asked repeatedly for assistance.Finally about 11 pm I tracked our attendant down and he st us up. Food service was good and the food better than I anticipated..Communication on where we were and for how long was difficult to hear.

Collected by Trustpilot


4 stars

Submitted 29 Jul 2022

Overall we had a great time, and all the travel logistics (including the St Mary's boat trip and the Crown of the Continent tour and shuttles between lodges) were well handled. The Amtrak portion was as expected and proceeded with any major glitches. The lodges were fantastic, although I do wish I had sprung for upgraded rooms on both. The shuttles generally worked well as scheduled. The major gripe I have is that the timing of the shuttles was not optimum. For example, the shuttle from St. Mary's back to East Glacier did not allow sufficient time to go into the park beforehand, nor do much after getting to East Glacier. A late afternoon time would have been MUCH better. Also an extra day at St. Mary's in lieu of the first day at Glacier Park Lodge would have been preferred as it is so convenient to jump on the hiking shuttles from there. In addition, more information about possible activities provided prior to the trip would have been appreciated, especially for the first (full) day at Glacier Park Lodge, e.g. shuttles available into the park for sightseeing, hiking, and boat tours.

Collected by Trustpilot


1 stars

Submitted 24 Jul 2022

12 hours late, running out of food, toilets out of order!

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 18 Sep 2021

Vacation by Rail made it very easy to book our trip, and answered all our pre-trip questions quickly. The train staff was polite and helpful, and facilitated boarding and debarking the train. Additionally, the service and qualify of food in the dining car were impressive. We very much enjoyed watching the countryside from our cabin. However, the train tracks themselves have not been well-maintained, making for a rocky riding experience. Sadly, St. Mary's Lodge was experiencing staffing shortages and turmoil, making the dining experience there fairly unenjoyable. The park itself was spectacular. Very glad we made the trip.

Collected by Trustpilot

Frank B, Hurley, NY

4 stars

Submitted 08 Feb 2019

The services provided by Vacations By Rail were excellent. Amtrak personnel were wonderful.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Susan H, Huntsville, AL

5 stars

Submitted 25 Dec 2018

In spite of changes in our travel plans caused by weather, the trip was wonderful. Attention to details and our comfort made the trip memorable, as well as relaxing. Service was provided in a friendly and consistent manner. This was my husband's first train trip, and he had a great time.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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