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Glacier National Park & Chicago

4.7 stars(26 reviews)

"The Crown of the Continent" awaits you on this 7-day rail adventure to Glacier National Park.

You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
7 days From $1,880 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2024 Tour code: RM-GPCR-24

About the tour

This well-planned round-trip itinerary from Chicago includes travel aboard Amtrak's famed Empire Builder, accommodations in historic lodges and visits to breathtaking natural attractions within Glacier National Park, often referred to as the "Switzerland of North America."


What’s included


Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder

Board Amtrak's Empire Builder, settle into your seat and prepare for the iconic train's 2:15 pm departure. Chat with fellow travelers, read, or listen to music as you travel along the grasslands and prairies of the northern Midwest states. Premium passengers may wish to participate in the complimentary wine and cheese tasting in the Lounge Car. Overnight train.

  • Dinner (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 2 - Arrive East Glacier Park, Montana

Admire the passing scenery from the Sightseer Lounge car or learn about the North Dakota and Montana parks from volunteer rangers who will be sharing stories and artifacts from the area as part of the Trails and Rails program. You will arrive in East Glacier Park at 6:45 pm. Spanning more than 1.2 million acres of lakes and waterfalls, dramatic peaks and breathtaking ice-carved glaciers, Glacier National Park is yours to explore for the next four days. Your first overnight will be at Glacier Park Lodge, where you will experience the western charm of this historic lodge. Modeled after a Swiss chalet, the heated outdoor swimming pool and nine-hole golf course make for a spectacular retreat. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 3 - St. Mary Hotel & Lake 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 - Going-to-the-Sun Road

Travel through Glacier National Park just as they did in the 1930's: aboard a vintage red open-air bus! Your full-day "Crown of the Continent" tour follows the stunning Going-to-the-Sun Road to the top of the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, where you will be dazzled by awe-inspiring views. Overnight St. Mary Lodge.

*Subject to change based on seasonal road closures

Day 5 - Return to Glacier Park Lodge

Take time today to explore Glacier National Park's lush forests, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. Keep an eye out for amazing wildlife including bighorn sheep, wolves, and black bears. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge.

Day 6 - Depart for Chicago

This morning make your way to the train station to board the Empire Builder train bound for Chicago. Enjoy the panoramic vistas passing before you from the train's Sightseer Lounge, admiring the prairies and grasslands of North Dakota and Minnesota. Overnight train.

  • Lunch, Dinner (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 7 - Arrival in the "Windy City"

The train rolls through Minnesota and Wisconsin and into the bustling city of Chicago for a 3:55 pm arrival at Union Station, where your Glacier Park rail vacation comes to a close. You may wish to extend your vacation with a stay in the cosmopolitan City by the Lake.

  • Breakfast, Lunch (Sleeping Car passengers only)

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. Sleeping car passengers aboard the  Southwest Chief enjoy meals in the train's Dining car. New contemporary and fresh dining choices replace traditional dining car service on the  Capitol Limited. Sleeping car passengers may elect to have a chilled prepared meal selection delivered to your Roomette or Bedroom or enjoy meals in a private cafe or lounge car. 

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.

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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4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 26 reviews

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  5. 1 star


2 stars

Submitted 06 Sep 2022

Ok....There's a lot to this review, so let me start off by saying Vacations by Rail did a great job with customer service, putting this trip together, and doing everything they said they would do. Great! We enjoyed working with them. The negative part comes from my husband and I discovering we don't like train travel, and the overall vacation itself really isn't worth the $6000-$7000 you fork over in order to do this. First of all, you feel like you spend more time on the train than doing the vacation. If you like train travel, then this is great! But 25-27 hours on a train each way is kinda torture, especially if you are in coach. Not to mention the scenery from Chicago to Glacier is really lackluster for most of the journey. The Amtrak employees are all super nice and wonderful, but the train itself is definitely not a clean or luxurious experience. Also, I know why you are put in the Glacier Park Lodge for the first and last night (for easy access to the train station), but that lodge is very old and has a lot of issues. First of all, it's an hour away from the entrance to Glacier National Park, so going there on your last day is hard to do. Also, there's no AC, the walls and ceiling are made of paper, and everything creeks. St. Mary's Lodge was a much nicer stay, and had great food. Again, everywhere we went, the people there were super friendly and great. The boat tour on St. Mary's lake was really wonderful, but the bus tour really took the cake on this trip. Our red bus driver Bernie was just fabulous. Such an awesome guy. So long story short: if you like to travel by train and have the money to upgrade to a sleeper car, like to have people tote you around, don't like exploring on your own, you like everything planned for you, you don't want to go off and hike, and only want 3 full days in the park, this trip is for you. If not, save your money and do this trip your own way. My suggestion would be to fly to Glacier, rent a car, stay somewhere on either side of the park, then take the National Park Service shuttle to move about inside the park.

Collected by Trustpilot

Donna Herdman

4 stars

Submitted 31 Jul 2022

Your lack of contact with the lodges nearly lost us both the lake cruise and the logan pass drive. They arranged private transportation for us in both cases. We should have had .ore complete information from you. Both lodges went out of their to help us.

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 14 Jul 2022

We enjoyed the train travel: sleeping in our roomette, great meals, sightseeing all the way. How wonderful that Amtrak brought us from Chicago almost to the door of stunning Glacier Park Lodge.

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 10 Oct 2021

Vacations by Rail took care of all the details and we had a wonderful, relaxing time in Glacier National Park.

Collected by Trustpilot

Cheryl S., Hixson, TN

5 stars

Submitted 22 Sep 2021

The scenery was beautiful and it was wonderful having all the details planned ahead of time for us. The trip was smooth and the customer service/hospitality was excellent at Amtrak as well as Glacier Park Lodge and St. Mary's Lodge.

Collected by Vacations By Rail


5 stars

Submitted 22 Sep 2019

Really enjoyed the trip.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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