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

Winter in Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Save
Gallery
NEW

Gain a new perspective on the West’s vast and beautiful national parklands this winter on a rail tour to Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks when snow coats the terrain and the panoramas are unlike those at any other time of year.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20232024
9 days Sold out
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager
Special Offer

Book a qualifying 2023 escorted rail tour & save up to $300 per person. Book by October 7, 2022.

View Terms and Conditions

2023 Tour code: RM-YLWA-23

About the tour

Western America's national parks are a joy to uncover at any time of year, but something about the winter months adds another layer of peace and tranquility. Fewer visitors create an ideal environment for animals to explore their surroundings, and the soft snow veils tall mountains, evergreen forests, and endless valleys in a layer of white. It is magical. Experience these wonders while exploring Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks. The journey begins in Chicago, where you meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers and board Amtrak's Empire Builder bound for Whitefish. A scenic drive to Lake McDonald offers a new perspective of Glacier National Park in winter. Two days of excursions aboard all-terrain Snowcoaches introduce Yellowstone's Upper and Lower Loops. The journey ventures into Wyoming from Yellowstone to the iconic cowboy town of Jackson Hole. As the gateway to Grand Teton National Park, this town is ideally positioned for adventures in the city and the wild. A tour of Grand Teton's picturesque sites is the perfect conclusion to this cold-weather expedition. Skip hibernation this winter, and instead, discover what the West has to offer.

Highlights

Activity level Natural Explorer

View details

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 Amtrak’s Empire Builder

Meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers at historic Union Station and board Amtrak's Empire Builder for an afternoon departure. Whether you stay in your seat or head to the Sightseer Lounge, watch the scenery change as we round Lake Michigan and start our journey through Wisconsin and Minnesota. Travelers may elect to travel from Seattle or points in-between and meet your Tour Manager in Whitefish. Overnight train. 

Day 2 - Amtrak’s Empire Builder to Whitefish, MT

Sights of wide-open plains surround as the sun peeks over the horizon. Today brings a full day of travel aboard the Empire Builder as we press forth through Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana toward the city of Whitefish. As the train follows its course, you may wish to socialize with your fellow travelers in the Sightseer Lounge's swiveling chairs or the Dining Car over a meal. Sleeper Car guests enjoy complimentary breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the trip. We arrive in Whitefish, MT, late this evening and transfer to our hotel, Grouse Mountain Lodge. Overnight Whitefish.

Day 3 - Glacier National Park

Today, your first look at Montana's picturesque landscapes lies ahead as we explore Glacier National Park. Covered in snow, these protected lands take on a whole new level of ambiance. Sweeping valleys under thick snow and towering mountains capped in white make for genuinely tranquil surroundings. We begin our tour in West Glacier and leisurely travel along Going-to-the-Sun to Lake McDonald Lodge. Your guide recounts interesting facts and stories about the park and points out wildlife along the way. You have some time to get out and walk around the lake before returning to the West entrance and heading back to the hotel.

The remainder of the day is at leisure in Whitefish. There are well-maintained cross-country skiing paths surrounding Grouse Mountain Lodge. Downtown Whitefish is also brimming with things to see and do. You may wish to pop in some of the small boutique stores or grab a drink in any of the numerous breweries. Tonight, join the group for dinner. Overnight Whitefish.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Yellowstone National Park

After breakfast at the Lodge, we board our deluxe motorcoach for a road trip through Montana. Our drive takes us south through protected forest lands and beautiful mountain towns to Yellowstone's West Gate. After checking into our hotel near the park, the rest of the day is free to enjoy the hotel's amenities, such as the indoor pool, or to explore the nearby offerings. The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is within walking distance of our hotel and is a great place to learn more about the region's apex predators. Further downtown, there are numerous shops for art and souvenirs and restaurants that highlight the region's flavors. Overnight West Yellowstone. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Yellowstone’s Upper Loop Tour

The best way to explore Yellowstone National Park in the winter is aboard a Snowcoach. These climate-controlled buses traverse the rugged landscape on oversized off-road tires and provide beautiful views of the park's most stunning scenes. Today's Snowcoach excursion takes us to Yellowstone's Upper Loop. This tour is known as the Canyon Explorer and sets out atop the snow to unveil the beauty of Yellowstone's Grand Canyon. Look upon waterfalls, such as Upper and Lower Falls and Gibbon Falls. Beryl Spring, a natural hot spring, and the Madison River are other features. The cold weather and snow keep many tourists out of the park, and, as such, wildlife roams more freely; keep your eyes peeled for wolves, bison, elk, and moose. Snowy evergreen forests and frozen waterways add to the natural splendor. Enjoy a boxed lunch while you soak in the pristine vistas. Return to the hotel following the tour with the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight West Yellowstone. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Yellowstone’s Lower Loop Tour

Yellowstone transforms into a true winter wonderland during the cold months, and even more of its marvelous attractions await your discovery on today's Lower Loop Snowcoach tour. Our Lower Loop exploration is dubbed the Old Faithful Explorer for its most notable sight: the king of all the geysers, Old Faithful. While we drive along the snowy road of this part of the park, we enjoy glimpses at Madison Junction, Black Sand and Biscuit Basins, and the Fountain Paint Pot. The bus makes plenty of stops for animal spotting and photographs, and a boxed lunch is served. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure upon return. Overnight West Yellowstone. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 - Jackson, WY

We leave Yellowstone behind this morning and drive from Montana through Idaho and into Wyoming, where we land at our next destination, Jackson. This town is beloved as the gateway to Grand Teton National Park and embodies the West's adventurous spirit. We arrive in Jackson after just under three hours of driving and have the rest of the day to enjoy this cowboy town at leisure. A picture under the Antler Arch in Jackson Town Square is a must, and during the winter months, it is illuminated with holiday lights. Visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art to see artwork inspired by local mammals or any of the bountiful art galleries to peruse lovely pieces of all mediums. Downtown Jackson houses a plethora of boutique stores and relaxing spas. There are plenty of diverse eateries to choose from, as well. If it is an adventure you seek, dogsledding, tubing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are great ways to experience the wintry landscape. Overnight Jackson. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Grand Teton National Park

The gorgeous scenery of Grand Teton National is yours to behold on today's scenic drive. Take breakfast at the hotel in Jackson, then join the group on a deluxe motorcoach for a ride along highway 191 from Jackson to Flagg Ranch. The roads inside the park are closed during the winter months; however, some of the most impressive sights remain visible from the highway - even with snow topping them. There are plenty of photo opportunities along the way, including a stop to take a picture with the Grand Teton National Park sign. Several overlooks - Jackson Lake, Willow Flats, and Snake River - and visitors centers, such as Colter Bay and Craig Thomas, make wonderful photo stops. We also marvel at the Chapel of Transfiguration and Oxbow Bend before returning to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day exploring or relaxing as you please. Join the group for dinner tonight at a local establishment. Overnight Jackson. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Tour Conclusion

Surrounded by some of the most ethereal winter scenes the country has to offer, we conclude our wintertime national park sampler after breakfast. A group transfer to the Jackson Hole International Airport will accommodate flights departing after 11:00 a.m.

Additional 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

Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa, Jackson

Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa, Jackson

View hotel

Gray Wolf Inn & Suites, West Yellowstone

Gray Wolf Inn & Suites, West Yellowstone

View hotel

Grouse Mountain Lodge, Whitefish

Grouse Mountain Lodge, Whitefish

View hotel

Train

Amtrak's Empire Builder
Global Rail Adventures Brochure

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

The definitive guide to our 2023 Global Rail Adventures

Download brochure