Take in the beauty and history of one of the country’s most beloved parks with a tour highlighting outdoor recreation and charming lodges.
About the Tour
One of America’s most treasured areas, Glacier National Park is brimming with natural beauty. From alpine meadows to tall, rugged mountains, each scene is more stunning than the next. Take it all in on a special tour of Glacier Park’s historical lodges. Each charming lodge has unique characteristics, from resembling a Swiss village to the original home of the Blackfeet tribe. One thing they all have in common though is their comfort and integration with the surrounding park. Take in mountain views in one and wildlife from one, lake views from another, for a memorable week in the ‘Crown of the Continent.’
- Rail travel on Amtrak (1 night on train)
- Hotel Accommodations for 5 nights, including 2 Nights at Many Glacier Hotel, 1 night at Glacier Park Lodge and 2 nights at Lake McDonald Lodge
- 5 meals
- Meals on the train included when upgrading to private sleeping accommodations
- Glacier National Park
- Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard vintage Red Jammer Buses
- Swiftcurrent Lake Boat Cruise
- Services of a local host
Activity Level View Details
Day 1 – Empire Builder to East Glacier
Your journey to Glacier National Park begins today as you board the Empire Builder from either Chicago or Seattle for a trip through the ruggedly beautiful West. Boarding in Chicago, you'll travel from the sparkling skylines of the Twin Cities through the wide-open North Dakota Plains and across the stunning Gassman Coulee Trestle before reaching Glacier National Park. Seattle travelers will enjoy a scenic ride through Washington's forests and Spokane Valley, eventually making their way through Idaho and into Montana, where they are met with breathtaking mountain views. Overnight train.
Day 2 – Many Glacier Hotel
Today you arrive in Glacier National Park, America's monument to wild natural beauty known as the ‘Crown of the Continent' for its staggering mountains, lush forests, alpine meadows, and roaming wildlife. Many Glacier Hotel, the largest lodge in the park, is a historic gem. The hotel was built in 1914 by the Great Northern Railway, and its grand history is evident in the Swiss Lounge and Ptarmigan Dining Room. Tucked away on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake, the five-story hotel provides private views over the park. Guest rooms are comfortable but maintain an old-world feel, allowing visitors to connect really with the location. Overnight Many Glacier Hotel.
Day 3 – Glacier National Park at Leisure
The day is at leisure to explore Glacier National Park. The Many Glacier Valley offers an extensive hiking network to traverse by foot or by horse. Or, you may wish to see some of Glacier National Park from the water on a rafting or boating activity. Spend the day taking in the spectacular scenery on a variety of optional activities. Make arrangements in advance or ask your Vacations By Rail local host for suggestions on nearby optional activities you can enjoy. Relax this evening taking in a sunset over Swiftcurrent Lake. Overnight Many Glacier Hotel. (B)
Day 4 – Swiftcurrent Lake Cruise/Museum of the Plains Indians
Many Glacier is an enchanting valley interrupted only by large, serene lakes and wildlife. Take in the spectacular scenery and spot animals such as elk, moose, bears and birds from a historic wooden boat. You'll enjoy a ride across Swiftcurrent Lake before disembarking on a short walk through the mountains to Lake Josephine, where you can cross and venture out on more hiking, or relax on the lake. Next, visit the Museum of the Plains Indian, a gallery presenting a collection of art and history from the tribal people of the Northern Plains. The rich history of the area and its people is shown through painted murals and intricately carved wood panels. You can learn about social and ceremonial rituals, and see an array of traditional costumes.
After the museum, you'll continue to Glacier Park Lodge. Also built by the Great Northern Railway, the site of Glacier Park Lodge was purchased from a tribe of the Blackfeet Nation, and when the hotel was opened hundreds of Blackfeet Indians gathered on the grounds in teepees for a celebration. The original timber is still in place, and is thought to be around 900 years old. Aside from gazing over the mountain views from your room, you can enjoy the Lodge’s restaurant, bar, and espresso stand, take a swim in the outdoor pool, play golf on the nine-hole course, or relax in the spa. Overnight East Glacier Lodge. (B)
Day 5 – Lake McDonald Lodge
Glacier's famous red buses are a fun and informative way to see everything the park has to offer, and today you'll get to take a ride and see for yourself. The vintage 1930s buses feature roll-back tops so you can take in and photograph the panoramic views of mountains and lakes with a Big Sky backdrop. A veteran park guide will lead your tour, sharing history and stories about the park along the way. Eventually, you'll arrive at Lake McDonald Lodge, a classic Swiss chalet style hotel on the shores of the park's largest lake.
The rustic yet comfortable rooms offer modest amenities with anything but modest views. The hotel also features a dining room, pizzeria, lounge, reading room, and daily ranger activities. Overnight Lake McDonald Lodge. (B)
Day 6 – Explore Glacier
Wake to the sounds of birds and the light rustle of the trees, and embrace your last day in the park. Today is your day to explore Glacier on your own, whether you want to hike the more than 700 miles of trails, go animal watching, relax with a good book near the lake, take a horseback ride through the valley, or bike through a mountain path. There are endless opportunities to explore the park's majestic beauty. Overnight Lake McDonald Lodge. (B)
Day 7 – Tour Conclusion
Your Glacier National Park adventure comes to an end today. A group transfer to Glacier Park International Airport will accommodate flights departing after 1:00 p.m.
Hotels include 2 nights at Many Glacier Hotel, 1 night Glacier Park Lodge and 2 nights at Lake McDonald Lodge. *
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.
+ Vacations by Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
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