Canyons, Glaciers & Waterfalls by Rail
Take a rail-journey to three of the US's famed National Parks, aboard three renowned Amtrak trains.
Start your rail vacation in Chicago, with the first day at your leisure. Between the city's numerous museums, terrific shopping, and delicious local cuisine, it will be hard to fit experiencing all that's outstanding about this city in one day. After Chicago, begin your train journey by visiting one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon. While at the Canyon have the opportunity to ride the historic Grand Canyon Railway to the Canyon's South Rim. Additional highlights include city stays in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
Continue your journey aboard the Southwest Chief towards Los Angeles. Keep your eyes peeled for a possible celebrity sighting as you get a day to sightsee in this star-studded city. Upon your visit to Los Angeles continue to San Francisco, which is a short motor coach ride to the beautiful Yosemite National Park. The dazzling waterfalls and diverse plant and wildlife are what make this National Park truly unique.
Proceed north towards Seattle, where you will board your final train of the trip, the Empire Builder, to gorgeous Glacier National Park. Spend the last part of your journey exploring this stunning National Park, with glaciers over 4,000 years old.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Transportation aboard Amtrak (5 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
- 2 meals
- Chicago Hop On/ Hop Off tour
- Motorcoach tour of South Rim of the Grand Canyon
- Los Angeles Hop on/ Hop off Double Decker tour
- Yosemite National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Going-to-the-Sun Road on vintage Red Jammer buses
Day 1 - Arrive Chicago
Arrive at your centrally-located hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago. Explore the city on a hop-on/hop-off trolley tour and see all the famous sites including the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and the John Hancock Observatory. Make sure to indulge in some local cuisine such as Chicago deep dish pizza. Overnight Chicago.
Day 2 - Depart Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief
The morning is yours to explore Chicago at your leisure before you transfer on your own to Chicago's historic Union Station for your 3:00 pm departure aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief for your overnight journey to Williams, AZ. Overnight train. (D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 3 - Arrive in Williams, AZ.
Spend the day socializing with other passengers or take in the sights in the Sightseer Lounge as you travel through the great Southwest. Arrive in Williams, AZ around 10:30 this evening. Overnight Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. (B, L, D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 4 - Grand Canyon Railway to South Rim
Wake-up early and enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Grand Depot Cafe. Then board the vintage rail cars of the Grand Canyon Railway for a 9:30 am departure to the South Rim of the Canyon. Travel the same route as other notable Railway passengers before you including William Howard Taft, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Clark Gable, Jimmy Durante, and Doris Day. Upon arrival, you will be met by tour buses waiting to take you on a Freedom Tour of the Grand Canyon. This narrated motorcoach tour of the South Rim visits the most scenic overlooks of the canyon, with stops at breathtaking vistas including Mohave Point, Pima Point, the Abyss, and Hermits Rest. Overnight Maswik Lodge (B)
Day 5 - Explore the South Rim of Grand Canyon on own
Spend the day exploring the South Rim on your own. There are several historic buildings worth visiting including Buckey O'Neill's Cabin, the longest continually standing structure in the South Rim; Desert View Watchtower with one of the few views of the bottom of the Canyon and the Colorado River; and Bright Angel Lodge with its small museum honoring Fred Harvey, who played a prominent role in popularizing the Grand Canyon. Overnight Maswik Lodge.
Day 6 - Grand Canyon Railway to Williams Southwest Chief to LA
Transfer to Williams aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. Enjoy dinner and relax before you board the 10:30 pm Southwest Chief bound for Los Angeles. Overnight train. (D)
Day 7 - Arrive Los Angeles
Say “Hooray for Hollywood” as you arrive in Los Angeles around 8:15 am. Check into your downtown hotel and take the rest of the day to explore LA at your leisure. Take in the sights, go shopping or dine seaside. Overnight Los Angeles.
Day 8 - Explore Los Angeles
Discover Los Angeles on a comprehensive hop on/hop off tour featuring over 50 stops! Enjoy the open-air view from a vintage Double Decker Bus as the narrated tour points out landmarks from Downtown L.A. to the beaches of Santa Monica, with Hollywood and Beverly Hills in between. Hop-On or Hop-Off as often as you like to explore major attractions, movie studios or dine and shop at Los Angeles's hotspots. Overnight Los Angeles.
Day 9 - Coast Starlight to San Francisco
This morning arrive at Los Angeles' Union Station to board Amtrak's Coast Starlight for your 10:10 am departure for San Francisco. Spend the day relaxing, reading a book, watching a movie or socializing with other travelers, taking time to enjoy the gorgeous California coastline! Arrive in Emeryville, this evening and transfer by thruway bus to San Francisco. Overnight Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco.
Day 10 - Yosemite National Park
Home to the American Black Bear, Ponderosa Pine, Spotted Owl, and mule deer, Yosemite's biodiversity is bound to leave you breathless. Discover all the beauty of one of the world's greatest natural wonders on a full-day tour to this beautiful National Park. Start early as you cross the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge at sunrise. Then spend the day exploring the Park's five vegetation zones, a guided tour of the Sierra Mountains, and the options of shopping, hiking and dining in Yosemite Village. Overnight Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf or similar.
Day 11 - Coast Starlight to Seattle
You have a full day at leisure in San Francisco. This evening, head to the Emeryville Amtrak station for your 10:00 pm departure aboard the Coast Starlight. Settle in and prepare for the overnight journey to Seattle, Washington. Overnight train.
Day 12 - Arrive Seattle
Arrive in Seattle around 9:30 pm and check into your centrally-located hotel. Overnight Seattle. (B, L, D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 13 - Empire Builder to Glacier National Park
Spend the day exploring Seattle at your leisure until your 4:40 pm Empire Builder train departure for Glacier National Park. Overnight train. (D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 14 - Arrive Glacier National Park
Arrive in Glacier National Park around 9:54 am. Check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day exploring the Park on your own, taking in the wildlife and all the gorgeous scenery including mountains and breathtaking glaciers. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge. (B Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 15 - Glacier Park
Today embark on an inclusive tour of Glacier National Park that starts with a morning drive over Marias Pass, with wildlife viewing at Goat Lick and a stop at the historic Izaak Walton Inn. After an optional lunch at Lake McDonald Lodge, tour the rich cedar and hemlock forests that lie within the Lake McDonald Valley. Ascend to the high alpine region of the Going-to-the-Sun Road at Logan Pass and down into the St. Mary Valley, stopping at the Wild Goose Island overlook for another incredible photo opportunity. Your excursion concludes with grand vistas of grassland, prairie, and mountains as you arrive back at Glacier Park Lodge. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge.
Day 16 - Empire Builder to Chicago
Begin your journey home as you board the Empire Builder around 9:54 in the morning. Take time to reflect on your amazing travels, socialize with fellow passengers or wind down and relax in the Sightseer Lounge. Overnight train. (L, D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 17 - Arrive Chicago
Arrive at Chicago's Union Station around 4:00 pm where your Canyons, Glaciers & Waterfalls vacation comes to an end. (B, L Sleeping Car passengers only)
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Extend Your Vacation
Extend your rail vacation with new city packages in Chicago, Toronto, and Vancouver. Optional pre- or post-night packages include hotel accommodations for two nights and popular local sightseeing, and may be added to the beginning or end of qualifying rail vacations.
Look for the Extend Your Vacation icon to identify those vacations which offer new city stay packages. Ask your rail specialist for details about these pre- and post-night extensions.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the Palmer House Hilton, Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, Maswik Lodge, Sheraton in Los Angeles downtown or similar, Fisherman's Wharf, Westin in Seattle or similar, Glacier Park 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 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.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
Click here to view testimonials for Canyons, Glaciers & Waterfalls by Rail.
We received excellent assistance from our VBR representative who assisted us with our vacation plans... Overall, we received exceptional service on the train and at the train stations. Also, we had a very pleasant experience at the hotels, restaurants, planned sightseeing trips and taxi service.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|Departs Daily between 9th June 2018 and 1st September 2018||$3,182||
|Departs Daily between 9th June 2018 and 1st September 2018||$5,138||
|Departs Daily between 9th June 2018 and 1st September 2018||$7,070||
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Amtrak Coach: Departs daily between 9th June 2018 and 1st September 2018 from $3,182
Amtrak Roomette: Departs daily between 9th June 2018 and 1st September 2018 from $5,138
Amtrak Bedroom: Departs daily between 9th June 2018 and 1st September 2018 from $7,070
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Daytime journey from LAX to EMY is in Roomette accommodations. Prices are correct at the time this webpage is published; however are subject to change. Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.