"The Crown of the Continent" awaits you on this 8-day rail adventure to Glacier National Park.
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."
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.
Vacations By Rail can provide connecting rail from your nearest Amtrak Station.
For 2020 departures please contact a rail specialist at 1-877-929-7245.
- Round-trip transportation aboard Amtrak
- Hotel accommodations for 5 nights
- Meals onboard train when including train sleeping accommodations
- Glacier National Park
- St. Mary's Lake boat cruise
- Crown of the Continent tour
- Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard Vintage Red Jammer buses
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. (D 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. (B, L, D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 3 - Glacier Park Lodge at Leisure
Located at the southeast corner of Glacier National Park, Glacier Park Lodge was built in 1913 by the Great Northern Railway. Inside the historic hotel, Douglas Fir logs tower over the lobby, a fire crackles in the stone fireplace and guests gather to share stories of the day’s adventures.
You have a full day to explore the lodge and its grounds. Perhaps take an Interpretive Tour of the grounds, visit the Native American Trading Post, or venture into the park for a leisurely hike. Shuttle transfers to Two Medicine Lake and Many Glacier are also available. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge.
Day 4 - 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 5 - 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.
Day 6 - 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 7 - 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. (L, D Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 8 - 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. (B, L Sleeping Car passengers only)
Hotels include the Glacier Park Lodge and St. Mary Hotel.
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.
Know before you go
Please be aware Amtrak may experience occasional schedule changes and service disruptions. Vacations By Rail recommends visiting the Amtrak web site prior to your departure for the latest information.
+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.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
Tour Dates & Prices
Register for Free Notification of 2023 Dates & Prices
Sign up to receive insider access and special deals on 2023 departures of Glacier National Park & Chicago.
NOTE: 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.