Yellowstone & Glacier Adventure - The perfect combination of rail travel and escorted touring through the Western U.S.
Yellowstone & Glacier Adventure
Three National Parks of the western U.S. await you on this 11-day holiday that combines travel aboard legendary trains with unique escorted touring along the path followed by America’s pioneers. Your adventure begins in Chicago, where you will board the California Zephyr bound for Salt Lake City. Your discovery of the West begins with a tour of Utah’s capital city and visits to the National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Your travels continue to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks for in-depth exploration of these awe-inspiring natural wonders before returning to Chicago.
Tour Inclusions & Scenic highlights
One-way rail transportation aboard Amtrak’s California Zephyr from Chicago to Salt Lake City
One-way rail transportation aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder from Glacier National Park to Chicago
Transportation aboard a deluxe motor coach
Hotel accommodations for 8 nights
Train accommodations for one night aboard Amtrak’s California Zephyr
Train accommodations for one night aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder
Sightseeing in Salt Lake City, National Oregon/California Trail Center, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks. Admission to all attractions included
Services of a professional tour director
Scenic highlights of your trip include:
2002 Winter Olympic sites
National Oregon/California Trail Center
Grand Teton National Park
The Chapel of Transfiguration
Yellowstone National Park
Norris Geyser Basin
Mammoth Hot Springs
Upper and Lower Falls
Glacier National Park
Day 1 – Depart Chicago aboard the California Zephyr
Your great rail journey begins at Chicago’s historic Union Station, where you will meet your tour director at 12:30 for a 13:15 boarding. There will be ample time to settle into your accommodations for a 14:00 departure. As the train begins its journey west, take time to explore the double-decker Superliner, especially the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car with its swivel seats and expansive views. Get acquainted with your fellow travellers over a full-course dinner in the Dining Car as you admire the changing scenery. Tonight, your dreams will surely be filled with the journey to come. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 – En Route to Salt Lake City
Your day begins like none other as sweeping vistas of the glorious Colorado Rockies come into view. Keep your camera handy as the Zephyr climbs the front range of the Rockies and heads toward the Continental Divide, winding around sharp mountain curves and passing through numerous tunnels. Visit the Lounge Car for a Trails and Rails presentation as you travel from Denver to Grand Junction. Meet volunteer rangers from the area sharing stories and artifacts from the region. Your train is scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake City around 23:00. Overnight DoubleTree or SLC Marriott Downtown. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Salt Lake City Sightseeing
Your morning begins with a guided tour of beautiful Salt Lake City. Utah’s capital, founded by Mormon pioneers and once considered the “crossroads of the West,” boasts more than 150 years of history. The most famous site is Temple Square, where the Gothic spires of the Salt Lake Temple rise up. You’ll also see Utah’s State Capitol, the Great Salt Lake, and sites from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Also included is a visit to Red Butte Gardens, with over 40 hectares of natural gardens and walking paths. Your evening is free to explore Salt Lake City on your own. Overnight DoubleTree or SLC Marriott Downtown. (B, L)
Day 4 – En Route to Jackson Hole
After breakfast at your hotel, your motorcoach heads to Montpelier, Idaho for a visit to the National Oregon/California Trail Center, where you’ll learn first-hand about this historic pioneer route and experience a simulated wagon train ride. Afterward, continue on to the popular ski town of Jackson, Wyoming, where you’ll spend the night. You can almost hear the sound of the dinner bell calling for your hearty chuckwagon dinner this evening, followed by an authentic Western musical group performance. It’s a real wild, Wild West evening. Overnight Antler Inn. (CB, D)
Day 5 – Grand Teton National Park
The dramatic peaks of the Grand Teton mountain range rise 3,962 meters in the air. This is the cornerstone of today’s excursion to Grand Teton National Park, featuring blue mountain lakes and a diverse array of wildlife. Highlights of the day include the Chapel of Transfiguration, a pastoral log church in an idyllic setting with breathtaking views of the Tetons, lunch at the rustic Jackson Lake Lodge, and visits to the Colter Bay Visitor Center to learn about the history of the Park and the Indian Arts Museum, which houses an impressive variety of American Indian artifacts donated by the Rockefeller family.
As you conclude your visit to Grand Teton National Park, get ready for the granddaddy of all, Yellowstone National Park. Established in 1872 as America’s first National Park, Yellowstone is famous for many things. Among them is the world’s most extensive region of geothermal activity with thousands of hot springs that dot the landscape. Your accommodations for the next three nights are located inside the park. In the evening, you’ll discover a variety of things to do on your own or just relax in this natural setting. Overnight Grant Village. (L)
Day 6 – Yellowstone: a two-million acre national jewel
Today’s guided adventure of Yellowstone National Park takes you to Madison Junction with its scenic forests and meadows all the way to Norris Geyser Basin. Stand in awe of Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction and Tower Falls. Lunch is on your own before continuing on this afternoon to discover Artist Point, Inspiration Point and the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. Keep your camera handy as the vast Park is teeming with roaming wildlife, including wolves, grizzly bears, bison and elk. Overnight Grant Village. (B)
Day 7 – Yellowstone - Old Faithful
Today’s excursion takes you on a spectacular drive through the Hayden Valley, a region of lush forests and meadows. But the highlight of your day will be experiencing the Old Faithful Geyser. About every 30 minutes, Old Faithful erupts, shooting water some 30 meters in the air. You'll also view the fascinating paint-pots and bubbling hot springs mixed with clay. Return to the hotel and get ready for your group dinner this evening. Overnight Grant Village. (D)
Day 8 – En Route to Glacier National Park
Today board your motorcoach as you continue northbound to East Glacier Park, Montana, which so aptly portrays the slow-moving glaciers that carved out this magnificent area. Stops along the way will allow you to capture the beauty of the scenic mountains. Arrive in East Glacier Park and check into your Swiss-style chalet. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge. (B)
Day 9 – Welcome to Glacier National Park
Today experience Glacier National Park's pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and glistening lakes. Relive the days of old through the Park’s historic chalets, lodges, and transportation. Travel over the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the most spectacular scenic roadways in the world, aboard a historic Jammer Red Bus with a stop for a leisurely lunch on your own at Lake McDonald Lodge. You won’t know where to look first on this 80 kilometre-long drive with magnificent views of mountain scenery and abundant wildlife. This evening enjoy a gala farewell dinner, hosted by your tour director. Overnight Glacier Park Lodge. (D)
Day 10 – Empire Builder to Chicago
Your train departs this morning from the East Glacier Park Amtrak Station aboard the iconic Empire Builder bound for Chicago. Settle into your seat and reflect on all the wonderful experiences you had out West as you cross through the badlands of eastern Montana and western North Dakota. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 11 – Sweet Home Chicago
As you enjoy breakfast this morning, the train departs Minneapolis-St. Paul and heads toward the mighty Mississippi River. As the Empire Builder takes you across the plains and winds between the river bank and high bluffs, drink in the amazing scenery one last time. The train is scheduled to arrive in Chicago’s Union Station just before 4:00 pm this afternoon. (B, L)
Roomette - £319 per person Bedroom - £799 per person
Prices are per person based on double occupancy. All prices are subject to change without notice.
Tour prices are based on costs in the country of destination. There occasionally may be fluctuations in currencies that are not reflected as a Sterling equivalent. The prevailing rate of exchange when booked will determine the specific tour cost.
The California Zephyr makes the daily trip between Chicago and San Francisco, cutting through the plains of Nebraska to Denver, across the Rockies to Salt Lake City, and on through Reno and Sacramento into Emeryville/San Francisco. Enjoy magnificent views of the Rocky and Sierra-Nevada mountain ranges, deep canyons, and glistening lakes as your train speeds towards the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
The Empire Builder travels daily between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail. Enjoy magnificent views of the mighty Mississippi, Minneapolis’ glowing night skyline, the spectacular Gassman Coulee Trestle, and the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Jammers are vintage 1930’s era red open-air touring buses that take travellers along the Going-to-the-Sun Road into the heart of Glacier National Park. Jammers are the oldest fleet of original touring buses reconditioned and still in use today.
49er Inn: Located in downtown Jackson Hole, this 142-room inn includes indoor and outdoor hot tubs, a sauna, fitness room, wireless Internet access, and business center.
Glacier Park Lodge: The 161-guest room Glacier Park Lodge was built almost a century ago by the Great Northern Railway. In addition to well-appointed rooms, the Lodge contains the Great Northern Dining Room, Empire Bar, Empire Café Espresso Stand, a gift shop, outdoor swimming pool, nine-hole golf course, day spa, and more.
DoubleTree: Guests will enjoy two-room suites that include high-speed wireless Internet access as well as hotel amenities that include a pool, whirlpool, and fitness center.
Marriott Downtown: Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, this luxurious 504-room hotel is centrally-located to the historic Temple Square, Symphony Hall, and many entertainment and dining options. Hotel amenities include a heated pool, sauna, hot tub, and fitness centre.
Grant Village: Located on the southwestern shore of Yellowstone Lake—about 20 minutes from Old Faithful—and named after Ulysses S. Grant, who signed the law which established Yellowstone as the first National Park, the complex includes six 2-story buildings, each containing 50 rooms. There are two restaurants with lake views, a lounge, and a small gift store. All rooms are non-smoking and, in keeping with the natural surroundings of the Park, there are no TVs, radios, air conditioning, and Internet connections.