Few vacation experiences evoke the feeling of nostalgia like train travel. When you combine a rail adventure with the classic natural beauty of our national parks, it’s almost magical. The connection between our nation’s national parks and the train has always been strong. Before planes and automobiles, trains were the main form of transit to and from these majestic destinations.
Hop aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder® and enjoy a scenic ride that traces the footsteps of Lewis and Clark as it makes its way to destinations like Glacier National Park. Embark on the Southwest Chief® for a majestic ride through the desert to Grand Canyon National Park. Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Rocky Mountains and the countryside along Interstate 80 aboard the California Zephyr®.
All national parks a distinct and memorable experience, so choose one that fits you best. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous — visit them all!
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is home to unique combinations of geological colors and shapes carved out over millions of years of history that dazzles visitors, and a trip aboard the Southwest Chief® to this wonder of the world is a true bucket list experience. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as the train winds through narrow peaks, and see amazing views and scenic overlooks as you venture where no automobiles can go. Your Amtrak train will drop you off in the historic town of Williams where you will then board the Grand Canyon Railway, combining two of the best rail experiences.
Glacier National Park
Deep valleys, ancient forests and alpine scenery are only part of what makes Montana’s Glacier National Park so utterly incredible. It’s also home to over 130 pristine lakes, five national historic landmarks and over 1 million acres that boast parts of two mountain ranges, over 1,000 species of plants and hundreds of species of animals. There’s no better way to experience it than on Amtrak’s Empire Builder®. You’ll travel from Chicago to Seattle with stops along the way. The Amtrak station in Glacier National Park is located less than 300 steps away from Glacier Park Lodge, making it the most hassle-free way to travel.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is America’s oldest and largest national park. Here, you’ll find more than 300 geysers, including Old Faithful, and hundreds of species of wild birds and exotic plants. Outdoor activities abound including hiking, kayaking, fly fishing, skiing and snowshoeing. Enjoy flexibility with a rail and transfer combination. Spend a few nights in Salt Lake City before taking your transfer up to the park. Explore West Yellowstone’s lower loop, where you’ll see Old Faithful Geyser, the Old Faithful Inn, Isa Lake on the Continental Divide and other landmarks.
Exploring our national parks by rail is a great alternative to traditional travel options, and Amtrak Vacations provides a personal adventure for anyone seeking to check off their bucket list destinations.