Last updated: 06:00 PM ET, Mon July 20 2015

Vacations By Rail Explores National Parks This Summer

Car Rental & Rail | James Ruggia | July 20, 2015

Vacations By Rail Explores National Parks This Summer

PHOTO: Vacations By Rail Explores National Parks This Summer. (Courtesy of Vacations by Rail)

Vacations By Rail (VBR) is reporting that it still has space this summer for its America’s National Parks vacations, which include such classic trains as the Southwest Chief, Empire Builder or California Zephyr visiting the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. “Summer is the most popular time to visit the national parks because many popular areas of the parks are only accessible in the warmer months, like Glacier’s Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the most famous roadways in North America,” said Todd Powell, CEO and co-founder of VBR.

VBR’s National Park programs include entrance to the parks and their top attractions. Among the vacations still available this summer are the escorted 11-day Yellowstone and Glacier Adventure. Priced from $2,795 roundtrip from Chicago (other departure points available) this August and September, the package uses the California Zephyr and Empire Builder. Highlights include a tour of Utah's capital city, a visit to the National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho, the cowboy town of Jackson and visits to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks.

The independent seven-day Empire Builder with Glacier National Park (Chicago to Seattle) includes two nights onboard Amtrak's Empire Builder as well as two nights each in Glacier Park Lodge and Many Glacier Lodge. Highlights include a Swiftcurrent Lake Boat Cruise and an excursion along the Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard vintage Red Jammer buses. This tour is priced from $1,645 per person double this September.

The independent six-day Grand Canyon Rails to Rim (from Chicago) uses Amtrak's Southwest Chief bound for Williams Junction, Arizona, the gateway to the Grand Canyon. In Williams, travelers catch the Grand Canyon Railway for a journey to the South Rim where they embark on a narrated motorcoach tour of the most scenic views. After a day of guided sightseeing, travelers spend the rest of the time exploring the Canyon at leisure and can visit important sites such as the Desert View Watchtower and the Colorado River. Prices for summer departures start at $1,125 per person, fall and winter vacation departures start at $995 per person.

Priced from $2,934 per person, the independent Canyons, Glaciers & Waterfalls by Rail visits three National Parks, aboard three Amtrak trains. It starts with a day in Chicago, then boards the Southwest Chief for the Grand Canyon, then the Grand Canyon Railway to the Canyon's South Rim before heading on to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Yosemite National Park. Travelers then travel north aboard the Coast Starlight to Seattle where they will board the final train of the trip, the Empire Builder. Returning east via Glacier National Park. 


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