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Visit America's Most Stunning National Parks Onboard Amtrak

By Amtrak Vacations Wednesday, March 30, 2022 Read time: 7 minutes

Amtrak trains journey along a 21,000-mile rail system across 46 states to over 500 different destinations, including some of the country's most majestic national parks.  Download your free map of Amtrak's routes here. America's national parks are beautiful, wild places that draw crowds from around the world. They are living postcards that must be seen and discovered firsthand to be appreciated properly. No photograph can do these special places justice.

When you travel aboard Amtrak's iconic train routes such as the Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, and Southwest Chief to visit these natural wonders, you'll sweep through scenery that's sure to astound you. Desert landscapes, awe-inspiring mountain ranges, surreal sunsets and sunrises, lush forests, vast plains, and states and cities you probably would never see except by train are just a handful of the views you'll get to enjoy while onboard en route to your destination. Regardless of where you choose to begin and end these popular national park rail journeys, you can expect to create memories that will be talked about for years to come!

Glacier National Park Express

Swiftcurrent Creek at Dawn

National Park(s) Visited: Glacier National Park
Train Route: Empire Builder®

What You'll See and Experience: Glacier is one of North America's most popular national parks and for good reason. The snow-capped peaks, plunging waterfalls, dense forests, and glassy azure-coloured lakes have the ability to stop even the most discerning traveller in their tracks. This is a 10-day rail journey onboard Amtrak that you don't want to miss! If you choose to visit Glacier National Park from Chicago, your train will traverse major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail and follow in the footsteps of early pioneers. You'll also have the opportunity to take in incredible views of untouched wilderness along the way. Learn more about our Glacier National Park Express vacation.  

Grand National Parks of the Southwest - Bryce, and Zion to the Grand Canyon

View from Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

National Park(s) Visited: Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park
Train Routes: California Zephyr®, Grand Canyon Railway, and the Southwest Chief®

What You'll See and Experience: If you’ve been imagining what it would be like to experience some of the most beautiful, untamed landscapes of the American Southwest, this nine-day, eight-night roundtrip rail journey is a perfect adventure! Immerse yourself in the mysterious and soul-stirring geography of Grand Junction, Arches & Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Lake Powell, and the Grand Canyon—with plenty of leisure time to lounge and take it easy along the way. Featuring dazzling views everywhere you look, you could spend a lifetime exploring these regions and still discover something new and exciting each time. Be prepared to fall in love with and happily lose yourself in the exquisite beauty of the wilderness of these Grand National Parks of the Southwest! Gorgeous year-round, this is your opportunity to experience what millions of other travellers from around the world get to each year. Learn more about our Grand National Parks of the Southwest - Bryce, and Zion to the Grand Canyon vacation.  

Rails to the Grand Canyon

Grand canyon sunset landscape with dry tree foreground, USA

National Park(s) visited: Grand Canyon National Park
Train Route: Southwest Chief® and Grand Canyon Railway

What You'll See and Experience: Traveling onboard the Southwest Chief and the Grand Canyon Railway to one of the seven wonders of the natural world is certainly a bucket list experience like no other. Known as "the most spectacular gorge in the world," the Grand Canyon is one of those places that stays with you long after you return home from vacation. The South Rim (open all year) is the most accessible and offers unparalleled views. This five-day adventure will introduce you to the picturesque scenery of the American Southwest like you've never experienced it before, even if you've previously been there by car, bus, or plane. Learn more about our Rails to the Grand Canyon vacation.  

Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Rail Journey

Grand Teton National Park

National Park(s) Visited: Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park
Train Route: California Zephyr®

What You'll See and Experience: Explore two of America’s grandest national parks on this fabulous rail vacation! Travel through the wide-open landscape of the Heartland of America by rail before reaching Salt Lake City. Continue on to Jackson Hole for an exploration of Grand Teton National Park and its spectacular wildlife. From there, the journey north continues to Yellowstone National Park, where you can take in the amazing scenery that has made this destination a must-see for decades. Learn more about our Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Rail Journey vacation.  

The Rocky Mountains to Arches & Canyonlands

Arches National Park Arch Sunset

National Park(s) Visited: Rocky Mountain National Park, Arches National Park, and Canyonlands National Park
Train Route: California Zephyr®

What You'll See and Experience: This five-day vacation features breathtaking scenery of some of America’s most unforgettable settings – the great Rocky Mountains and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. First, explore the city of Denver and discover the wonders of Rocky Mountain National Park. Then board Amtrak’s California Zephyr for a scenic ride from Denver to Grand Junction, Colorado (your base for exploring the red-orange sandstone and desert blue skies of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks). It’s no surprise the U.S. Postal Service chose to depict Arches on one of its commemorative Park Service centennial stamps. The thousands of sandstone arches at Arches National Park are a must-see, and Canyonlands National Park provides a wealth of scenery, from vast mesas to soaring rock columns, and even examples of Native American cave painting. Your tour also includes a stop at Dead Horse Point State Park to take in the breathtaking view over Canyonlands and the Colorado River. Learn more about our Rocky Mountains to Arches and Canyonlands vacation.  

The Californian 

Yosemite Falls

National Park(s) Visited: Yosemite National Park
Train Route: Coast Starlight® and Pacific Surfliner®

What You'll See and Experience: Discover all the “Golden State” has to offer on this 9-day scenic journey from San Francisco to San Diego, with stops in wine country's Napa and Sonoma valleys, Yosemite National Park, and Los Angeles. Enjoy an entertaining day of sightseeing in San Francisco. Tour the award-winning wineries of Napa and Sonoma valleys. Spend a full day exploring the iconic Yosemite National Park. Get to know Los Angeles on a narrated tour and learn why so many stars call this fabulous city home. And, last, but certainly not least, explore the scenic coastal landscape of San Diego. Learn more about The Californian vacation.  

Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks Roundtrip from Washington, D.C.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

National Park(s) Visited: Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Train Route: Travel on any of Amtrak's famous routes from your hometown and onwards to Washington, D.C.

What You'll See and Experience: On your Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks Roundtrip Washington D.C. adventure you’ll start off exploring Washington, D.C, and visit the national monuments. Then, in your included car rental head to Shenandoah National Park and enjoy a scenic ride along the Skyline Drive through the park. Next up is the most visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park where a sightseeing tour will take you to the most spectacular overlooks, through the valleys and more. At your leisure make your way back to DC for a final night stay. Learn more about our Shenandoah and Great Smoky National Parks Roundtrip from New York City vacation.  

Portland & Acadia National Park Getaway

Acadia National Park by the sea

National Park(s) Visited: Acadia National Park
Train Route: Travel on any of Amtrak's famous routes from your hometown and on to Portland, ME

What You'll See and Experience: Discover the best of Maine on your Portland and Acadia National Park Getaway! Portland, Maine, the state's largest city, is a bustling seaport town filled with art galleries, boutiques, historic sites, and museums. Known for its many lighthouses, your all-encompassing harbour cruise tour will take you to see some of the most picturesque ones. Then hop in your included rental car and continue up the coast of Maine to Mount Desert Island, home to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. This treasure on the coast of Maine, its landscape portrait is painted with rocky beaches, woodlands, and glacier-polished peaks including the ever-impressive Cadillac Mountain – the highest point on the East Coast. Don’t forget to bring your camera – the ranging wildlife from bears and moose to whales and seabirds along the Park Loop Road are memories that you’ll want to take home with you. Learn more about our Portland & Acadia National Park Getaway vacation. Learn more about all of our National Parks rail vacations.

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