The USA’s Top 5 National Parks… and how to get to them by train!

Uncategorized | January 17, 2017

Last year was a record-setting year for visits to National Parks in the US. In total, some 325 million eager explorers dusted off their cameras and immersed themselves in the overwhelming natural beauty of some of the world’s most magnificent corners. That was the 3rd year in a row the record has been broken and, with National Parks consistently ranking amongst our customers’ favorite trips, we can certianly see what all the fuss is about. The USA is a treasure-trove of natural beauty; extensive, diverse, awe-inspiring – and just waiting to be discovered.

Of course, with surroundings so spectacular, there’s really only one way to arrive! Once you touch down across the pond, take to the rails and don’t miss a second of scenery! One of our favorite things about these national parks is they’re often just a quick hop from the train stations – so you can whiz through magnificent landscapes on your way towards even more magnificent landscapes. What better way to whet your appetite? Pens and bucket lists at the ready, here are our top 5 picks of the most beautiful spots in America!

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You may have seen the pictures, you may already own the guidebook, but take it from us; nothing can prepare you for the size and majesty of the immense Grand Canyon itself. One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, the Arizona landmark draws some five million visitors a year, all of whom leave awe-inspired by its sheer scale and beauty. As you gaze at the deep hues of the sundrenched rock, you’re gazing at billion-year-old geological history. These mighty and solitary rocks are simply a ‘must see’, whether illuminated by the jewel-toned colours of sunset or baking under the midday skies (think about that as England trembles amidst the January chill).

Get there the Railbookers way. Many of our exciting holidays include a trip to the sensational Grand Canyon – it’s one of our most popular US destinations! For the quintessential Grand Canyon getaway, try our Rails to the Grand Canyon adventure from Los Angeles, including the much-hailed Grand Canyon Freedom Tour and a return trip on the Grand Canyon Railway. Enjoy the breathtaking views from Amtrak’s Southwest Chief en route, as well as handpicked accommodation and selected meals included too. Click here for details – and enjoy!

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If you’re a fan of hiking, relaxing, or simply breathing in some of the freshest air you’ll ever inhale, you won’t want to miss a trip to Glacier National Park. Nestled amidst the deep valleys and glacier-chiselled summits of Montana’s Rocky Mountains, this seasonal gem overflows with hidden wonders, as well as five National Historic Landmarks, two mountain ranges and hundreds of the freshest, bluest lakes you might ever get to see. Next time you’re squashed in next to a stranger on your morning commute, imagine taking a gulp of that exquisite mountain air in a park as incredible in beauty as it is in scale.

Get there the Railbookers way. Just minutes away from its own train station, arriving on Amtrak’s Empire Builder turns this park into an unparalleled adventure – the train is often lauded as one of the top scenic rides in the whole USA. On our Great American West with Glacier National Park holiday, you’ll experience a boat cruise along the park’s magical Two Medicine Valley, a Big Sky Circle tour, and a tantalising taste of Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco to boot. Click here for more, and all aboard the Empire Builder!

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Amidst the ancient sequoia trees, towering waterfalls and myriad wildlife that nestle amidst California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, you’ll find America’s original National Park. Still regarded by many as the most dazzling jewel of the National Park crown, be prepared to redefine your definition of ‘natural wonder’ after a day spent admiring America’s highest waterfall, simply stunning monoliths and the 3,000 ft high granite slops of El Capitan.

Get there the Railbookers way.  Like the Beach Boys, the Hollywood Hills and the Golden Gate Bridge, Yosemite National Park is a Californian institution, epitomising the near-devastating beauty of one of the world’s most beguiling corners. What better way to see the Park, then, than on a tour by rail of the ‘Golden State’ itself, steaming from San Francisco through Napa Valley, Los Angeles and San Diego. And speaking of Californian institutions – the state’s trademark Coast Starlight train is one of the most awe-inspiring coastal train journeys in the world. Click here for more information.

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John Denver wove the magic of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains into his folk-y melodies, and decades later this National Park come mountainous muse continues to delight and inspire. Rocky Mountain National Park boasts drama in its exquisite stillness, the snow-dusted peaks and forest-lined lakes whispering enchantment into the tundra of the Continental Divide. The peaks and valleys of the mountain range itself stretch some 3,000 miles from Canada to New Mexico, but for the best hiking, biking, strolling and sightseeing, head to the alpine enchantments of the park itself.

Get there the Railbookers way. Unearth the wonders of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park as you travel from Denver to Salt Lake City aboard the world-famous California Zephyr train. You’ll be treated to a sightseeing tour of the park itself, a holiday highlight in its finest form. Stop there if you want to, but our Rocky Mountains to Yosemite holiday then whizzes you straight to San Francisco, where Yosemite National Park lies tantalisingly close… Click here for further information.


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Despite being the largest of all the USA’s National Parks, Yellowstone charms on a very personal level. Wyoming’s crowning glory encloses dreamy thermal hot springs, crashing waterfalls and dramatic canyons that – we’re sorry – none of your photos will be able to do justice to. Famously the home of some 300 geysers, this National Park is the infamous home of Old Faithful, one of the most predictable, and stunning, geothermal features in the world. This is definitely one you won’t want to miss.

Get there the Railbookers way. Turn your taste for the scenic into one spectacular holiday as you race along the tracks in the stunning USA. From the heights of Denver, board the exquisite California Zephyr to Salt Lake City – and your transfer to Yellowstone is included with your trip! Complete a triad of National Parks with visits to the Rocky Mountains and Yosemite, too – all in just 10 days! Click here for more information!



Enjoy your very own National Park adventure on your next holiday. To book any of the holidays above, or to chat to one of our Rail Experts about your own idea for an Amtrak adventure, call us on 020 3780 2222. Alternatively, request a quote by filling out our quick and easy form. We can’t wait to get started!