America’s national parks are places of pristine beauty. Exploring them with your family is a vacation immersion in the splendor of the natural world. And seeing our national parks by train is an unforgettable journey.
One of the ironies of our national parks is that an overwhelming number of visitors use personal vehicles to access them. Car pollution is contributing to a range of environmental issues affecting these once unblemished sanctuaries. Traffic jams that would make you think you’re in Times Square are commonplace at the most popular parks during peak season.
There’s a solution. Travelers may leave their car at home and ride the train to numerous parks for a low-impact, low-stress vacation that’s good fun and good for the planet.
Let the conductor do the driving as you relax and watch the scenery glide by. Here are seven national parks reachable by train.
Glacier National Park’s patchwork of emerald lakes, misty valleys and hiking trails nestled in glacier-carved peaks are as pretty as a postcard. Ride the vintage Red Jammer Bus and get an excellent overview of the landscape and abundance of fauna.
Amtrak’s Empire Builder delivers passengers to the East Glacier station at the edge of Glacier National Park. The train station is just across from Glacier Park Lodge, an excellent basecamp steeped in Great Northern Railway history.
En route daily between Chicago to the Pacific Northwest, a journey on the Empire Builder offers a window into the rugged splendor of the American West, including portions of the Lewis and Clarke Trail and Big Sky Country in Montana.