Western National Parks aboard the American Orient Express


In 2004, I visited five national parks or monuments by rail. (At the time, the train was called the American Orient Express. Today, Vacations By Rail (*Ü*) offers similar trips.) Starting in Santa Fe and ending in Salt Lake City, in eight days we managed to see Grand Canyon NP (*Ü*), Cedar Breaks NM (*Ü*), Zion NP (*Ü*), Yellowstone NP (*Ü*), and Grand Teton NP (*Ü*).

On this trip, I used a Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi for principal photos, a Canon PowerShot S400 for candid shots, and a Sony DCR-IP55 (MicroMV format) for videos.

This is Vimeo album 2759162.

  • Day 1: Santa Fe, NM to Williams, AZ [0:25:06] : Last night we all converged on the Loretto Inn (‎). This morning, we toured Santa Fe by bus and on foot. After taking a bus to Albuquerque, we finally boarded the train at 2 pm and rode overnight to Williams, AZ.

  • Day 2: Grand Canyon [0:23:04] : At 6:30 am, we headed north on Grand Canyon Railway track. Two-thirds of the way to the South Rim, locomotive problems forced us to use busses the rest of the day. After spending about 5 hours at the canyon, we were back in Williams by 5 pm. At 6 pm, we left for Cedar City, UT.

  • Day 3: Cedar Breaks National Monument [0:24:47] : The train pulled into Cedar City, UT at 3 pm. After a short bus ride, we were at the Cedar Breaks National Monument by 3:30, which we explored for about two hours.

  • Day 4: Zion National Park [0:17:10] : We spent practically the whole day (8:30 am - 5:30 pm) at Zion National Park. At 7 pm we left Cedar City, heading north to Idaho Falls.

  • Day 5: Yellowstone National Park [0:17:37] : The busses left Idaho Falls this morning at 8:30 am and arrived at the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park by 11:30 am. We toured the park until 3:30 pm and then headed south (by bus) to Jackson Lake Lodge (*Ü*), arriving at 5 pm.

  • Day 6: Grand Teton National Park [0:14:51] : The bus left Jackson Lake Lodge at 9 am and arrived at the train in Idaho Falls at 5:30 pm. On the way we toured Grand Teton NP, the National Museum of Wildlife Art (*Ü*), Jackson, Wyoming and the Snake River.