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Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

Nottingham
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Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

We are planning to get the Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seatle first week in June. Would like to stop off for a few days and visit Yellowstone. What is the best way to do this? I anticipate a railstop somewhere within a day's drive of Yellowstone? So a day to drive there, 3 days in the Park and a day to drive back to pick up the train to Seatle. Does this sound doable, and what train stop do we go for? If there is any alternative to hiring a car from train stop to Yellowstone, we would prefer that - is there a bus? Coming from the UK. I know we could go to SLC and drive, but we have already done that (beautiful) train trip Chicago to SF and wanted to try the northern route this time. If its not possible to do this easily would a trip to Galcier NP be a good alternative - assuming there is an Amtrak stop reasonably near?? sorry, lots of question!

Bemidji, Minnesota
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1. Re: Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

The northern Amtrak route will have stops at East Glacier and you can rent a car here to drive to Yellowstone. It will be a day's drive. You should also take time to see some of Glacier National Park while you have the car.

You could also go as far as Whitefish, MT and rent the car there. I think the trip down the west side of the Rocky Mountians is a bit more scenic so I would choose this but others prefer the east side. Check the times when the trains arrive and depart because that may impact your choice and the cost of the rental car may be different too.

Wisconsin
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2. Re: Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

We have taken the Empire Builder from Chicago, and it's a beautiful route as well. Not sure which stop for Yellowstone, but we took the train specifically to go to Glacier, and there is a stop at East Glacier, a stones throw from the Park Lodge. There was a car rental just across from the train station, because you do need a car to navigate the park. Glacier is beautiful, but we are going to Yellowstone this year for the first time, so not sure how the parks compare. But Glacier is very easy to get to from the train.

Billings, Montana
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3. Re: Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

The amtrak route goes along the northern part of Montana so it is a long ways from Yellowstone Park.

If you got off at Havre, Montana it is about 340 miles to the town of Gardiner, Montana and the north entrance to Yellowstone Park. This route would be on all two-lane roads with the exception of a short section of interstate highway.

If you got off at the town of Shelby, Montana it is about 350 miles to the town of West Yellowstone, Montana and the west entrance to Yellowstone Park. This route would be all interstate highway with the exception of the last 90 miles which would be on two-lane road.

If you got off at the town of Whitefish, Montana it would be about 385 miles to the town of West Yellowstone.

In June, all roads and services in Yellowstone Park would be open. The roads to get there will be fine. You would need to be prepared for winter driving conditions inside Yellowstone Park in early June as it is at a high elevation and it can snow at anytime throughout the year. I live very close to Yellowstone Park so go there multiple times every year. I've had some gorgeous weather in June and I've had some very cold and wintery trips in June.

There really isn't any way to get from a Amtrak station to Yellowstone Park without renting a car. There are some options for tours inside Yellowstone Park if you didn't want to have a car but since you need to have one to get there you might as well have your own car to tour Yellowstone. Your plan of 1 day to drive to Yellowstone, 3 days inside Yellowstone, and 1 day to drive back to the train station would be good. If you do decide on that you would need to get lodging reservations as soon as possible. Inside the park would be ideal but you might have to stay outside the park (West Yellowstone or Gardiner)

Deb

Edited: 8:19 am, February 24, 2013
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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4. Re: Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

I have to say, I loved my March 2012 Empire Builder trip from Milwaukee to Whitefish. Others are right, it's a long drive from up there down to Yellowstone, but it can be done if you have the time and inclination (and money of course).

nottingham uk
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5. Re: Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

Many thanks everyone, so helpful. Need to think carefully about that long drive. Alternative would be to skip Yellowstone on this occasion and have a few days in glacier np. But first week in June does not sound like a great time to do this, weather wise. Any opinions? Alternative would be to take the zephyr again and go north to YNP from salt lake city. I think we could also get to drive through grand teton.

Green Valley...
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6. Re: Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

Take the drive to YNP, iffy, changeable, weather early in June, but wildlife abounds and the geysers, well, they do their thing rain or shine. It's not quite a day drive, 7+ hours to Canyon Village, plus you have many daylight hours. And see Grand Teton NP as time permits.

However, your timing won't be good for a drive through Glacier NP. Going to the Sun Road probably will be only partially open, and that access to the park's interior, and spectacular scenery, will be lost.

www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gttsrfaq.htm

I'd save GNP for another trip, hopefully, including Waterton/Banff/Jasper NPs.

Edited: 9:51 am, February 24, 2013
Bemidji, Minnesota
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7. Re: Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

I know you are thinking of this as a long drive but in the American west this isn't a bad drive. The roads are good, the traffic is light, and there are sights to see as you travel.

Nottingham
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8. Re: Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

Really helpful thanks

9. Re: Nearest Amtrak station to drive to from North

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