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Amtrak through Glacier Park in December?

Delaware, OH
2 posts
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Amtrak through Glacier Park in December?

My wife and I am considering taking the Empire Builder in December through Glacier Park to try and recreate a trip as a child in 1956. If the train reaches the East Station at 6:45 P. M., can we really see anything even with a full moon? If the train is late, our options seem even more limited. Does anyone have an experience with a winter trip on the Empire Builder?

indiana
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for Glacier National Park
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3,023 posts
93 reviews
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1. Re: Amtrak through Glacier Park in December?

I haven't taken the train trip, but do know it doesn't go thru the park but around it.

montana
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1,275 posts
51 reviews
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2. Re: Amtrak through Glacier Park in December?

It starts to get dark around 4, 4:30 p.m. in Dec. By 5:00 p.m. it is dark. It's often cloudy, sometimes for weeks at a time in the winter, so catching a full moon out is a rarity and a treat.

Good luck with your plans.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Train Travel
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3. Re: Amtrak through Glacier Park in December?

If you are going to stay on the train "through" Glacier park in December, you will NOT see any of the park. Perhaps a few lights will draw your attention to the Isaac Walton Lodge as you pass by (it's a flag stop that is rarely used during the winter) but the lodge is behind a train yard so you can even miss that. The sun will set around 4:30. You say that you get to East Glacier at 6:45 which means that you're on train #7 heading west. The sun will go down before you hit Shelby, MT. The Empire builder has been running on-time for the last two years. Let's hope that you're train is also on time.

Everett, Washington
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4. Re: Amtrak through Glacier Park in December?

We took Empire Builder R/T to/from Minnesota from Seattle one year for Chirstmas to visit family. Due to lousey schedule timing you can't see any mountains at all - Cascade or Rockies. Just lots of barren northern MT during the day. Going west it hits south of Glacier well after dark and when it lets off the skiers you can't see anything outside.

The point about on-time hits a nerve. Our daughter used to take the EB from Grand Forks, ND to St. Paul and many times it was running very late (8-10 hours) due to avalanche delays near Glacier. Got to know the Amtrak online status page all too well.

Montana
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107 posts
24 reviews
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5. Re: Amtrak through Glacier Park in December?

Good afternoon, My wife and I regularly ride AMTRAK from the Malta, MT stop then through Glacier NP and then on to Portland and return. We are familiar with the route, times, stops, and what to see. Amtrak doesn't stop at East Glacier in winter. You won't see much traveling through Glacier NP in winter season. The train tracks are in the bottom of the canyon with steep sides. You will travel through Glacier NP at night. Even with a full moon, you won't see much. You will see lights from cabins and lodges, but that is about it. Have a good trip.

Montana
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107 posts
24 reviews
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6. Re: Amtrak through Glacier Park in December?

Oops, I made a mistake; Amtrak does stop at East Glacier in the winter, Amtrak doesn't stop at Browning during the winter. Sorry.

7. Re: Amtrak through Glacier Park in December?

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