Map and Highlights- This tour is a "Guaranteed Departure"
Experience one of America’s greatest historical events as we celebrate the Golden Spike 150th anniversary! Completion of the transcontinental railroad joined a nation after a devastating civil war and ushered in a new age of expansion and prosperity. Enjoy a few days exploring Northern Utah with its wonderful history, stunning scenery and a once in a lifetime event!
Day 1 – Arrive Salt Lake City (5/8 Wed)
Today your historic experience begins as you arrive in beautiful Salt Lake City, also known as “The Crossroads of the West.” After meeting your local tour director, transfer to your hotel and check in for a 4-night stay followed by some time to settle in and relax after your journey. Then join the group as you take a short drive to the Natural History Museum of Utah which serves as a trailhead to the state’s stunning landscapes, diverse lifeforms, and rich cultural history. With its award-winning architecture, ten galleries of interactive exhibits and sweeping views of the Salt Lake Valley, the museum is the ideal place to launch your exploration of Utah. Then join the group for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Little America, Salt Lake City, UT (D)
Day 2 – Great Salt Lake – Hill Air Museum - Salt Lake City (5/9 Thu)
This morning take a short drive north and visit Antelope Island State Park on the Great Salt Lake for sightseeing. At the Visitors Center, a park ranger will introduce you to the unique ecosystem of this inland salt sea. For those interested, you will have the opportunity to walk on the unique oolitic sand and even dip your toes in water that is 8 times saltier than the ocean. The island is also home to a wide variety of wildlife including bison, deer, antelope, coyote, waterfowl and more. This is the best place to experience the Great Salt Lake. Next, travel to Hill Air Force Base Museum, home of over 70 historic aircraft. Several historic and rare aircraft can be seen such as the SR-71 Blackbird, B-52 Stratofortress and B-17 Flying Fortress. After an included lunch, return to Salt Lake City and enjoy a stop at the Utah State Capitol. Return to your hotel with the rest of the afternoon and evening free to explore on your own. Your hotel is located in the “Free Fare Zone” for Salt Lake City’s light rail system known as TRAX with a station just steps away. TRAX will give you easy access to all the best historic sights, restaurants and shopping districts in the City. We suggest you visit City Creek Center and Temple Square. You can also visit the Family History Library, a genealogical research facility in downtown Salt Lake City with state of the art technology for an introduction to family history at the Family Search Discovery Experience. Whatever you choose, we are sure you will enjoy your time in the city known as “The Crossroads of the West!”
Little America, Salt Lake City, UT (B,L)
Day 3 – Golden Spike Celebration – Ogden Union Station (5/10 Fri)
Today is the day for a once in a lifetime historical event as you travel to Golden Spike National Historic Site to celebrate the 150th Anniversary for the completion of the transcontinental railroad. On May 10, 1869, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory and forged the destiny of a nation. Golden Spike National Historic Site shares the stories of the people and settings that define the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad. Learn all about the history in the Visitors Center and see the steam locomotives Jupiter and No. 119, fully-functional replicas of the original locomotives that met here in 1869, for the "Wedding of the Rails." Those who come in period dress will be invited to join in recreating the famous Golden Spike Photograph. It will be a festive atmosphere with local craft and food vendors, reenactors and more! After a historic morning and time for lunch on your own, take a short drive to Ogden Union Station for touring and to see the incredible “Big Boy” No. 4014, the largest, heaviest, and most powerful operational steam locomotive in the world! This lovingly restored locomotive is 132 feet long and weighs 1.2 million pounds. Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December 1941. The locomotive was retired in December 1961, having traveled 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years in service. You will also see Steam Locomotive No. 844 which is the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. Delivered in 1944, it was a high-speed passenger engine and pulled such widely known trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger. Under one roof at the Ogden Union Station, you'll explore four museums including the Browning Firearms Museum, the Browning-Kimball Car Museum, a Natural History Museum with displays of gems and minerals of the Intermountain West and the Utah State Railroad Museum which houses some of the world's largest and most historic locomotives. The building also houses the Wattis-Dumke Model Railroad and artifacts from Ogden's romantic railroad days in the Station's original baggage room. After a day celebrating rail history, it is time to experience a more modern version as you board FrontRunner, a high-speed commuter train, for a scenic ride back to Salt Lake City. The schedule for this day is subject to change and will be left open to accommodate additional activities and events for the 150th Anniversary Celebration as they are announced.
Little America, Salt Lake City, UT (B)
Day 4 – Snowbird – Heber Valley RR – Park City (5/11 Sat)
Start the day with an assent into the mighty Rocky Mountains and experience their sheer ruggedness and beauty with a drive up a magnificent glacially-carved valley known as Little Cottonwood Canyon. Arrive at the beautiful and modern Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort to enjoy a thrilling aerial tram ride to the "Roof of the Rockies” and experience breathtaking views from 11,000-ft Hidden Peak, overlooking Mineral Basin and the Salt Lake Valley. Next travel south to beautiful Provo Canyon and arrive at Vivian Park along the banks of the Provo River. Here you will enjoy a box lunch before boarding the Heber Valley Historic Railroad for a nostalgic steam train ride with breathtaking views of Mt. Timpanogos, the beautiful sheer granite walls of Provo Canyon and Deer Creek Reservoir on your way to the Heber Depot. After a little time to explore the depot, take a short drive to Park City and enjoy some free time to explore Historic Main Street. This once mining boomtown, turned winter and summer destination resort town, is a wonderful combination of old and new. There are many shops and art galleries to visit as you walk the same path as silver miners of the late 1800’s. After a full day, return to Salt Lake City and your hotel. This evening, join the group for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Little America, Salt Lake City, UT (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Tabernacle Choir - Home (5/12 Sun)
A special experience awaits you this morning at Temple Square, where you will have a chance to hear the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir's weekly broadcast performance. (Choir’s schedule permitting). Then transfer to the Salt Lake Airport for your departure flight home, plan on a 12:00 PM or later flight. What an unforgettable, historical and fun experience you've had in Salt Lake City, Utah!
4 nights accommodations
Transportation by motorcoach
Services of a professional Western Leisure tour director
4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Entrance fees to attractions and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
Tips for included meals
Luggage handling (1 suitcase per person)
Meals (other than mentioned in the itinerary)
Items of a personal nature (i.e., room service, telephone, liquor, etc.)
Customary gratuities for tour director, driver, local guides and outfitters
Price Per person