Like most national parks, Yellowstone is not close to an Amtrak station, but if you’re willing to drive, take a shuttle or pay extra for an Amtrak vacation package that includes vehicle transportation, then this trip is a great adventure. The best option (and closest Amtrak station to Yellowstone National Park) is Salt Lake Central on the California Zephyr route. From there, drive time is just under five hours to the West Entrance (which is near the geysers).
Salt Lake City to Yellowstone Transportation Options
- Downtown Salt Lake City Enterprise is the closest rental car office to the Salt Lake Central Station — just 11 minutes away if you’re walking. Enterprise usually can pick up customers as well, so call the office in advance to make arrangements.
- Avis (at the Hilton Hotel), Hertz (inside the Marriott) and Hertz on South Main Street are also nearby.
- Don’t want to drive? Salt Lake Express has shuttle service from downtown Salt Lake to West Yellowstone for about $78 each way.
Other Things to Know
- Connect with the California Zephyr train in cities including Emeryville, Sacramento, Reno, Denver, Omaha and Chicago.
- The train ride from Chicago to Salt Lake City is about 35 hours and about 16 from Sacramento. If you want to reduce trip time, fly out of Salt Lake City after your visit to Yellowstone National Park and ride Amtrak just one way.
- If you are traveling east to Salt Lake City, arrival time is around 3 a.m. without delays, and scheduled arrival of 11 p.m. in Salt Lake if you are traveling west.
- There are many Salt Lake City hotels that are a 20-minute walk away or less from the Amtrak station.
- Book your campground or lodging at Yellowstone well in advance to guarantee your accommodations.