Carefree Vacations in 1939

Although issued by the Great Northern, this brochure was aimed at California tourists and the four suggested tours would involve almost as much travel on the Southern Pacific and, in two cases, Canadian railroads as the Great Northern. Tour #2, to Yellowstone and Glacier, takes Californians to Yellowstone over the Union Pacific, not GN’s sometimes partner, sometimes rival Northern Pacific. From Yellowstone, tour members would take the Burlington to Billings and GN to Glacier.

Click image to download a 4.2-MB PDF of this six-panel brochure.

Tour #3 goes to Glacier, then Waterton, then to Calgary by bus and Banff and Lake Louise on the Canadian Pacific, continuing on to Vancouver. Tour #4 also goes to Calgary, then to Edmonton on the “Canadian Pacific streamline Chinook,” then on the Canadian National to Jasper and eventually Vancouver. The Chinook was a semi-streamlined steam locomotive that pulled a train of four semi-lightweight cars. The train itself was actually called the Eskimo, and it went into service in 1936 and was replaced by Budd RDCs in 1955.

Four nights in various Glacier Park hotels on tour #1, including all meals, was $46.50, a little over $600 in today’s dollars. Eight nights of hotels and meals on tour #4 are about $80, or close to $1,100 in today’s dollars. Rail fares and a lower berth from San Francisco bring the total prices of ten-day tour #1 to $135 ($1,800 today) and 14-day tour #4 to $200 ($2,600 today). It appears meals weren’t included during the train rides, so that cost has to be added to the total.

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