California Zephyr

  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Glenwood Springs
  • Emeryville (San Francisco)
51 hours 20 minutes Train Numbers
5, 6
Frequency: Daily

Experienced travelers say the California Zephyr is one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. As you climb through the heart of the Rockies, and further west through the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, you may find it hard to disagree. The Zephyr runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco, coursing through the plains of Nebraska to Denver, across the Rockies to Salt Lake City, and then through Reno and Sacramento into Emeryville/San Francisco. Connections in to San Francisco and Oakland stations via Thruway Bus Service at Emeryville, California. Reserve a spacious coach seat for your journey or, for a more luxurious experience, reserve a roomette or bedroom in one of the Superliner Sleeping Cars.

Scenic highlights include:Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevadas, Moffat Tunnel, Colorado's Gore, Byers and Glenwood Canyons, Winter Park, Truckee River,Donner Lake, San Pablo Bay and the Carquinez Strait

Glide past—not above—amber waves of grain . Climb the magnificent Rockies and Sierra Nevadas and witness the power of the raging Colorado River. Cross the Continental Divide, travel through tunnels and canyons. Marvel at the vivid hues of Utah’s deserts. There is simply no better way to experience the true majesty of America than from the ground up on Amtrak.

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” — John Muir

Features & Amenities

Amenities vary by train.

Downloadable menus are updated regularly, but menu items and prices are subject to change and may be different from what is available onboard.

Take your small dog or cat along with you on the train. Before you go, learn more about the types of pets allowed, pet reservations and fares, approved pet carriers and additional details.

See the Complete Pet Program Guidelines

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation Onboard

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation Onboard

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation Onboard

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation Onboard

An innovative partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak, the Trails & Rails program provides Amtrak passengers with educational opportunities to foster an appreciation of a selected region's natural and cultural heritage and renews the long tradition of associating railroads with National Parks.

The California Zephyr has an onboard Trails & Rails program operating from Denver, Colorado to Grand Junction, Colorado and on the return route between these two Colorado cities.

Learn More about Trails & Rails