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“Beautiful Scenery + A Pleasant Atmosphere”
Review of California Zephyr

California Zephyr
Ranked #58 of 519 Transportation in California
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Since 1949 this Amtrak train has taken travelers on scenic rides between Roseville, IL and Oakland, CA.
Reviewed April 4, 2018

The views on this train simply can't be beat! Travelling westbound from Chicago, you leave during the afternoon, spending the first half of the trip in the Great Plains of Iowa and Nebraska. After stopping in Omaha late at night, you go to sleep and awake in Denver! Then comes the really fun part - the steady climb out of Denver and into the Rocky Mountains. Travelling through over 25 tunnels carved into the mountains, the train twists and turns around bends, winding through the valleys while gaining several thousand feet of elevation and tracing the Colorado river at many points. The stretch between Denver and Salt Lake City is equally stunning, filled with stacked rock towers and martian-looking landscapes.

Date of experience: April 2018
8  Thank Erik N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed April 3, 2018

We rode from Davis, CA (10:30 AM on a Tuesday) to Omaha, NE (4:30AM on the following Thursday) - almost two whole days and two whole nights! Since one of us commutes on Amtrak we get points, just like airlines, so we were able to afford a bedroom with a sitting area that converts to bunk beds and an en suite bathroom that has a shower. The bonus is that traveling like this all dining car meals are included - anything on the menu! Except for alcohol of course. With all that, we really would suggest doing the tw-day trip this way. Now why take the train instead of driving or flying?? First you're not driving! So you can really enjoy the scenery, And you're experiencing it on the ground rather than from 30k Feet! This trip takes you across the Sierras in the day time (there was still a lot of snow at Donner Pass) and you sleep pretty much through Northern Nevada and Utah, morning just around Green River, Utah. Then all day through Colorado, following I-70 along the Colorado River until turning north, still following the beautiful Colorado, leaving I-70 behind and going up to Granby, then Fraser and finally the Winter Park ski area just before entering the Moffat Tunnel (here at about 9000 ft, still lots of snow) and emerging on the west slope down to Denver, about 6PM. Nightfall in eastern Colorado, then a somwhat rude awakening in Omaha - the train was actually ahead of schedule at almost every station, but of course had to wait for the scheduled departure.
In summary, if you have the time, I would definitely recommend this trip. Amtrak could do a little better, the sleepers are showing their age, but still an interesting, comfortable, relaxing trip.

Date of experience: March 2018
7  Thank Steve M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 3, 2018 via mobile

Took my 16 year old son from Chicago to San Jose. The trip was very relaxing and paying extra for a sleeper car was well worth it. Our private room attendant, Deon, made our trip even better. His level of customer service was second to none. The scenic trip was beautiful and dining car served great food. Thanks Amtrak... Deon deserves a raise.

Date of experience: April 2018
5  Thank LloydDob89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 1, 2018

Just wanted to try trip on Amtrack, we took the Zephyr to Sacramento from Denver. The landscape was amazing to see and the service was very good. The food on the train was excellent although the menu choices stay the same the entire trip. The sleepette room was great during the day but a little cramped at night. All the staff we dealt with were courteous and helpful.

Date of experience: March 2018
5  Thank Stella M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed March 29, 2018

What a wonderful relaxing way to see America. We flew from NJ to Chicago and bordered the train at 2PM Monday. We had a roomette that sleeps 2. We traveled across the Midwest, the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Nevada, across the Sierra mountains and got off in Emeryville (Oakland) CA.

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank Mkoziupa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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