Amtrak California Zephyr Train: Stops, Stations, & Things To Know (A Complete Rider Guide)

Amtrak operates the California Zephyr, a long-distance passenger train that travels from Chicago to the San Francisco Bay Area (at Emeryville), stopping in Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Reno. At 2,438 miles (3,924 km), it is Amtrak’s longest daily route and second-longest overall after the Texas Eagle’s triweekly continuation from San Antonio to Los Angeles. Travel duration between termini is roughly 511⁄2 hours. Amtrak describes the route as one of its most scenic, featuring views of the upper Colorado River basin in the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. The current train is the second version of the California Zephyr; the original train was privately run and traveled a different route through Nevada and California.

The length of the journey is approximately 51 hours.

This is not Amtrak’s official website and is not affiliated with Amtrak; this is just for the reader’s guide.

Schedule Highlights

  1. There is only one eastbound and one westbound California Zephyr train per day.
  2. Overnight trains travel through Utah and Nebraska.
  3. Trains leave and arrive in Chicago in the afternoon.
  4. Trains leave Emeryville (near San Francisco) in the morning.
  5. Trains arrive in Emeryville in the late afternoon.
  6. Westbound trains offer faster arrival times in Salt Lake City.

Visit to view the most recent timetables.

Amtrak California Zephyr Train Stations and Stops

Amtrak California Zephyr Train Stations and Stops

All Stops

The following is a list of every station that the California Zephyr stops at, broken down by state:

IllinoisChicago Union StationChicago
Mount PleasantMount Pleasant
ColoradoFort MorganFort Morgan
Denver Union StationDenver
Fraser-Winter ParkFraser
Glenwood SpringsGlenwood Springs
Grand JunctionGrand Junction
UtahGreen RiverGreen River
Salt Lake CitySalt Lake City

Popular Stops

  • Sacramento
  • Reno
  • Salt Lake City
  • Glenwood Springs
  • Winter Park
  • Denver
  • Omaha
  • Chicago

Onboard the Amtrak California Zephyr Train

Onboard the Amtrak California Zephyr Train


Lower/Upper-Level Coach Class Seats

Every Amtrak train has coach class, which has large, reclined seats with lots of legroom, no choice for a middle seat, at-seat trays, reading lights, and electrical outlets. There are restrooms in every car. Customers using Amtrak Guest Rewards who travel in coach receive two points for every dollar spent.


Amtrak California Zephyr train for customers seeking both privacy and savings in First Class, Roomettes feature:

  • Two comfortable seats by day, changed into upper and lower beds by night.
  • Newly upgraded bedding, pillows, towels and linens
  • Access to a restroom and shower in your car
  • A dedicated First Class attendant
  • Complimentary lounge access
  • Priority boarding
  • Complimentary meals

Superliner Bedroom:

For passengers seeking plenty of luxury and room in First Class, Bedrooms include:

  • 2x the space of a Roomette
  • A sofa and separate chair by day transformed into upper and lower beds by night
  • Newly upgraded bedding, pillows, towels and linens
  • In-room sink, restroom and shower
  • A dedicated First Class attendant
  • Complimentary lounge access
  • Priority boarding
  • Complimentary meals
  • Up to 2 Adults can travel
  • 1-2 Suitcases

Once you have booked, your room number will be automatically issued. Your ticket will provide your exact car and room number. Upon arrival, your First Class attendant will direct you to your room.

Superliner Bedroom Suite

Amtrak California Zephyr train offers Superliner Bedroom Suite For customers who are looking for the ultimate First Class experience, Bedroom Suites combine two adjoining Bedrooms and feature:

  • 2x the space of a Bedroom
  • Two sofas and separate chairs by day, turned into upper and lower beds by night.
  • Newly upgraded bedding, pillows, towels and linens
  • Two in-room sinks, restrooms, and showers
  • A dedicated First Class attendant
  • Complimentary lounge access
  • Priority boarding
  • Complimentary meals

Superliner Family Bedroom

California Zephyr offers Superliner Family Bedroom for customers traveling with kids in First Class, Family Rooms span the width of the car with ample space for two adults and two children (aged 2 – 12) and feature:

  • Seating for four during the day turned into two upper and two lower beds at night.
  • Newly upgraded bedding, pillows, towels and linens
  • Access to a private restroom and shower in your car
  • A dedicated First Class attendant
  • Complimentary lounge access
  • Priority boarding
  • Complimentary meals

Superliner Accessible Bedroom

Accessible Bedrooms are positioned on the train’s entry level and provide adequate space for wheelchairs in the Superliner Accessible Bedroom. Each room contains:

  • Seating during the day turned into upper and lower beds at night.
  • On single-level Viewliner trains: an in-room restroom with sink, toilet, and shower.
  • On bi-level Superliner trains: in-room restroom with sink and toilet, access to a private shower in your vehicle.
  • Recently renovated bedding, pillows, towels, and linens
  • A dedicated first-class attendant
  • Complimentary Lounge access
  • Priority Boarding
  • Complimentary meals, including room service.

Trainside Checked Bicycle

  • Carry-On/Trainside: Bicycles and folding scooters weighing up to 50 pounds are allowed as train carry-ons. Standard bicycle sizes apply—maximum tire width: 2 inches.
  • Checked: Bicycles weighing up to 50 pounds and measuring 70″ x 41″ x 8.5″ and non-folding scooters


Here are some dining options for California Zephyr’s travelers.

  • Traditional Dining
  • Café Service

Traditional Dining

Traditional meal service is available on the California Zephyr’s Meal Car as a unique, gratis amenity for customers traveling in first-class private suites.

Traditional dining offers seasonal meals with a wide range of dinner options. Complement your meal with a variety of beverages, such as beer, wine, and spirits (the first is on). Make sure to save room for dessert; there is plenty to satisfy every sweet craving. In addition to their standard menu, children can request their favorite items onboard.

Café Service

Amtrak California Zephyr trains offer café service, with a selection of meals, snacks, and beverages for sale. Customers of all service levels are welcome to visit the Café, which is open from early morning to late night. 

Things To Know Before You Go

  • There is no WiFi.
  • There is an observation car. Get there early for the Colorado leg of the trip.
  • A day journey between Denver and Salt Lake City offers vistas of the Rocky Mountains.
  • If you want to explore Rocky Mountain National Park, get off the train in Denver and rent a car or take a tour.
  • All of the stations in Colorado are fantastic places to spend a night or two. For more information, see Colorado Amtrak travel ideas.
  • You can hop off and on the train at any station, but you must purchase tickets for each part and, in most cases, stay at least one night in the city where you disembark.
  • The California Zephyr has Superliner rail cars that are two levels tall. In addition to unassigned coach seats, there are roomettes, bedrooms, bedroom suites, family bedrooms, and accessible bedrooms.

Amtrak California Zephyr Train Cost

Amtrak California Zephyr Train Cost

The cost of an Amtrak ticket differs based on the kind of ticket, the distance traveled, the time of year, and how early you book. Coach seats are the most cost-effective option, followed by roomettes and bedrooms.

Here are the expected California Zephyr 2023 prices for the whole route:

$150-$300 for each coach seat.

$700 to $1,300 for a roomette (meals, water, and coffee included).

$1,400 to $2,300 for a family bedroom (meals, water, and coffee included).

$1,600 to $3,300 for a bedroom (meals, water, and coffee included).

Note that ticket costs are especially high during the busy summer season.

For the latest price, go to website.

Bonus Section

  •  Three competing trains operated between Chicago and the East Bay before Amtrak’s creation in 1971.
  • The California Zephyr, operated by CB&Q, D&RGW, and WP, operated between Chicago and Oakland.
  • The City of San Francisco, operated by various railroads, operated between Chicago and Oakland on the Overland Route.
  • The San Francisco Chief, operated by AT&SF, operated between Chicago and Richmond via Southern Transcon.
  • Amtrak initially intended to revive the California Zephyr, but the WP’s termination and refusal to cooperate led to the SP route being chosen.
  • The D&RGW chose not to join Amtrak due to concerns about crowding its single-track mainline, leading to the Denver–Ogden Rio Grande Zephyr being operated by the D&RGW.
  • Mention any special events or festivals near some of the train stops (potential side trips).

If you need guide on Amtrak Berkshire Flyer Train, AMTRAK BLUE WATER TRAIN, Amtrak Auto Train, Amtrak Cascades Train or ACELA TRAIN or Amtrak Adirondack Train you can read.

Additional Resources

Here are links to the official Amtrak California Zephyr webpage and other relevant resources.

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