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About Amtrak California Zephyr

The California Zephyr is an Amtrak train that connects Chicago, Illinois to San Francisco, California. It has stops in several major cities across the Midwest and Southwest United States. Overall, the Amtrak California Zephyr stops in 35 cities, averaging 3927 train trips every month. Taking the train the full length from Chicago to San Francisco takes just over 50 hours, but there are also much shorter trips you can take with the Zephyr. Currently, tickets begin at just $9.51 while the most expensive tickets are priced at $1,921.72.

Contact Amtrak California Zephyr

Phone number: US: 1 (800) 872-7245

Amtrak California Zephyr Amenities

Air conditioningAir conditioning
RestroomRestroom
Extra legroomExtra legroom
Loyalty rewardsLoyalty rewards
Power outletPower outlet
SnacksSnacks

Quickview

Amtrak California Zephyr train coverage

Daily Trips140
stations35
cities35
countries1

What travelers are saying about Amtrak California Zephyr

Here’s what Wanderu users who have booked trips with Amtrak California Zephyr had to say about their travel experience.

Traveling During COVID-19

"Masks are required on the train."
based on 108 reviews

Onboard Experience

"The WiFi service worked well."
based on 76 reviews
"Wonderful conductors on board who took time to share the highlights."
based on 197 reviews
"Good price. Very easy and cheap."
based on 243 reviews
"Departed and arrived on time."
based on 129 reviews
"Seats tilt back nicely and there's even a foot rest. "
based on 240 reviews
"Very clean and tidy."
based on 212 reviews

Amtrak California Zephyr reviews from Wanderu customers

Overall review score for Amtrak California Zephyr

(Based on 286 reviews)

4.0
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort

4.4

Timeliness

3.3

Staff

4.2

Value

3.8

Condition

4.1

Amtrak California Zephyr passenger reviews

5.0

Shannon

October 1, 2022- Couples trip

Truckee to Reno

Pros: The train ride was so incredibly relaxing!! The train is so quiet and smooth. Watching the views and having the freedom to move about was great,too! Cons: Nothing I can think of. Tips: You can bring your own drinks/snacks which is helpful for a long trip.

Pros: The train ride was so incredibly relaxing!! The train is so quiet and smooth. Watching the views and having the freedom to move about was great,too! Cons: Nothing I can think of. Tips: You can bring your own drinks/snacks which is helpful for a long trip.

3.0

Jon

September 14, 2022- Couples trip

Glenwood Springs to Denver

Pros: great scenery, mostly relaxing considering being anxious about arivin. Cons: a little clearner train.

Pros: great scenery, mostly relaxing considering being anxious about arivin. Cons: a little clearner train.

4.0

Debra

September 10, 2022- Vacation

Reno to Sacramento

Pros: The ease of travel. Cons: Be on time because the train was running late our time at our destination was shorter. Tips: Plan on being late.

Pros: The ease of travel. Cons: Be on time because the train was running late our time at our destination was shorter. Tips: Plan on being late.

5.0

R J

August 20, 2022- Vacation

Denver to Glenwood Springs

Pros: STAFF WAS EXCELLENT, VERY FRIENDLY AND INFORMATIVE. ACCOMMODATING. Cons: NOTHING THAT I CAN THINK OF.

Pros: STAFF WAS EXCELLENT, VERY FRIENDLY AND INFORMATIVE. ACCOMMODATING. Cons: NOTHING THAT I CAN THINK OF.

4.0

Maya

August 14, 2022- Solo travel

Grand Junction to Denver

Pros: The views were so worth the price, even as a broke college student. Also one problem did arise where i felt uncomfortable with another passenger, and as a 19 year old woman traveling alone i was absolutely terrified, the staff was super sensible and understanding...

Pros: The views were so worth the price, even as a broke college student. Also one problem did arise where i felt uncomfortable with another passenger, and as a 19 year old woman traveling alone i was absolutely terrified, the staff was super sensible and understanding and put in effort to make me feel safe again which made a huge impact on my trip. Cons: being more accurate with timing is the only thing i can think of. Tips: Enjoy the trip and the views!! and bring snacks!!!

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Amtrak California Zephyr Routes & Network

Amtrak California Zephyr’s train network features 523 train routes that connect 35 cities serving 35 stations. On average, Amtrak California Zephyr performs about 140 train trips every day. The top cities to which Amtrak California Zephyr offers the highest number of daily train service include Denver and Glenwood Springs.

Top Cities Served by Amtrak California Zephyr

CityRouteEarliest trainLatest train
Denver35:14 am4:05 am
Reno35:14 am5:30 am
Chicago35:54 am4:49 am
Glenwood Springs35:14 am4:05 am
Salt Lake City35:14 am4:05 am
Omaha55:54 am4:49 am
Sacramento25:14 am5:30 am
Grand Junction25:14 am4:05 am
Lincoln36:42 am4:49 am

Most popular Amtrak California Zephyr routes

The train from Denver to Glenwood Springs is Amtrak California Zephyr’s most popular route. Trips from Denver to Grand Junction and Denver to Omaha are also highly popular.

Top Amtrak California Zephyr routes

RouteDaily TripsDurationPrice
Denver to Glenwood Springs15h 41m$80
Denver to Grand Junction17h 52m$95
Denver to Omaha18h 49m$91
Denver to Lincoln17h 10m$84
Sacramento to Reno14h 47m$52
Salt Lake City to Reno19h 55m$52
Omaha to Chicago19h 36m$86
Chicago to Denver118h 15m$136
Truckee to Reno11h 18m$15

Amtrak California Zephyr Cancellation Policy

All Amtrak California Zephyr tickets can be cancelled for a full refund within the first 24 hours after purchase. If more than 24 hours have passed, the cancellation policy and change fee structure for Amtrak bookings depend on the type of fare you purchased:

Saver Fare tickets: A 25% fee applies for any changes. If you cancel the trip, you will receive an eVoucher worth 75% of the original ticket price.

Value Fare tickets: No change fees and fully refundable up to 15 or more days before departure. If cancelled less than 14 days before departure, a 25% cancellation fee applies.

Flexible, Business and Premium Fare tickets: No change fees and fully refundable if cancelled or changed before departure.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable after the train has departed, so be sure to make your updates as soon as possible if your travel plans change.

If your Amtrak California Zephyr ticket is eligible for change or cancellation, you can do that by calling Amtrak’s customer service phone number at 1 (800) 872-7245. To cancel or change your booking online, simply go to www.amtrak.com and click on the “Modify Trip” tab in the upper right corner.

Wanderu also offers an affordable trip protection option by Allianz Global Assistance that you can purchase when booking your tickets. In addition to 24-hour assistance during your trip and coverage for lost or damaged baggage, trip protection can help you get your money back in case you need to cancel or change your trip. You can file a claim to have any Amtrak change or cancellation fees reimbursed if you cannot travel due to covered reasons such as illness, extreme weather, or required work shifts.

Amtrak California Zephyr Train Guide & FAQs

How long is the California Zephyr trip?

The California Zephyr is one of the longest passenger train routes in the world. End-to-end, the full journey takes 51 hours and 20 minutes to get from Union Station in Chicago to Emeryville Station in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Where does the California Zephyr stop?

In total, the Zephyr stops at train stations in 33 cities spanning 7 states. There are several major cities on the route between Chicago and San Francisco, including:

  • Sacramento, California
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Omaha, Nebraska

Do California Zephyr trains have WiFi?

No, unfortunately Amtrak California Zephyr does not offer WiFi aboard its trains at this time. However, we find that a good book makes the time fly by and streaming services like Netflix allow you download TV shows and movies that you can then watch during your trip. Plan ahead and you will stay entertained during the entire train ride.

Are there power outlets or USB plugs on the train?

Yes, there are power outlets onboard Amtrak California Zephyr trains. You can generally find one or two sockets per row of seats, so be a good traveller and check if your seat neighbor might want to charge up their devices as well. With the onboard power outlets, you can charge both a computer and USB devices with a USB power adapter that typically comes with most phones and tablets.

Since Amtrak California Zephyr might sometimes use replacement train vehicles, not all trips are guaranteed to have power points. We recommend to bring a power bank to charge your phone for all trips over 2 hours, just in case.

What is Amtrak California Zephyr's schedule?

On a typical day, Amtrak California Zephyr has 140 scheduled train trips in total. However, the exact departure and arrival times vary depending on the day and route. The best way to find the exact schedule for your trip is to use the search tool on this page.

Can you pick up will call tickets at the station?

No, Amtrak California Zephyr does not offer will call tickets. You should purchase your tickets online and make sure you have everything you need to board before you arrive at the station.

Do you need an ID to get on the train?

Yes, Amtrak California Zephyr requires you to present an ID to an agent to be allowed to board the train. Make sure you have identification issued by a government agency that meets the carrier’s requirements. Alternative IDs, such as a college ID, won’t work.

What are Amtrak California Zephyr’s COVID-19 policies?

Visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide to view the most up-to-date information about Amtrak California Zephyr’s cleaning protocols and adjusted ticket change policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Are there bathrooms on California Zephyr trains?

Yes, there are bathrooms on Amtrak California Zephyr trains. The bathrooms are pretty basic and include a toilet, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Most bathrooms don’t have running water. As you will be using a bathroom on a moving vehicle, please use caution and hold on to a rail at all times.

Are meals or beverages available?

Amtrak California Zephyr provides snacks to satisfy your hunger during your travels. Be sure to pack a credit card and some cash in case you get hungry.

Do you have to print your Amtrak California Zephyr ticket?

Amtrak California Zephyr does not require a printed ticket to board the train. Instead, an eTicket is sent to you by email when you make your reservation. You can use your smartphone to show this eTicket to the ticketing agent as you board.

Does Amtrak California Zephyr offer any premium features like extra legroom or movies?

Amtrak California Zephyr goes the extra distance to deliver premium features to its customers.

Do you find yourself squished in a regular seat or just love having extra room to sprawl out? Well you’re in luck as Amtrak California Zephyr offers extra legroom seating. Since there is no standard of what extra legroom is, the extra space you get may vary between train lines, but getting extra is always good.

Cheap Amtrak California Zephyr tickets recently found on Wanderu

With 140 Amtrak California Zephyr trips per day, there are a lot of great deals to uncover for the bargain hunter and Amtrak California Zephyr tickets start at just $9.51. Check out some of the latest and greatest deals snatched up by Wanderu users.

How do I get the best deal on Amtrak California Zephyr tickets?

Wanderu is the best place to score cheap Amtrak California Zephyr tickets. Wanderu offers the lowest available fares every day and charges no extra booking fees. Plus, you can compare Amtrak California Zephyr prices with trips offered by other train companies to be sure you’re getting the best deal on your tickets!

Pro travelers know that booking your ticket well in advance is key to finding the lowest price. Ticket prices normally go up the closer you get to the travel date, so don’t miss out on a good deal when you see one. If you can be flexible with your travel date, you can also get cheap tickets by traveling on weekdays instead of weekends.

When you’re ready to book, type your departure city and destination city in the search bar above, select your travel date, and let Wanderu work its magic to show you all of the best bus and train ticket prices available for your trip. Pick the ticket that’s best for your budget, schedule, and preferences, and complete the booking right on Wanderu to secure your great deal.

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