Cheap train tickets from Chicago to San Francisco

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Schedule & Pricing Info

How much are train tickets from Chicago to San Francisco?

Lowest Price$184.12
Fastest53h 0m
Daily Schedules16
train companies1
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How many days does the California Zephyr take from Chicago to San Francisco?

Amtrak’s California Zephyr train from Chicago to San Francisco officially takes 51 hours and 20 minutes — over two days! As one of the most scenic train trips in North America, though, some riders extend the trip by buying tickets in segments and visiting beautiful locations and exciting cities along the way.

What are the most scenic Amtrak stretches between Chicago and San Francisco?

The most scenic stretches of the California Zephyr include a span over the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, as well as a trek through California’s Sierra Nevadas.

How many miles is it from Chicago to San Francisco?

The distance from Chicago to San Francisco covers 1,859 miles (2,991.8 kilometers). The driving distance is upwards of 2,120 miles (3,411.8 kilometers).

How do you find cheap train tickets from Chicago to San Francisco?

The most surefire way to find the lowest-priced train tickets from Chicago to San Francisco is to plan ahead and book your train travel earlier. In the past 30 days, the cheapest average price users have found for trains from Chicago to San Francisco was $294.44. If your travel date is still a number of days out, by booking your trip 15 days before you plan to travel, you could save an average of $102.84 compared to a typical last-minute fare. Trying to save on a last-minute fare and have a bit of flexibility on what day to travel? Take a look at midweek schedules, as these tend to be less busy and are often cheaper than buying tickets to travel on Friday, or a weekend departure.

How long is the train ride from Chicago to San Francisco?

The distance between Chicago and San Francisco is approximately 1855.79 miles, or 2985.84 kilometers. The average travel time for a train between these two cities is around 61 hours and 39 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 53 hours, Looking for ways to pass the time? Most trains are equipped with Wi-Fi, which means you can stream music, browse social media or get some work done during your ride. That said, in case your train has a spotty signal, or is among the few without Wi-Fi, we also recommend downloading TV shows and movies to your mobile device in advance of your trip. That way the ride will fly by whatever the Wi-Fi situation.

What is the busiest day for trains from Chicago to San Francisco?

On Monday trains from Chicago to San Francisco are the busiest. If you are looking for a great deal on your train tickets or to have extra room to stretch out, you might consider traveling on Thursday instead, as that tends to be the least traveled day of the week.

Amtrak has the most frequent connections between Chicago to San Francisco

Typically there are 16 schedules to compare for your trip to San Francisco. One train carrier operates regular service on the Chicago to San Francisco route. Amtrak offers the most scheduled departures between Chicago to San Francisco, usually offering 16 trips per day. On this route there are no direct schedules. This means that along your journey from Chicago to San Francisco, you will need to disembark from the first train and board a connecting train. Depending on the carrier's policy, you may be responsible for transferring your own checked luggage, but you will definitely need to bring your hand luggage.

Are you not set on traveling by train? Take a look at Bus tickets from Chicago to San Francisco, which start at $147.03.

One train company connects Chicago to San Francisco

Amtrak

Amtrak train tickets from Chicago to San Francisco start from $184.12, and on average cost $324.27. Daily there are 16 Amtrak schedules to San Francisco. Amtrak in Chicago leaves from Union Station - 225 S Canal St, And in San Francisco trains arrive at Bus Terminal - 200 Folsom St and 3 other train stations.

From Chicago to San Francisco train travel on Amtrak takes 61 hours and 40 minutes. If you are looking to get to San Francisco faster, Amtrak offers more express schedule options with a travel time of 53 hours and 0 minutes.

If you're considering a weeked trip, Amtrak offers 17 schedules for you to choose from. You can expect to pay $347.20 for a one-way train ticket to San Francisco.

Restroom
WiFi
Snacks
Loyalty rewards
Extra legroom
Power outlet
Air conditioning
Avg. Time
2d 13h 40m
Avg. Price
$324.27

Plan your next adventure

There is one train station from which trains depart Chicago on their way to San Francisco. For this route, the busiest departing train stations in Chicago are:
  • Union Station - 225 S Canal St
There are 4 different stations where trains arrive to in San Francisco. You can review and use the directions feature on Wanderu to see which station is closest to your final destination. These are the busiest arriving stations in San Francisco:
  • Bus Terminal - 200 Folsom St
  • 425 Mission St
  • Beach St and The Embarcadero Pier 39 - Fisherman's Wharf
  • 5 Embarcadero Ctr - Corner of California & Drumm St