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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 824 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 £5.49 while the most expensive tickets are priced at £266.00.

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Amtrak California Zephyr train coverage

Daily Trips59
stations35
cities35
countries1

Amtrak California Zephyr train amenities

Amtrak California Zephyr
Air conditioningAir conditioning
ToiletToilet
Extra legroomExtra legroom
Loyalty rewardsLoyalty rewards
Power pointPower point
SnacksSnacks

Amtrak California Zephyr reviews from Wanderu customers

Overall review score for Amtrak California Zephyr
4.2
Based on 143 reviews
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort
4.5
Timeliness
3.3
Staff
4.3
Value
3.7
Condition
4.3
Amtrak California Zephyr reviews from Wanderu customers
John
4.0
9 September 2020Couples trip
Pros
The trip from Denver to Grand Junction was enjoyable overall. The views of the Rockies, Communities in route, were excellent.The only criticism I would offer is that the bathroom facilities could have been significantly cleaner.The trip from Denver to Grand Junction was enjoyable overall. The views of the Rockies, Communities in route, were excellent.The only criticism I would offer is that the bathroom facilities could have been significantly cleaner.
Cons
The Bathrooms for Coach passengers could have been significantly cleaner.The Bathrooms for Coach passengers could have been significantly cleaner.
Tips
No!No!
Basil
4.0
3 September 2020Visiting family
Pros
Quiet. No one bothering me. Nice scenery.Quiet. No one bothering me. Nice scenery.
Cons
Better internet or WiFi service. Lost signal a few times.Better internet or WiFi service. Lost signal a few times.
Tips
Bring a book or music to keep entertained. Long periods between stations. Bring a book or music to keep entertained. Long periods between stations.
Nancy
5.0
3 September 2020Visiting family
Pros
The viewThe view
Cons
that they put on there web site that the train dosent take cash because of covid and also that dining room being closed to everyone but the one staying in the sleeping cartsthat they put on there web site that the train dosent take cash because of covid and also that dining room being closed to everyone but the one staying in the sleeping carts
Tips
nonenone
Ronny
1.0
24 July 2020Solo travel
Pros
Sc was noceSc was noce
Cons
Trip was 10.5 hours late to arriveTrip was 10.5 hours late to arrive
Tips
Don’t expect to leave or arrive on time and be ready to be gouged for meals and snacksDon’t expect to leave or arrive on time and be ready to be gouged for meals and snacks
Nathan
4.0
6 July 2020Visiting family
Pros
Came back home from visiting my family. Took train both ways. Enjoyed the ride. Came back home from visiting my family. Took train both ways. Enjoyed the ride.
Cons
Better drop off and pick up times. If there was anything Better drop off and pick up times. If there was anything
Tips
take snacks and drinks if you don't have money. take snacks and drinks if you don't have money.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 points or USB points on the train?

Yes, there are power points 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 neighbour might want to charge up their devices as well. With the onboard power points, you can charge both a computer and USB devices with a power point USB converter 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 59 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.

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 drinks offered during the trip?

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 59 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 £5.49. Check out some of the latest and greatest deals snatched up by Wanderu users.

Denver to Reno
Travel DateSun 13 Dec
Price£83.96
Emeryville to Omaha
Travel DateThu 17 Dec
Price£98.87
Chicago to Emeryville
Travel DateSat 5 Dec
Price£110.64
Salt Lake City to Provo
Travel DateSun 6 Dec
Price£5.49
Emeryville to Galesburg
Travel DateSat 12 Dec
Price£104.36