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Trains from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe

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San Francisco - South Lake Tahoe Train Timetable

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Trip Summary

There are 2 daily trains from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe. Traveling by train from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe usually takes around 5 hours and 30 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Distance155 mi (249 km)
Fastest train5h 20m
Lowest price€56.75
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines1

Train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for trains from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe

(Based on 8 ratings and reviews)

4.9

5.0

Veronica

8 May 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak

Pros: Not having to drive. Cons: Can't think of anything. Tips: None.

Pros: Not having to drive. Cons: Can't think of anything. Tips: None.

5.0

AIUKA

1 February 2022- Vacation

Amtrak

Pros: Kindness of employees impress me most. Cons: Everything was ok. Tips: Relax.

Pros: Kindness of employees impress me most. Cons: Everything was ok. Tips: Relax.

5.0

Tendai

24 March 2021- Vacation

Amtrak

Pros: Friendly driver and kept updating us on where we where and all the stops. Cons: All was well. the signal issues caused the delays. Tips: Great train and bus trip, not crowded and very clean.

Pros: Friendly driver and kept updating us on where we where and all the stops. Cons: All was well. the signal issues caused the delays. Tips: Great train and bus trip, not crowded and very clean.

5.0

Richard

17 February 2020- Vacation

Amtrak

Pros: The train ride it was my first ride on Capitol Corridor. It was very pleasant. It gives me a new way to transit to South Lake Tahoe. Cons: Nothing. Tips: Check it out as an option to travel car free.

Pros: The train ride it was my first ride on Capitol Corridor. It was very pleasant. It gives me a new way to transit to South Lake Tahoe. Cons: Nothing. Tips: Check it out as an option to travel car free.

5.0

Kevin

23 December 2019- Vacation

Amtrak

Pros: Traveled on amtrak from bus transfer to train transfer to bus were pleasant. Tips: Bus or train # may not reflect on booking...double check destination when broading.

Pros: Traveled on amtrak from bus transfer to train transfer to bus were pleasant. Tips: Bus or train # may not reflect on booking...double check destination when broading.

Price trends for trains from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe

Monthly average prices

€72€58€43€29€14JJASONDJFMAM

Prices as travel date approaches

€72€58€43€29€143020100

Which train should you take from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe?

Amtrak is the one and only train line which connects San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe. The schedule is relatively limited as the train only runs twice a day.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak25h 31m€56.75
  • Amtrak

    Amtrak

    Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to hundreds of destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats with extra legroom, as well as several four-seat areas with tables in the middle. In addition, each car has a freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi and power outlets at every seat. There are also snack bars where you can purchase drinks or food during your journey. On average, there are 2 Amtrak trains from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe every day, as well as 2 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from €57.

    AMT-0AMT-1AMT-2AMT-3AMT-4AMT-5AMT-6AMT-7AMT-8AMT-9

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel by train from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our train partners have implemented several different policies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting vehicle capacity to enhancing cleaning protocols and upgrading air filters, train carriers are committed to maintaining a safe environment. For details on what each company is doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.

In addition, federal law requires all train passengers to wear a face covering for the entire duration of the trip. Please make sure you are wearing a face mask or you may not be allowed to board the train.

Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for more information on all carrier policies and the latest travel advisories issued by every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country.

Can you take a train all the way from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe?

While the train is the main method of transportation from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe, it will only take you part of the way there. Please note that part of your trip will be on a different vehicle, most commonly a bus or express shuttle.

How long is the train journey from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe?

The distance between San Francisco and South Lake Tahoe is approximately 155 miles, or 249 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 5 hours and 30 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 5 hours and 20 minutes.

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.

When are trains the most crowded?

Wednesday tends to be the busiest day of the week with travelers taking trains from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe. Ticket price also tend to be more expensive on Wednesday than other days. If you are hoping to have more room on the train and even save some change check out travel options on Monday instead, as less people travel then and deals are more likely to be found.

When are the first and last trains of the day?

The earliest train departs San Francisco at 06:00 while the last train of the day leaves at 06:00. To see all scheduled departure times, use the search function on this page to get the full schedule for your specific travel dates.

Is there a direct train from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe?

Trains leave the station in San Francisco twice a day, so there are a couple of options depending on your preferred travel time. However, there are no direct trains. This means that you will need to disembark from your original train and board a connecting train at some point during your journey. You will need to remember to bring your carry-on luggage with you when you change trains. Depending on the carrier's policy, you may also be responsible for transferring your own checked baggage.

You can also take a train for your return trip from South Lake Tahoe to San Francisco.

City Information

San Francisco

San Francisco, CA - SFO-0

Image credit: Unsplash

San Francisco, CA - SFO-1

Image credit: Unsplash

San Francisco, CA - SFO-2

Image credit: Unsplash

Located in the heart of Northern California's Bay Area, San Francisco is a geographically small but culturally huge city known for its historic cable cars, active waterfront, and the eclectic mix of hippies and techies who call it home. While it might be one of the most expensive U.S. cities to live in, San Fran can actually be very cheap to visit, and there is no shortage of unique sights to see.

If the city's omnipresent fog (nicknamed "Karl the Fog" by locals) takes a break, the best views and Instagram photo ops of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge are found in Golden Gate Park. Stroll through the oldest Chinatown in North America to find the perfect dim sum, or if you and your boo prefer a little Full House moment, try a romantic picnic at Alamo Square Park in front of the Victorian "Painted Ladies." After all, San Francisco is one of the best vacation destinations for couples.

Since the city is condensed onto a small peninsula, exploring by bike is an efficient and scenic way to get around. When you’re ready to travel beyond city limits, San Francisco is a convenient hub for trips throughout Northern California. It's actually the first stop on Wanderu's West Coast Wine Tour, with the next stop, obviously, in Napa Valley. Whether traveling by bus, train, or through either of the two nearby airports, San Francisco is a can't-miss destination.

Station Information

Where is the train station in San Francisco?

Departure stations

Behind a modern curved façade lies San Francisco’s commuter hub, the Salesforce Transit Center. This gateway to downtown San Francisco and the entire Bay Area welcomes tens of thousands of passengers every day. Finding your way around is easy thanks to more than 270 digital displays with transit information. The Salesforce Transit Center serves as a bus station for Greyhound and Amtrak Thruway buses, as well as several public transit options for convenient connections. A standout feature of the Salesforce Transit Center is a public five-acre rooftop park which gives travelers an open space to relax. Rotating food trucks, cafés, carts, and pop-up retail make this a dynamic and vibrant destination in itself.

All train stations in San Francisco:

  • Salesforce Plaza

Need a return trip from South Lake Tahoe to San Francisco?

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