Totally Trains (California Zephyr) - 2018
Day 1: Depart Chicago
Totally Trains tour members will meet the Tour Director in the Metropolitan Lounge of Chicago’s Union Station. We’ll board the famous California Zephyr in time for its 2:00 p.m. departure. The Zephyr features double-decker Superliner equipment. Relax in your comfortable Roomette sleeping accommodations. Bedrooms are available at an additional cost. After settling in you may want to go to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge. Enjoy a sumptuous, full-course dinner in the dining car. All meals are included on the Zephyr.
Day 2: Colorado Rockies
When you awaken this morning you may look out your window toward the West and thrill to the sight of the majestic Colorado Rockies in the distance. Plan to get up early, have a piping hot breakfast in the dining car and find a seat in the glass-walled lounge car for the spectacular scenery that will unfold before you. The Zephyr will pull out of Denver at 8:05 a.m. and begin its climb over the Front Range toward the Continental Divide. About an hour later we’ll encounter the famous 6.2-mile-long Moffat Tunnel and go under the Continental Divide. Throughout the day the train will wind around sharp mountain curves and through numerous tunnels. You’ll look down at roaring streams winding through valleys far below. The beautiful mountain vistas continue this afternoon.
Meal(s): B, L, & D
Day 3: En Route / San Francisco
During the night you crossed the dry, sparsely populated Nevada countryside. Today’s scenery will rival that experienced yesterday as the Zephyr ascends the Sierra Nevada mountains through the infamous Donner Pass. From rugged terrain and pine trees to lush greenery and palm trees . . . in just three hours.
Our arrival in Emeryville is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. You will have time for an “on-your-own” dinner in Emeryville before we board the Coast Starlight.
At 10:04 p.m., we’ll board the famous Coast Starlight.
Meal(s): B & L
Day 4: Coast Starlight / Portland
Set your own leisurely schedule today. See the spectacular towering Cascade Mountains (with 22 tunnels and innumerable hairpin turns) that are just outside your wide train window.
Our arrival into Portland is scheduled for 3:32 p.m. After exploring Portland’s unique, historic station and area, we’ll board the Empire Builder for the 4:45 p.m. departure. After settling in, you may want to go to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge. We’ll cross the Willamette River and soon be viewing the Columbia River Gorge and more of the spectacular Cascade Mountains, including Mt. Hood, the highest mountain in Oregon. A boxed dinner will be served tonight as this train will not have a dining car until we reach Spokane, where our train will be joined with the train from Seattle.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 5: En Route
Enjoy a delicious dining car breakfast and then head for the Sightseer Lounge car. Today a dramatic panorama of snow-capped Rocky Mountain peaks will begin to rise above the horizon, becoming increasingly dynamic as we approach Glacier National Park. The scenery is striking as we wind past waterfalls, river gorges and other spectacular sights. The rest of the day we’ll cross the remote flatlands of eastern Montana and western North Dakota.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 6: En Route to Chicago
Breakfast and lunch on the train are included. After we go through Minneapolis-St. Paul we head south along the west bank of the Mississippi River. The train winds between the river bank and high bluffs. Later in the morning, we pass through the picturesque Dells Country of Wisconsin. The Empire Builder is scheduled to arrive in Chicago’s Union Station late this afternoon.
At the conclusion of the tour some travelers will continue to home destinations. Others will spend the night in Chicago and continue home tomorrow.
Meal(s): B & L
Thurs., July 26 to Tues., July 31, 2018
Thurs., Oct. 25 to Tues., Oct. 30, 2018
Download a full color printable version of this itinerary.
- The California Zephyr
- The Coast Starlight
- The Empire Builder
- Rocky Mountains
- Cascade Mountains
- You’ll be greeted with spectacular views as the California Zephyr winds and climbs through the Colorado Rockies and the Sierra Nevada’s beautiful Donner Pass.
- The Coast Starlight is one of Amtrak’s finest trains. You’ll be completely pampered from the time we board in Emeryville until we disembark in Portland, Oregon.
- The Empire Builder’s routing through Glacier National Park will highlight our relaxing return trip from Portland to Chicago.
- Round-trip transportation by Amtrak departing from Chicago.
- Private Roomette sleeping accommodations on the train for five nights.
- 14 meals.
- Taxes & tips.
- Services of a professional America by Rail Tour Director.
$2,295 - 6 Days
Upgrade: Bedroom + $1,345
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Discover “The Best Way to See America”. Train trips offer the finest views of exciting destinations throughout North America. Combine that with the fun you’ll experience on a group train trip vacation and you’ll understand why these tours are so popular!