Skip Navigation

Amtrak route: Chicago Seattle SF San Diego or....

Travel Forums North America Amtrak route: Chicago Seattle SF San Diego or....

1. Posted by Quad (Budding Member 4 posts) 4y

Quad has indicated that this thread is about Western United States

I'm aiming on travelling via AMTRAK to San Diego. What would be nicer in June:

Chicago > Glacier NP > Seattle > Portland > San Francisco > San Diego

or

Chicago > Glenwood Springs > San Francisco > San Diego

Any thoughts? I heard the route between Chicago and Glenwood Springs is in particular beautiful.

2. Posted by zenyogalife (Budding Member 2 posts) 4y

Definately the first option because it sounds much more exciting and you will see redwood trees! :)

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 4y

I agree, but I don't know how many redwoods you'll see. Glacier NP would be of interest to me. Be sure to bring some of your own food on that train - Amtrak food is crap and very expensive crap at that! Don't expect Amtrak to be anywhere near on schedule - 12 hr delays are normal operating procedure, and YOU WILL NEED RESERVATIONS FOR JUNE - I would reserve ASAP

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 4y

First option is the best in my view also--but the second will take you across an interesting part of the Rockies in Colorado and also part of the southwest. Can't really go wrong either way.

5. Posted by susiegreentwist (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y

I agree with the others to go through Glacier NP. I was there in the winter and vowed I would take the train back in the summer because everyone told me how amazing it was! Once you get to the Western Dakota's into the mountains the rest of the ride is supposed to be spectatular.

6. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 4y

Depends also on the time you have, as the first route obviously is longer. But it combines nature and great cities better for sure!
Are you going to rent a car for part of your trip?
You might even consider on splitting it into a traintrip and road trip. I wonder if it is that much more money to rent a basic car compared to a traintrip. And you have the opportunity to see a lot more.

7. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 4y

Quoting Utrecht

You might even consider on splitting it into a traintrip and road trip. I wonder if it is that much more money to rent a basic car compared to a traintrip. And you have the opportunity to see a lot more.

Utrecht gives excellent advice - you will not see a great deal from that dirty Amtrak window. The American West is awesome and needs to be appreciated unobstructed for you and for photographic purposes. The USA was designed with the auto in mind, and you will see but a fraction of it's magnificence from that train. Amtrak actually bypasses San Francisco city (the SF stop is actually in the East Bay city of Oakland) due to the fact that SF is on a peninsula.

8. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 4y

As Daawgon correctly points out, no access to SF via Amtrak--but you can get there by taking the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit system--subway/elevated trains) once you get to Oakland.

Useful Western United States content