Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Which Amtrak route of these would you choose??

Which Amtrak route of these would you choose??

Old Oct 17th, 2009, 04:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 51
Which Amtrak route of these would you choose??

We will be in the USA next year from late May to early July - tourists from Australia - and have a choice (to fit available time etc).

#1. Amtrak from Los Angeles to San Antonio (Sunset Limited) - late May.

#2. Amtrak from Denver to Sacramento (California Zephyr) - early July.

Which would you recommend (please ignore if you don't like Amtrak - we like trains - just wish to know which of the above is the better in your opinion!)?

obione980 is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2009, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Denver to Sacramento on the California Zehpyr would give you a really lovely scenic ride! Moreso than the Sunset, IMO. We just entertained friends from Sweden who had taken the Ca Zephyr train to our town, and really enjoyed the ride. I've taken the Ca Zephyr several times over the years. I also like trains (have ridden the Ghan from Adelaide to Alice and the also the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth)!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2009, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 506
If it were me, I'd take the California Zephyr. You'll get daylight in the Rockies and in the Sierra Nevadas in Caliphornia. Scenery should be spectacular.

The Sunset Limited would also be good, but for me the Rockies would win.
notbob is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2009, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,856
I agree with the previous responses. I've ridden both of these routes several times. The Sunset Limited is nice for relaxing and just watching the scenery roll by but the California Zephyr has the most spectacular scenery by far.
dwooddon is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2009, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 19,962
My vote is for Denver to Sacramento. I did the full route Chicago to Emeryville, and this part is the most scenic.

Of course my vote is biased, never took Amtrak LA to San Antonio, but you cannot go wrong with Denver - Sacto.
Dayenu is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2009, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,726
so far it is unanimous - the California Zephyr would be my choice for sure.
janisj is online now  
Old Oct 17th, 2009, 04:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 51
Many thanks to all. The Denver to Sacramento trip wins by acclamation. I'll stay on-line and book it right now.
obione980 is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2009, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,106
I hope you enjoy that portion of the California Zephyr as much as I did... a real beauty! Get a seat in that Park Car shortly after Denver for the Park Service volunteers' informative words on the scenery you're passing through (and the views of both sides of the train). The landscapes start transforming pretty quickly after Denver.

Best wishes, Daniel
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Old Oct 17th, 2009, 08:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 51
Booked!! After a minor tussle with the web site which insisted on a valid zip code - even though I'd identified my address as in Australia from the drop down! After 3 failed attempts it accepted no zip code at all. Funnily enough it accepted my Australian credit card without demur!
obione980 is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2009, 10:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Have a wonderful trip, obione. But do realize that the Amtrak trains can run quite late at times so keep that in mind regarding your plans for when you arrive in Sacramento.
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2009, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,106
Funny you say that obione980

I've found it very annoying this past year or so trying to book Amtrak tickets from here in Canada. We have a postal code... the pull-down menu even shows you how they want you to type in your Canadian postal code. But then it says you can't book it... with some message like "must provide a valid zip code". Very bizarre. I've had resort to booking Amtrak tickets at Montreal's Central Station!

I'll try putting in nothing next time!

Enjoy the ride...agree with LoveItaly about Amtrak lateness. I was about 4 1/2 hours late arriving in San Francisco, which meant I arrived after my guest house locked their doors unmanned. Luckily, somebody offered their cell phone (which I didn't have at the time) and I was able to warn the guest house in advance so they could tell me their protocol for late-arriving guests.

I'd still recommend the ride, lateness and all. It's kind of like this good friend Lisa I have... notoriously late for everything... but worth it.

Daniel_Williams is online now  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Jul 12th, 2017 05:27 PM
United States
Apr 20th, 2016 09:26 AM
United States
Mar 23rd, 2016 09:51 AM
United States
Jul 16th, 2012 10:17 AM
United States
Aug 28th, 2007 08:05 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information