Amtrak’s California Zephyr, named after the Greek god of the West Wind, continues to awe passengers from Denver to Glenwood Springs with eye-popping scenery.
Like a gust of fresh air, Amtrak’s California Zephyr, which travels between Chicago and San Francisco, breezes into Glenwood Springs, with convenient daily stops at the historic train depot near both lodging and restaurants. This is no tourist loop ride—it’s an authentic rail travel experience.
After departing Denver’s Union Station westbound, the train begins the section of railway that made the Zephyr famous—a 300-mile journey over the Colorado Rocky Mountains, along the Colorado River and through Glenwood Canyon. Because roadways take a different route, much of the landscape through which the train travels is viewable only to rail passengers.
As the train leaves the Eastern Slope behind, it travels through 31 tunnels before entering the 6.2-mile Moffat Tunnel and crosses the Continental Divide. Passengers are plunged into darkness for nearly 10 minutes before emerging back into daylight at the west portal, near Winter Park Ski Area.
The route continues on the Western Slope of Colorado through remote Fraser Canyon, Granby—the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and rugged Gore Canyon. The final 12.5 miles through Glenwood Canyon are among the most spectacular, with unimpeded views of the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River, the historic Shoshone Hydroelectric Plant, the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path, and of course, the soaring 1,300-foot cliffs.
When the Vista Dome railcar went into service in 1949, it was the “most talked about train in America.” Today, Amtrak uses the modern Superliner double-decker, giving nearly everyone aboard a bird’s-eye view. To make the ride even more enjoyable, there’s also onboard dining and free Wi-Fi where available.
For the best train ride in Colorado, and one that will take your breath away, visit visitglenwood.com.