The 8 Most Scenic Train Routes In North America

1. Amtrak Adirondack

While the Northeast is more known for its commuter trains than sightseeing, Amtrak’s Adirondack route is a lovely exception. Relaunched in spring 2023 following its closure during the pandemic, the route runs from New York City to Montreal.

2. Amtrak Empire Builder

Traveling along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail, the Empire Builder is a true American West train adventure. The 46-hour train departs daily from Chicago and traverses through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana

3. Amtrak Coast Starlight

The Coast Starlight departs daily between Los Angeles and Seattle, a 35-hour journey that stops in some of the West Coast’s greatest cities, including Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Portland. The southern half features long stretches

4. Grand Canyon Railway

Gaze upon the grandeur of one of the world’s natural wonders—Grand Canyon National Park—aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. Departing from Williams, Arizona, 30-some miles west of Flagstaff, this train weaves past forests

5. The Rocky Mountaineer

The nearly all-glass cabins allow guests full view of the mountainous landscapes of Western Canada and the red rock wonders of Colorado and Southern Utah aboard this luxurious train. One itinerary takes passengers from Denver to Moab

6. Amtrak California Zephyr

Though the California Zephyr runs from Chicago to San Francisco in a little more than 51 hours, it’s indisputably the western portion of the route—through Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and northern California—that deserves your attention.

7. Cass Scenic Railroad

Built in 1901 to transport lumber through the mountains of West Virginia, the Cass Scenic Railroad helps to preserve the look and feel of America’s locomotive legacy. Pick from two available routes, including a four-and-a-half-hour round-trip jaunt up

8. Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic

The largest and most wild state in America offers its own photo-worthy railroad adventure: The Coastal Classic, a four-hour excursion from Anchorage heads south around the Turnagain Arm waterway.

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