When traveling in the United States, there are several options to consider, and one of the most exciting ways of exploring America is by taking a scenic train journey. Train travel is a form of transportation that allows you to witness the country’s beauty uniquely and breathtakingly. You can enjoy panoramic views of diverse landscapes, the beauty of historic architecture, and the charm of small towns that can only be fully appreciated from a train window seat. Here are 13 scenic train routes in the United States for a breathtaking journey.
1. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight Route
The Coast Starlight Route is one of the most picturesque train routes in the United States. It runs between Seattle and Los Angeles, and the 1,400-mile journey along the Pacific Ocean’s stunning coastline is a sight to behold. On this train journey, you can witness the Pacific Northwest’s rugged beauty, the Cascade Range snow-capped mountains, and the golden hills of Northern California.
2. Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad runs through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and is known for its breathtaking scenery. The train journey is a 45-mile, three-and-a-half-hour round trip through the Animas River Canyon, where you can witness the beauty of the rugged peaks, dense forests, and cascading waterfalls.
3. Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad is another stunning train route through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico. The train journey covers 64 miles of narrow-gauge tracks and offers stunning views of the mountains, valleys, and rivers. The journey begins in Antonito, Colorado, and goes through the Toltec Gorge to Chama, New Mexico.
4. White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad
The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad runs through the Alaskan wilderness and is one of North America’s most breathtaking train journeys. The train journey takes you through the stunning White Pass, tunnels, trestles, and past waterfalls and glaciers. The journey covers 67.5 miles and offers panoramic views of the rugged Alaskan landscape.
5. Napa Valley Wine Train
The Napa Valley Wine Train is a unique and luxurious journey that runs through the heart of Napa Valley in California. The train journey covers 36 miles and takes you past picturesque vineyards, charming wineries, and stunning countryside views. The train also offers an elegant dining experience as you savor some of the finest wines and gourmet cuisine.
6. Grand Canyon Railway
The Grand Canyon Railway is one of the most popular train journeys in the United States. The train journey begins in Williams, Arizona, and takes you through the scenic beauty of the Kaibab National Forest before arriving at the Grand Canyon. The journey covers 65 miles and offers breathtaking canyon views, including the stunning sunrise and sunset.
7. Adirondack Scenic Railroad
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is a spectacular train journey that runs through the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. The train journey covers 141 miles and takes you through the stunning scenery of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, including the Moose River and the St. Lawrence River. The train journey is particularly spectacular when the foliage turns brilliant red, gold, and orange shades in the fall.
8. Mount Washington Cog Railway
The Mount Washington Cog Railway is an incredible train journey that takes you to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. The train journey covers three miles and offers stunning views of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The train ride is unique as it takes you up the mountain on a cogwheel system, giving you a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
9. California Zephyr Railroad
The California Zephyr runs between Chicago and San Francisco, covering 2,438 miles of stunning landscape. The train journey takes you through the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevadas, and the beautiful canyons of the Colorado River. The train offers comfortable sleeper cabins and dining cars that serve gourmet cuisine.
10. Verde Canyon Railroad
The Verde Canyon Railroad is a scenic train journey that runs through the Verde Valley in Arizona. The train journey covers 20 miles and offers stunning views of towering red rock formations, lush vegetation, and the wild animals that call the canyon home. The train journey also includes an elegant dining experience as you enjoy the canyon’s beauty.
11. Cass Scenic Railroad
The Cass Scenic Railroad is a fascinating train journey that takes you through the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. The train journey covers 11 miles and offers stunning views of the lush forest, rushing streams, and stunning waterfalls. The train also lets you explore Cass’s historic logging town and tour the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.
12. Rocky Mountaineer Train
The Rocky Mountaineer is a luxurious train journey that takes you through the stunning Canadian Rockies. The train journey covers 500 miles and offers panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, and the stunning beauty of Western Canada. The train offers comfortable seating and gourmet dining, making it a memorable experience.
13. New England Fall Foliage Train
The New England Fall Foliage Train is a stunning train journey that takes you through the beautiful autumn scenery of New England. The train journey covers 240 miles and offers stunning views of the colorful foliage, charming small towns, and the historic architecture of New England. The train journey is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is not to be missed.
Train travel is a unique and unforgettable way to explore the beauty of the United States. These 13 scenic train routes offer breathtaking views of diverse landscapes, charming towns, and stunning architecture. From the Rocky Mountains’ rugged beauty to New England’s colorful foliage, these train journeys offer a memorable experience that will stay with you forever.