• Planning an Amtrak Trip: Northeast to Southwest

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by The ViRoCo
My family and I are planning on a vacation in July of 2015 to some national parks around the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Utah. I rode my first Amtrak train (The Lakeshore Limited, Boston to Chicago) last year in Jul. 2013, and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

This is my plan, for the train part of the vacation:
[Westbound] Boston-Chicago (Lakeshore Limited) --- Chicago-Flagstaff, AZ. (Southwest Chief)
From Flagstaff, visit the National Parks around there, up to Moab, UT, the most northern park we will visit.
[Eastbound] Grand Junction, CO - Chicago (California Zephyr) --- Chicago - Boston (Lakeshore Limited)

I would really appreciate feedback on this. I know, it is quicker to fly on a plane, but I think a train is better :-D
Since sleepers are so expensive, I will not be needing one of those.

I will be transferring trains the same day, so if any changes could be made let me know! :-D
  by Eileensmith

The proposed itinerary is a good one and an excellent introduction to US train travel. When planning, it's probably best to allow for an overnight stay between long-distance trains to allow for possible delays (Chicago is well worth exploring in its own right). Sleeping on board - no problem in coach class - saves on hotel costs along the way.

It's important to book as far ahead as possible, especially if you are travelling in summer or at other busy times. The post dates from 2014 but this advice to make reservations well in advance is even more relevant now with increasing Amtrak popularity.