5 Great National Park Train Rides

A good train ride provides passengers with stunning scenery, high adventure and a bit of nostalgic romance. These classic rail trips through America's national parks include a panoramic dome car, a restored vintage railway and more!
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Photo By: By Frank Kovalchek from Anchorage, Alaska, USA (Our Alaska Railroad train to Spencer Glacier) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By: By Nils Öberg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By: By DXR (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By: By Drew Jacksich [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By: Douglas Rahden [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By: By Andrew Balet (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By: By donielle (Flickr: pacific parlour car) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By: By Nils Öberg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By: By Len Turner from Lufkin, TX, USA (Alaska 02-013Uploaded by Arsenikk) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Alaska Railroad's Coastal Classic

Hop aboard the Coastal Classic in Anchorage for a scenic four-hour ride to Kenai Fjords National Park. Along the coast you'll pass a stretch of Cook Inlet known as the Turnagain Arm, before greeting the snow-capped Kenai Mountains.

Alaska Railroad's Coastal Classic

After a series of tunnels and a harrowing single-track switch, it's onward through the land of glassy lakes, waterfalls and glaciers to the end of the line in Seward.

Grand Canyon Railway

Your 65-mile, two-hour journey to the Grand Canyon on this vintage steam train starts in Williams, Ariz.

Grand Canyon Railway

Coach seats are bench style in Pullman cars from the roaring 1920s, the club car has a mahogany bar, first class enjoys captain-style seats, and a double-decker dome car offers passengers a bird's-eye view.

Amtrak's Empire Builder

This giant diesel-engine locomotive begins its journey at Chicago's Union Station and runs west along the original route of the Great Northern Railway to Glacier National Park in Montana.

Amtrak's Empire Builder

During the next two days, you'll stop at the Glacier Park Lodge & Resort, the Historic Belton Chalet and the Izaak Walton Inn.

Coast Starlight

The Coast Starlight travels the coast between Los Angeles' and Seattle. The first park on the route is the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area with over 153,000 acres of beaches, mountains and a working movie set, Paramount Ranch. Klamath Falls, Ore., is the jumping off point to visit Crater Lake National Park. The train stops at Portland's historic Union Station before ending in Seattle, an hour and 45-minute drive to Mt. Rainier National Park

Coast Starlight

First-class ticket holders can enjoy the luxurious Parlor Car, and there's also a car designated just for kids.

Alaska Railroad's Denali Star

Your 7 1/2-hour trip to Denali National Park on this refurbished blue-and-yellow train begins in Anchorage.

Alaska Railroad's Denali Star

Equipped with a dome car, a fine dining car and student tour guides, the Denali Star travels through seven tunnels and over 8 miles of bridges. Other stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Nenana and Fairbanks.

Next Up

National Parks: Great Train Rides

Discover America's National Parks by train.

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Though the untrained eye might see little more than desert when driving through the Great Basin, a closer look will reveal a land full of flora and fauna that is in a state of constant change.

Great National Park Lodges

Exploring the natural beauty of America's National Parks doesn't mean you have to rough it.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The mists of The Great Smoky Mountains seem to shroud the very secrets of the region's historical tragedies and biological triumphs.