The Southwest Chief is a long-distance Amtrak route that connects Chicago with Los Angeles and travels near the Grand Canyon. Deserts and mountains provide a spectacular backdrop for this epic journey that takes about 43 hours. For a virtual tour, listen to the Southwest Chief overview.

Things to Know

  • No WiFi and limited cell phone coverage.
  • The train is two levels tall and uses Superliner coach and sleeper cars.
  • New Mexico and Colorado are the states with daytime views and the best scenery.
  • There is a traditional dining car that is currently available to sleeper car passengers only and a café open to all passengers on the train.

Schedule

Visit the Amtrak timetable for the Southwest Chief to plan your trip. You can also view schedules when booking your tickets.

Highlights:

  • Trains depart and arrive in Chicago around 3 p.m.
  • Trains depart Los Angeles around 6 p.m.
  • Overnight, trains are in Arizona and Kansas.
  • Total trip time is almost two full days (two nights on the train).
  • Eastbound trains traveling toward Chicago arrive in Flagstaff in the middle of the night.
  • Travel eastbound in June to see the San Bernardino Mountains, Missouri River and Mississippi River.

Major Stops

  • Los Angeles
  • Flagstaff
  • Albuquerque
  • Kansas City
  • Chicago

Stations

Attractions

  • Chinese American Museum
  • The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
  • Japanese American National Museum
  • Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
  • Ahmanson Theatre
  • Grand Park
  • LA Opera
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Fullerton Train Museum
  • Cajon Pass
  • Historic Route 66
  • Mohave Museum of History and Arts
  • Mojave Desert
  • Grand Canyon
  • Flagstaff art galleries
  • Orpheum Theater
  • San Francisco Peaks
  • Winslow, Arizona (made famous by Eagles song, “Take It Easy”)
  • Rex Museum
  • Continental Divide
  • Sandia Mountains
  • Lamy Railroad & History Museum
  • Apache Canyon
  • Santa Fe National Forest
  • Dodge City
  • Kansas State Fair
  • Cosmosphere
  • Model Rail Experience
  • Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial
  • Kansas City Ballet
  • Missouri River
  • Mississippi River
  • Galesburg Railroad Museum
  • Discovery Depot Children’s Museum
  • Mendota Sweet Corn Festival
  • Chicago Loop
  • Willis Tower

More Information