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. Trains travel in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. For a virtual tour, listen to the Southwest Chief overview.

Things to Know

  • No WiFi and limited cell phone coverage.
  • Trains use Superliner rail cars (two levels tall).
  • New Mexico and Colorado are the states with daytime views and the best scenery.
  • Roomettes and bedrooms are available on this train if you want private sleeping accommodations.
  • There is a traditional dining car that is currently available to sleeper car passengers only and a cafĂ© 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