One of the most stunning views by rail is available for just $53. You'll travel from Denver to Grand Junction on the California Zephyr as you pass through tunnels and mountains for breathtaking views, some only seen by train.

How to get there

Visit the Amtrak site to book your train ride. The value rate is just $53 but there are additional discounts available for AAA members, military, seniors, students, and children. You can plan your route on the website, then either have your tickets on the Amtrak APP on your phone, print the tickets, or pick them up at your local station.

Experience the California Zephyr

The California Zephyr travels daily from Chicago to San Francisco along one of the most beautiful routes in North America. The Colorado by rail segment takes you through the Rockies following the Colorado river for parts of the route. The view is spectacular, so grab a seat in the observation car for the best views.

For the Colorado segment of the California Zephyr, you'll board in Denver with stops along the way in Fraser (Winter Park), Glenwood Springs, and Granby, before arriving at Grand Junction. From Fraser to Glenwood Springs you'll experience two-and-a-half hours of mountain and river views that are arguably some of the best.

The route through Colorado

You'll depart Denver with a slow climb to the Rockies that will take you through numerous tunnels.

The Moffat Tunnel, a 6.2-mile tunnel through James Peak, lets out right at the first stop of Fraser. If you enjoy skiing and other outdoor adventures you'll want to get off and spend some time exploring Fraser and nearby Winter Park Ski Resort. The next stop is Granby which is the gateway city to the Rocky Mountain National Park.

From Granby, the train follows the Colorado River for 235 miles. After Granby, you'll stop in Glenwood Springs. This historic hamlet is known for its natural springs and has several places to enjoy the healing water including Iron Mountian Hot Springs and Glenwood Springs Hot Springs. While you're there you'll want to check out Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves.

The view will change as you near Grand Junction. The area is known for wine and peaches and you'll pass vineyards as you approach the end of your journey.

If you take the trip nonstop, for just $53 you'll travel just under eight hours, viewing some of the best scenery in North America. But plan to break the trip up with stops in Winter Park and Glenwood Springs along the way. It's a great way to immerse yourself in a Colorado journey.