The full route of the California Zephyr runs
from Chicago in the east to Emeryville, California in the
west. During our overnight sleeper journey on
the California Zephyr as part of our USA Coast
to Coast holiday, we travel on just a section of this route
- from Chicago to the 'mile high' city of Denver, a 17-hour
1,038 mile (1670 km) trip.
Chicago to the Mississippi
As we leave Chicago, the California
Zephyr follows the Chicago River and we catch glimpses of
the Willis Tower, which dominates the city's skyline. We travel
through the state of Illinois, stopping at Princeton and Galesburg,
before reaching the Mississippi River. The Illinois/Iowa State
Line runs down the centre of the Mississippi: we cross the river
into Iowa and, moments later, make a stop in the city of
Across Iowa to Nebraska
We travel right across the Midwestern state of Iowa
from east to west, reaching the Missouri River and the
Iowa/Nebraska State Line just after we make a stop in the city of
Council Bluffs. Our first stop in Nebraska is Omaha, the birthplace
of a number of famous names including Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando
and Malcolm X.
Through Colorado to Denver
The California Zephyr takes us through
Nebraska, passing through cities such as Lincoln and Hastings. On
reaching the Colorado/Nebraska State Line, we change from Central
to Mountain Time: clocks go back one hour at this point. We
continue across Colorado, making a stop in Fort Morgan, the
hometown of Big Band musician, Glen Miller, until we finally reach
our destination, Denver.
On some of our USA tours we travel this route in reverse,
beginning in Denver and ending in Chicago.