Empire Builder

Chicago - St. Paul/Minneapolis - Spokane - Portland/Seattle
46 hours
Daily
Experience the rugged splendor of the American West. Traveling daily between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail, the mighty Empire Builder takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness, following the footsteps of early pioneers. From Chicago, you'll have magnificent views of the Mississippi and see the glowing night skyline of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Awake the next morning as you cross the North Dakota plains and travel over the spectacular Gassman Coulee Trestle. Skirting the Missouri, you'll cross into the Big Sky country in Montana, passing by a travelers favorite, Glacier National Park. From Spokane, you can continue on to Seattle or head down the Columbia River Gorge toward Portland for spectacular views of Mt. Hood and Beacon Rock.
Glide past—not above—amber waves of grain. Climb the magnificent Rockies and Sierra Nevadas and witness the power of the raging Colorado River. Cross the Continental Divide, travel through tunnels and canyons. Marvel at the vivid hues of Utah’s deserts. There is simply no better way to experience the true majesty of America than from the ground up on Amtrak.
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountains and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” — Sir John Lubbock

Features & Amenities

  • Route Highlights

    Chicago, Illinois

    From the grandeur of Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain to iconic museums and skyscrapers, see for yourself why Chicago was once dubbed “Paris on the Prairie.”
    Engage in retail therapy on the Magnificent Mile or root for the home team within the comfortable confines of famed Wrigley Field. Chicago will satisfy whatever you hunger for, from hot dogs and deep dish pizza to culture and comedy.
  • Route Highlights

    Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

    Bite into the “Mini-Apple” and its twin city, St. Paul, with strolls along the Chain of Lakes and tours of the stately homes of Summit Avenue. Play in the spray of Minnehaha Falls and laugh along at a taping of the “Prairie Home Companion.”
    Engage in retail therapy at the Mall of America or art therapy in the renowned sculpture gardens of the Walker Art Center.
  • Route Highlights

    Glacier National Park, Montana

    Raft, bike, hike, fish or float in the “Crown of the Continent.” Gaze at awe-inspiring vistas along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Scan the cliffs for mountain goats and big horn sheep or eye the sky for eagles and osprey. Soak in the mist of mountain waterfalls, sleep in a chalet and savor gourmet fare next to a roaring fireplace.
  • Route Highlights

    Seattle, Washington

    Discover how the Alaskan gold rush helped shape the city’s early history at the Klondike Gold Rush Museum in Pioneer Square. Hop a ferry and glide silently across Elliott Bay for striking views of the Olympic and Cascade ranges.
    Grab a latte, and perhaps a fish, at Pike Place Public Market. Soar above the clouds in the Space Needle or dig deep into pop culture at the Experience Music Project Museum.
  • Route Highlights

    Portland, Oregon

    Pedal your way through parks and public gardens, to organic markets and across the Willamette River in America’s #1 biking town. Explore the Columbia River Gorge’s majestic waterfalls or ski Mt. Hood’s 3,690 vertical foot terrain.
    Prefer more “chill” thrills? Check out Powell’s, the world’s largest book store, sample Portland’s multitude of microbrews or catch the aerial tram for a quick climb to great views atop Marquam Hill.

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation Onboard

An innovative partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak, the Trails & Rails program provides Amtrak passengers with educational opportunities to foster an appreciation of a selected region's natural and cultural heritage and renews the long tradition of associating railroads with National Parks.
During the spring and summer months, National Park Service guides are onboard the Empire Builder between Seattle and Shelby, MT from the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. The other programs are presented on different days of the week.

Train Stations Served by the Empire Builder