San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento – Bakersfield/Southern California (San Joaquin)


Away from the thrill of the surf and the desolation of arid deserts like Death Valley, the San Joaquin Valley offers a lush, agricultural landscape few think of when considering the attributes of the Californian landscape. Covering some 40,000 acres, it’s filled with an array of crops, from asparagus to almonds. It’s a unique pocket of California, offering lush surrounds and vibrant colours, making it a popular route for many.

Taking its name from the valley it speeds through, the San Joaquin still takes you past some truly dramatic scenery. The coastal mountains lie to the west, with the Diablo Range and Temblor Range most prominent from the valley, while the magnificent Sierra Nevada mountain range, which also contains the Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Death Valley National Parks, is to the east.


Departing from Oakland (San Francisco) or Sacramento at the northern end of the valley, the train runs through Stockton and Fresno before reaching Bakersfield in the south. From Bakersfield, take a Thruway bus to connect to Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, or even Las Vegas.

But whatever your final destination is, the comfort of the reclining seats on board, the spaciousness of the cars, and the convenience of the café car means the San Joaquin provides a memorable adventure through a hidden treasure of California country.

The mile-by-mile route guide is detailed on pages 142-185 the soon-to-be-released USA West By Train: The Complete Amtrak Travel Guide.

Coming in Spring 2016! From the best-selling authors of Canada by Train comes the ultimate companion to rail travel in the Western USA. Pre-order USA West By Train: The Complete Amtrak Travel Guide from us now, before it hits the stores!

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