Travel the Anza Trail on board the Amtrak Coast Starlight
The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is proud to sponsor one of the nation's 17 Trails & Rails programs, an innovative partnership between the National Park Service and Amtrak. From the observation car of Amtrak's Coast Starlight, you can experience California's magical landscape and history with volunteer docents as your guides. The Anza Trail's program runs summer weekends between Santa Barbara and San Jose.
Book your Coast Starlight ticket:
2020 Trails & Rails Schedule
Following CDC and California State guidelines, the 2020 Trails & Rails schedule is postponed. We are currently waiting for guidance and will update this page when there is more information to share about the continuation or suspension of the 2020 schedule. Typically, Anza Trail guides would be in the observation car of the Amtrak Coast Starlight between Santa Barbara and San Jose on Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays in the operating season. (Guides on the Pacific Surfliner provide a limited program.) For information about the Coast Starlight program in Washington State, click here
Become a Trails and Rails Guide
Would you like to represent the National Park Service, engage thousands of people a year, and enjoy one of the most beautiful rail routes in America? Become a Trails & Rails docent along the Anza Trail!
Docents must be based near Santa Barbara or San Jose. Trails & Rails volunteers do not need to be historians or naturalists, but they must have an enthusiasm for public speaking and travel. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, in good health, and available to for 2 one-day trips per month between May and August. Uniforms, training, program materials, train tickets, and meals are provided. A mandatory one-day training takes place every winter.
"I serve as a Trails and Rails guide because it is a privilege and a pleasure to point out to the passengers the sites we pass along the way."
"...the route we take on our trips lets us see miles and miles of a scenic part of the California coast that can't be seen from the highway ... I enjoy sharing that beauty and describing the area's wildlife and history with passengers who come from around the world to see it."
"To educate, enlighten, excite, and engage the thousands of Amtrak passengers that are lucky enough to traverse the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail by rail ... I enjoy the trips more than the ones listening!"
"My passion for all things railroad-related, as well as for California history, drives my enjoyment of interpreting and sharing with fellow travelers aboard the Coast Starlight."
"Trails and Rails allows me to see and share a very special California experience. Every trip I learn something new from the other guides and the passengers; with every trip the scenery and the interactions change."
Last updated: April 21, 2020