Trails & Rails: Anza Trail

Logo for the Trails and Rails program, NPS arrowhead and amtrak

Travel the Anza Trail by Train

If you travel the California coast by train, then you could experience the Anza Trail’s Trails & Rails program! On summer Saturdays, docents tell riders about the history and sites from the Sightseer Lounge car on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight. Volunteer guides bring California’s history to life, including:

  • The Anza expedition
  • The history of the railroad
  • Natural history
  • California history
  • Tourist points of interest
A woman talks to a couple on a train



Docents ride between San Jose and Paso Robles or between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

  • Santa Barbara / Paso Robles runs from April through September
  • San Jose / San Luis Obispo runs from June through September

Northbound Train #14 Saturday Schedule

12:14p | 12:21p - Santa Barbara, CA - Amtrak Station (SBA)

2:52p | 3:05p - San Luis Obispo, CA - Amtrak Station (SLO)

4:13p | 4:15p - Paso Robles, CA (PRB)

6:10p | 6:13p - Salinas, CA - Amtrak Station (SNS)

7:46p | 7:58p - San Jose, CA - Diridon Station (SJC)

Southbound Train #11 Saturday Schedule

10:14a | 10:26a - San Jose, CA - Diridon Station (SJC)

12:06p | 12:06p - Salinas, CA - Amtrak Station (SNS)

1:57p | 1:57p - Paso Robles, CA (PRB)

3:24p | 3:37p - San Luis Obispo, CA - Amtrak Station (SLO)

6:12p | 6:19p - Santa Barbara, CA - Amtrak Station (SBA)

Book your trip on the Coast Starlight Train #11 or #14 through Amtrak.

A NPS volunteer talks to a riders on a train
Trails & Rails volunteers give engaging programs to train passengers in the observation car.


Become a Trails & 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? Then you should 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 two one-day trips per month between April and September. Uniforms, training, program materials, train tickets, and meals are provided. A mandatory one-day training takes place every winter.

If you're interested in volunteering, you can learn more here.

Last updated: May 8, 2024

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440 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 300
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