Trails and Rails: Anza Trail

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

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.

The Anza Trail's Trails & Rails program is administered by the South Coast Railroad Museum of Goleta, CA. For questions about the program, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator Becky Reid or call 805-500-6707.

Book your Coast Starlight ticket: or 800-872-7245


Anza Trail Trails & Rails docents/guides greet and talk to Amtrak riders 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

A woman talks to a couple on a train
Trails & Rails volunteers give engaging programs to train passengers in the observation car.

NPS Photo

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.

To inquire further, please contact the Trails and Rails Volunteer Coordinator at 805-500-6707 or email Becky {@} .

A NPS volunteer talks to a riders on a train
Trails & Rails volunteer interpreters connect riders to the landscape through storytelling.

NPS photo

Carla Cabanatuan

"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."

Tom Robinson

"...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."

Dave Morse

"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!"

Bruce Morden

"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."

Leslie Zomalt

"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: May 5, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

440 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 300
Richmond, CA 94804


(510) 232-5050 x6702
The phone number listed is currently experiencing issues. Please email us at juba_info[at] with your general questions and comments.

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