American trains are not the fastest in the world. They also severely lack the network of tracks necessary for people to ditch their car or forego flying to rely on them entirely for their domestic travel needs. But Amtrak has one big flex over the likes of Japan’s Shinkansen or France’s TGV: It crosses — slowly, for our viewing pleasure — some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world.
Amtrak trains travel near or through 21 US National Park Service sites, including some of the most visited national parks in the nation. Some Amtrak train routes even have stations within national parks, so visitors can hop off and easily enjoy America’s stunning wilderness without the need to drive.
Below are six National Park Service sites that you can admire from the comfort of an Amtrak train window seat for the next time you crave a scenic train ride.
1. Glacier National Park, Montana — Empire Builder Amtrak route
Hop on the Empire Builder from Chicago, St. Paul/Minneapolis, Spokane, Portland, or Seattle, and get yourself a comfortable window seat (or sit in the first-come, first-seated Sightseer Lounge and stare out of the