Restarting the Legendary Amtrak Cascades Calls for Some Reflection on a Prior Leisurely Trip Along this Scenic Route


As Amtrak restarts it's famed Cascades route, we're recalling our wonderful trip on one of the most scenic of Amtrak's US routes.
Ever-changing scenery and stunning views await all along the legendary route of the Amtrak Cascades.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Tickets are on sale now for Amtrak's restarted Cascades route between Vancouver, Canada, and multiple points in Oregon and Washington. Along the way, Cascades riders are treated to incredible scenic beauty including vast forests, beautiful lakes, rugged and snow capped mountains, volcanos and much more.
Snow capped mountain, sparkling lakes and wide rivers passed by as we rode the Cascades south to Portland.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

One of our bucket list items, we traveled in first class on the Cascades from Vancouver to Portland before the 2020 pandemic caused a shutdown of the route. For us, the Amtrak trip was a core part of our vacation experience, not just a convenient link between the end of an Alaska cruise in Vancouver and a 10-day driving tour of Oregon and Washington.
We boarded early in Vancouver, and by the time the sun was fully risen, we were enjoying panoramic views from the wide windows.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

We boarded near daybreak in Vancouver and settled into our wide, comfortable first class seats. By the time the sun had risen fully, we were enjoying panoramic views from our wide (and crystal-clear clean!) windows. When we weren't gawking at the jaw-dropping scenery over the next six hours, we were reading, listening to podcasts and simply relaxing as the train rocked gently.
A kayak appears to want a race with the Cascades train as we cross a low lake bridge.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

We enjoyed the spacious areas on the train, including visits to the cafe and dining cars.

Reaching Portland, we disembarked at the historic Union Station near downtown, where we were treated to some amazing neon signs. From there, it was a quick cab ride to our downtown hotel, our home based for the next leg of our 10-day journey of exploration.
At Portland's Union Station, we enjoyed some of the neon signs before catching our ride to a downtown hotel.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

More From This Journey

We enjoyed journeys on planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships, fishing boats and more on this trip. Here are a few of our other highlights:

Our Marathon Oregon Coast Roadtrip (Video)

Four of Our Favorite Stops along the Oregon Coast

24 Hours in Portland

Salmon Fishing Lessons from Alaska

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I'm a trained journalist and retired global marketing executive. Living in Northwest Georgia, I write about about avocations including outdoors, travel, exploration, history and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries. My South Louisiana-born French Cajun upbringing in food-rich Louisiana plus my extended restaurant-related career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. At my blog,, I offer a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA

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