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Tourist Train Rides > Western States

Scenic and heritage train rides in the Western States

Royal Gorge Route, Colorado

Tourist railways feature historic train rides and scenic routes to provide memorable day trips that are fun for the whole family! Shown: Royal Gorge Route, Colorado. Photo: © Royal Gorge Route.

Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska

Day trips include "Glacier Discovery" to Whittier, Spencer Glacier and Grandview; "Coastal Classic" to Seward; and "Denali Star" ("Aurora" in winter) to Talkeetna. Highlights include cruise and activity add-ons and overnight packages. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, food service, limited online ticketing, wheelchair access.

Skagway, Alaska

An engineering marvel, this Gold Rush era railroad climbs nearly 3000 ft (914 m) from glacial tidewater to White Pass Summit. Other excursions run to Fraser, Bennett and Whitehorse, Canada. Highlights include hiker services for Denver and Laughton Glaciers and Chilkoot Trail. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing, wheelchair access.

California

Sacramento, California

Old Sacramento State Historic Park is home to one of the nation's foremost railroading museums. Excursions, along the banks of the Sacramento River, are among the most popular attractions. Highlights include library, restored freight depot and extensive collections of locomotives and rolling stock. Trains operate seasonally; museum open year-round. Selected features: rail museum, nearby food services, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, online ticketing, limited wheelchair access.

Fillmore, California

The "Home of the Movie Trains," featured in Hollywood productions, treats visitors to scenic excursions through the citrus groves of Heritage Valley. Highlights include steam runs, Murder Mystery Dinner Trains and rail/tour packages. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing.

Orange, California

Kids and grown-ups alike delight in riding aboard this charming 1/3 scale railroad through the Orange County foothills of Irvine Regional Park. Highlights include access to the Orange County Zoo, public stables, and paddle boat rentals. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, gift shop, snack bar.

Napa, California

Among the "Best Rail Experiences in the World," the train treats guests to an array of brunch, lunch and dinner services aboard Vista Dome, lounge and dining coaches. Highlights include wine tastings and entertainment runs. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, cafe, online ticketing, wheelchair access.

Sunol, California

Round-trips follow a 150-year-old route through Niles Canyon. Riders may explore the old rail town of Sunol or Fremont's historic Niles district and return on a later train. Highlights include caboose and railbus rentals. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, wheelchair access.

Perris, California

The largest railway museum in the West operates a changing roster of trains and trolleys from a world-class collection of locomotives and rolling stock dating from the 1870s. Highlights include guest engineer program, and caboose rentals. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Campo, California

This authentic mountain railroad takes visitors on a 90-minute old-time train ride through San Diego's backcountry. Daylight and evening departures are offered. Highlights include cab rides, open-air car (in season), and "Engineer-for-an-Hour" opportunities. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing, wheelchair access.

Palm Springs, California

Ascending 8500 ft/2600 m, the world's largest rotating tram links its desert canyon base with Mount San Jacinto State Park. Highlights include picnic area, nature trails, ski center, camp sites and Top of the Tram Restaurant. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing, wheelchair access.

San Pedro, California

Replicas of LA's historic Red Cars ply a restoration line connecting the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center with Downtown San Pedro, Ports O'Call Village and the 22nd St. Marina. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: wheelchair access.

Jamestown, California

A feature of Hollywood movies for nearly a century, the museum's 6 mi (10 km) train ride through the rugged hillsides of California's Mother Lode country includes a close-up of the water tower made famous on "Petticoat Junction." Highlights include historic Jamestown shops and tours of the historic Sierra Railroad roundhouse. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail exhibits, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, online ticketing, wheelchair access.

Felton, California

Ancient redwood stands form the backdrop for a pair of memorable adventures: by narrow-gauge steam train to the top of Bear Mountain; or aboard the Beach Train to the boardwalk at Santa Cruz. Trains operate year-round (Beach Train, seasonally). Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, online ticketing, wheelchair access.

Woodland, California

Murder mysteries, great train robberies, champagne brunches and more transform this scenic train ride into a party on wheels. Highlights include open-air observation cars, open-air patio bar and fun club car. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

McCloud, California

Ceased operation in January 2010.

Oakdale, California

Departing the "Cowboy Capital of the World," this restored restaurant-on-wheels treats guests to Sunset Dinner and Dance, Sunday Brunch, Murder Mystery, Wild West and other themed excursions. Highlights include overnight packages. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Fort Bragg - Willits, California

In the heart of North Coast redwood country, trains push through deep mountain tunnels and crisscross the rushing waters of the Noyo River. Highlights include open-air car, cab rides, woodland BBQs and hotel packages. Trains operate year-round (Willets, seasonally). Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, wheelchair access.

Fish Camp, California

Vintage trains drawn by steam powered Shay locomotives and antique self-propelled "Jenny" railcars haul passengers along a onetime logging track through Sierra National Forest. Highlights include Moonlight Special/BBQ packages. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar.

Colorado

Golden, Colorado

On "Steam Up" days, a restored narrow-gauge train tours the museum grounds. Museum exhibits are largely devoted to the mountain railroads of Colorado's flamboyant railroad era. Highlights include an operational roundhouse and garden railway. Limited days of operation. Selected features: rail museum (open year-round), holiday/event excursions, gift shop.

Cripple Creek, Colorado

A 15-ton iron horse recreates the excitement of the Gold Rush age along its 4 mi (6½ km) narrow-gauge route. Historic mines and the deserted mining camp of Anaconda are sights along the way. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: event excursions, gift shop, snack bar.

Antonito, Colorado & Chama, New Mexico

America's highest and longest narrow gauge railway edges along 600-ft/180-m cliffs and clears Cumbres Pass, some 2 mi (3 km) in altitude. Highlights include restored Parlor Car and open air gondola. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing, wheelchair access.

Durango, Colorado

Amid the San Juan Mountains, tourist-filled steam trains follow the Animas River's snaking course as they have for over a century. Highlights include freight yard with operating roundhouse and rail/hotel/recreation packages. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing.

Fort Collins, Colorado

Restored street cars proceed along the original West Mountain Avenue line between the downtown shopping district and City Park of this pretty college town. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Georgetown, Colorado

A 19c engineering marvel, this historic mining train's corkscrew route climbs a 600 ft (180 m) grade in just 2 mi (3 km), clearing horseshoe curves and massive Devil's Gate High Bridge. Highlights include a silver mine tour. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing, wheelchair access.

Leadville, Colorado

From the Victorian mining town of Leadville -- North America's highest incorporated city -- the LC&S travels through the world's largest alpine valley, in sight of towering Mount Elbert and Mount Massive, to the Continental Divide. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing.

Manitou Springs, Colorado

The "World's Highest Cog Railroad" passes grazing bighorn sheep and 2000-year old bristlecone pines, overtakes the timberline, and crosses Alpine tundra to reach its summit station, 14,110 ft/4300 m in the sky. Highlights include biking and hiking combos. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online reservations.

Alamosa, Colorado

Crossing the spectacular Sangre de Cristo range, the San Luis Express descends into the high valley town of La Veta. Separately, the Toltec Gorge Limited heads south, hooking up with the famous Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (see above). Highlights include Mountain Pass Cumbres & Toltec combo. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: online ticketing.

Cañon City, Colorado

Trains propel along a 12 mi/19 km rock-cut rail bed, hugging the Arkansas River through its 1000 ft/300 m chasm. Big Horn Sheep graze and eagles soar along the world-class route. Highlights include vista dome and bar/parlor cars. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, lunch and dinner trips, murder mystery trains, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing, wheelchair access.

Hawaii

Ewa, Hawaii

Oahu's last remaining sugar train steams past an old sugar cane plantation and a ghost town on its way to the ocean at Kahe Point. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: rail museum, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Lahaina - Puukolii, Hawaii

Built to link canefields, sugar mills and plantation villages, this narrow gauge steamer takes visitors on a roll through paradise. A curved trestle crossing yields stunning mountain and island views. Highlights include open-air car, BBQ/show package, and seasonal whale sightings. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: dinner trips, train charters, gift shop, online ticketing, wheelchair access.
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Idaho

Horseshoe Bend, Idaho

Following the white water Payette River on a 3-hour roundtrip through the Boise National Forest, the century-old train makes a heritage layover where gold mining and other historic exhibits are on view. Highlights include restored parlor car and open air gondola, overnight and birthday packages. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: Onboard bar and snack services, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Montana

Lewiston, Montana

Rolling through the heart of Big Sky Country, the Chew-Choo serves up a memorable 3½-hr of great scenery and western-style entertainment along with a full-course prime rib dinner. Limited days of operation. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions.

Nevada

Ely, Nevada

"Ghost Train" No. 40 and sister steamer No. 93 take a century-old shortline to the old silver mining town of Keystone and through the Steptoe Valley to Adverse. Highlights include cab rides, guest engineer program and caboose rentals. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, wheelchair access.

Boulder City, Nevada

Built in the 1930s to service the Boulder Dam project, the Mojave museum railway takes visitors on a scenic 45-minute desert run. Choice of vintage Pullman or open-air car seating. Highlights include displays of historic steam locomotives and rolling stock. Trains operate year-round except January. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Virginia City, Nevada

"The Queen of the Short Lines" rides again -- reviving a stretch of the historic rail route built to link the outside world with the boomtowns of Nevada's 19c silver bonanza: the Comstock Lode. Today's guests enjoy 35-minute excursions aboard restored 1920s coaches. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Oregon

Redmond, Oregon

Operations have been discontinued as of April 2010.

Hood River, Oregon

Riders spot fruit orchards, woodland fauna and mountain vistas along this century-old railroad's Hood River course. Return trip follows an hour's layover at the foothill hamlet of Parkdale. Highlights include Murder Mystery Dinner Trains and open-air cars. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar.

Tillamook, Oregon

Steam trips between Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach depots offer up stunning views of Tillamook Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Highlights include locomotive cab rides. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, limited wheelchair access.

Brooks, Oregon

The largest trolley museum in the Pacific Northwest features a 1 mi (1.5 km) demonstration run and a working car barn tour. Highlights include exhibits of vintage trams and street cars. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum.

Sumpter and McEwen, Oregon

A one-time timber train, the historic "Stump Dodger" treats passengers to an old-fashioned narrow gauge steam train ride through the heart of Gold Rush Country. Highlights include guest engineer program, rail artifacts display and discounted Family Pass. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions.

Lake Oswego, Oregon

Over tall trestles, through an S-curve tunnel and along the scenic Willamette Riverbank, this heritage trolley plies its preservation line between Lake "O" and Riverwood. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Utah

Heber City, Utah

Runs to sparkling Deer Creek Reservoir feature views of Mt. Timpanogos. Longer excursions continue along the Provo River into glacier-carved Provo Canyon. Highlights include raft/rail combos, supper/entertainment runs and cab rides. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing.

Washington

Chehalis, Washington

Over scenic hills and trestle crossings, CCRR's antique steamer chugs its way along a heritage logging route. Highlights include a restored 1916 logging steam locomotive. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: dinner trains, holiday/event excursions, train charters, wheelchair access.

Yacolt, Washington

Through the Evergreen State's historic logging country, trains clear a tunnel, edge along a clifftop and cross a trestle bridge en route to Moulton Falls County Park. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Mineral, Washington

Vintage steam locomotives embark on a 14 mi (22 km) round trip through the forested foothills of Mt. Rainier... including a refreshing stopover at Mineral Lake. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Snoqualmie - North Bend, Washington

Amid the western Cascade Foothills, antique coaches depart the museum's 19c depot bound for North Bend, the top of Snoqualmie Falls and the scenic overlook of the Valley. Optional departures and layovers at North Bend. Highlights include guided train shed tours and vintage rail collection. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Yakima, Washington

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, America's last intact, operating rural electric railway runs through the heart of Apple Country as it has since 1907. An operating carbarn and substation contain heritage cars and equipment. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum.

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