A great way to take in the sights is by climbing aboard a historic steam train, and it is an ideal family outing. If you are considering a western RV vacation and would like to incorporate a historic train ride in your itinerary, here are a few options:
The Redwood Forest Steam Train is a narrow gauge train that has been running in northern California since 1890. The Roaring Camp locomotives were originally used to haul giant redwood logs out of the forest. You will wind through magnificent redwood groves to the summit of Bear Mountain. This ride is one hour round-trip and a perfect addition to a Sequoia and Kings Canyon trip.
The Santa Cruz Beach Train began bringing visitors from the boardwalk at Santa Cruz to the old logging town of Felton in 1875. These days most folks take the trip in the opposite direction to enjoy the Santa Cruz boardwalk and beachfront fun. The ride begins along the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and then runs down the San Lorenzo River Gorge. Riders cross a 1909 steel truss bridge and go through an 1875 tunnel before arriving at the Santa Cruz Beach boardwalk. Enjoy the boardwalk’s amusement park and attractions before re-boarding the train for Felton. This excursion would fit in nicely with a California coast vacation.
In Colorado, there are three historic trains that would be a great addition to your trip to the Colorado Rockies. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been running for 128 years. Originally constructed to haul silver and gold ore from the San Juan mountains, passengers were soon riding to take advantage of the unsurpassed views of the Animas River. The train has five river crossings, offering spectacular views from every seat. Browse the streets of the old mining town of Silverton, a National Historic Landmark, before your return trip.
Leadville’s Colorado & Southern Railroad offers breathtaking views of the San Isabel National Forest as it runs north along the Arkansas River Valley. You will see Fremont Pass and two of the tallest peaks in Colorado – Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert.
The Georgetown Loop Historic Mining and Railroad Park is located 45 miles west of Denver, just off Interstate 70. Enjoy the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains from an old-time steam or diesel locomotive that winds up the Clear Creek canyon, past the remains of several gold and silver mines.
As if the jaw-dropping views aren’t enough, the narrative provided will educate and entertain you on the history of the area along the way. Whether you are a train buff, or have never been on a train, the experience will be a memorable one. Call us at (800) 247-0970 to find out more about planning a trip that includes a scenic train ride!