Train Trips in Washington

Train Trips in Washington
Whether you prefer rock climbing in the Cascades, saltwater kayaking in Puget Sound, windsurfing or cycling, Amtrak trains provide access to some of the best recreation areas in Washington.


Leavenworth is a Bavarian-styled town on the mountainous edge of the Wenatchee National Forest. It is a popular destination for its Oktoberfest and Kristkindlmarkt festivals. In addition to the activities in the Wenatchee National Forest, you also have easy access to many summer outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, mountain biking and rock climbing, and the town maintains nine miles of groomed cross-country trails in the winter. You get to Leavenworth on the daily Amtrak Empire Builder. The station is 1-1/2 miles east of town, and many hotels offer shuttles. You can also call ahead (one day in advance) to arrange DART shuttle service.


Located on Bellingham Bay in the northwest corner of Washington, the city provides access to saltwater activities, including fishing charters, sea kayaking, and multiday sailing excursions. Bellingham has many hiking trails and other outdoor activities, and is particularly noteworthy as a mountain biking destination. You get to Bellingham on the Amtrak Cascades line. Camping is available in Larrabee State Park, about 5 miles south of the train station.

White Salmon/Bingen

White Salmon sits on the Washington side of the Columbia River, just across the bridge from Hood River, Oregon. The area offers extensive hiking opportunities, as well as whitewater kayaking and of the best wind surfing in the world. You get to White Salmon via Bingen on the Amtrak Empire Builder (Portland) line. The Bingen station is about 1-1/2 miles east of White Salmon.


Spokane has many attractions for outdoor enthusiasts, the largest of which is Riverside State Park on the east side of the city. The park sits on 10,000 acres surrounding the Spokane River, including 600 acres of off-road trails for mountain biking and snowmobiling, dedicated equestrian trails, and canoeing and kayaking on the river. The fully paved Centennial Trail runs through the park and east to the Idaho border where it hooks up with the Northern Idaho Centennial Trail. The two trails cover more than 60 miles. Spokane is the fork for Amtrak's two Empire Builder lines.

Snoqualmie/North Bend

If you see trains as a destination rather than a journey there is the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie. Nestled in the Cascade foothills of the Interstate 90 corridor, the museum displays several restored vintage train cars and runs a short excursion train between Snoqualmie and North Bend. In Snoqualmie, you can hike down to the base of the 286-foot high Snoqualmie Falls, or if you are up for a more challenging hike, you can take in the panoramic views from the top of Mt. Si in North Bend, or any of several other hiking opportunities in the area.

Article Written By Lance Albertson

Lance Albertson has been a writer since 2009. Prior to that he worked as a programmer for 17 years, the last 9 with Microsoft. He has been published on eHow and He has a Bachelor of Arts in applied math from the University of California Berkeley, and certificates in forensics, private investigation, and computer forensics from the University of Washington Extension.

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