Train Trips in the State of Washington

Train Trips in the State of Washington
Washington State offers stunning scenery, great hikes, and wilderness. It is also home to several train trips that range from a few hours to an entire day. These train trips are a great way to see remote areas of the state that can't be reached by car and would take days to hike to. If you're ready to climb aboard, here are three train trips you shouldn't miss.

Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

You'll board this train in Mineral, Washington on the edge of Mount Rainier National Park. Barring cloudy weather, the scenery on this trip is spectacular, so be sure to grab a window seat. You can choose from several car styles: open, partially-enclosed or fully-enclosed, but the open car gives you the best view. Depending on the day, this train may be pulled by a steam engine or a diesel engine. Since you're close to Mount Rainier National Park, it's worthwhile to add a day or two of hiking or camping onto your train trip.

Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad
P.O. Box 250
Mineral , WA 98355
(888) 783-2611

Chehalis-Centralia Railway

This train departs from Chehalis, Washington, pulled by a restored 1916 steam locomotive once used for logging. You'll travel 18 miles roundtrip through farmland and over several wooden trestles. During the summer, the train occasionally offers dinner on board or a murder-mystery evening; you must reserve these options in advance. During the holiday season, Santa Trains take children and parents on the same scenic trip with a twist: kids meet Santa on board, get a cup of hot chocolate and can have their picture taken with Santa for an additional fee. The train cars are unheated, so dress for the weather.

Chehalis-Centralia Railroad Association
1101 Sylvenus Street
Chehalis, WA 98532
(360) 748-9593

Amtrak's Empire Builder

Board this Amtrak train in Seattle and you won't have to disembark until you reach Chicago two days later. However, you can opt for a shorter trip within Washington State. Spokane is a great place to stop with its airport and many lodging options. Between Seattle and Spokane, you'll cross the Cascade Mountains and get a great view of Mount Rainier and its shorter cousins. After the Cascades, the landscape is mostly flat, and you probably won't see much of it as you arrive in Spokane about midnight. If you'd rather stay on the train until morning and see more interesting scenery, stay on the train until you reach Glacier National Park in Montana, then catch the return train for Seattle in the evening.

(800) 872-7245

Article Written By Andrew Cockerham

Andrew Cockerham is a world traveler and perpetual student with He has been writing since 1999. His work has appeared in "The Gadfly," an annual literary journal, and "Spectrum." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Walla Walla University.

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