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Roaring Camp Steam Train Through Santa Cruz Redwoods

Roaring Camp Steam Train Through Santa Cruz Redwoods

star-4.5314 Reviews
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Santa Cruz, United States
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icon1 hour 15 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 6 more
icon1 hour 15 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 6 more
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icon1 hour 15 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 6 more

Overview

Board a historic steam train for a 1-hour ride through the Santa Cruz mountains from Felton’s Roaring Camp, and go deep into redwood groves and California’s past. Chug up the narrow gage tracks under trees that soar over 270 feet (82 meters) above the forest floor. Learn the history of the forest, the railroad and the logging camp it served. Stroll through the towering trees at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, visit an old fashioned general store and sheriff’s office and take in serenity of California's ancient forests.
  • Admission to Felton’s Roaring Camp and a train excursion through the Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Ride a historic open-air steam train from the late 1800s
  • Take in the view and explore an old-fashioned California village at the Bear Mountain summit
  • Enjoy the surrounding nature, including the trails of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
  • Learn about the regional history from a knowledgeable train conductor
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Train fare
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Picnic tables for rent
Parking ($10; payable at time of travel)

Departure Point

Roaring Camp Railroads
11:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Make your way to the historic steam train's departure point at Roaring Camp in Felton, California. 

Settle in to your seat in the open-air car and breathe in the clean forest air as you chug into the redwood forest. The hulking historic train dates back to the late 19th century and is one of the best preserved narrow-gauge steam engines in the country. These trains were once used to transport lumber out of the now-protected redwood forests. 

Cruise over trestles and under cover of lush forest canopy on the way up to the summit of Bear Mountain. Listen to the conductor's illuminating commentary on the history of the railroad and the area's diverse ecosystem. 

Hop out at the top of Bear Mountain to patronize the general store. Stroll through nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to stretch your legs and get some beautiful photo ops of the natural landscape. 

The full round-trip ride takes about 1 hour.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Roaring Camp Railroads
Experience California’s redwoods as never before, by taking a steam train through one of the Golden State’s towering ancient forests. Be inspired by both the natural beauty of the groves and the engineering prowess of this hulking locomotive, which dates back to the 1890s. Hop aboard the train at Roaring Camp in Felton, near the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, just 80 miles south of San Francisco. Settle into your open-air car and hang on as you chug past hundreds of old-growth redwoods with an unobstructed view. As you make your way up to the top of Bear Mountain, you’ll cruise over trestles and glide beneath the verdant canopy. Along the way, the knowledgeable train conductor will illuminate the forest with bits of history about how it was formed and facts about the local wildlife, as well as stories about the railroad and Roaring Camp. Learn about how steam locomotives similar to the one you’ll be riding are among the oldest and best preserved narrow-gauge steam engines in America, and were once used to schlep redwood logs down from the mountains. You’ll have plenty of time to admire your surroundings on the 1-hour round trip ride. At the summit, study the architecture and visit the old-fashioned general store. Capture the moment in the vintage photo booth and peek inside the charmingly woodsy sheriff’s office. Stretch your legs and take in the majestic surroundings on a nature stroll through nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Please note: Picnic tables are available at Roaring Camp for all-day rental. Inquire at the ticket office when you visit. Gates open at 9:30am, and parking closes at 5pm, unless trains are still operating.
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a state park of California, USA, preserving mainly forest and riparian areas in the watershed of the San Lorenzo River, including a grove of old-growth coast redwood.[1] It is located in Santa Cruz County, primarily in the area between the cities of Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, near the community of Felton and the University of California at Santa Cruz. The park includes a non-contiguous extension in the Fall Creek area north of Felton. The 4,623-acre (1,871 ha) park was established in 1954
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 2 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Roaring Camp Railroads
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.


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Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
314 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 314 reviews
star-5
Fantastic adventure
Thomas_M
, Jul 2020
We had the best time at Roaring Camp and on the Steam Train. The conductor narrated the entire trip and gave a lot. of interesting information about the redwoods and the train. The PA system worked really well so everyone could hear him, no matter which car or seat you had. We can't wait to go back with our grandkids. The purpose of our trip was to see the redwoods. By learning so much from this adventure, we felt well-informed when we later went to Muir Woods National Monument. We also enjoyed talking to the blacksmith and the wool workers. The accommodations with the Covid-19 situation were handled very well with boarding, seating, and unboarding, too.
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star-5
Fun with our grands
Daniel_M
, Jul 2020
Took our 3 grand daughters and all 3 loved it. Ages were 10,9, and 7 Took a little over an hour and really kept them interested. Next time we have them going to take them on the boardwalk train.
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star-5
October fun!
nanolatina
, Oct 2019
We had an amazing time! Our son absolutely enjoyed it and will be back soon. Train guide was funny, and kept us engaged. Grounds are great, with plenty of places to eat. Store has great stuff, and not too expensive. Thank you
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star-5
Beautiful and Informative
Adventure61374549713
, Oct 2019
The camp was charming with a bridge, a pond filled with ducks and turtles, and renovated western buildings. The train offered both covered and uncovered seating. The trip began it's ascent through the camp, then into the magical canopy of the beautiful redwood forest. Turns offered clear views of the engine as it released it's steam high up into the tree canopy. The guide offered excellent tidbits of information regarding the train's history as well as facts about the surrounding forest. Upon reaching the top at Bear Mountain we disembarked and were offered the chance to take a short walk into a circle of redwoods where we listened to our guide relay information pertaining to the redwoods. The descent was just as beautiful as the ascent offering as a finale the sight of the engine releasing plumes of steam. All in all a delightful trip!!
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star-5
surprise much more elaborate than i expected.
Coastal522039
, Oct 2019
it was great fun! more extensive than i expected. very organized. beautiful weather. great grandson freaked at the whistle of the train but after he learned to block his ears, it was great. he is just three yrs.
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star-3
Very average
flutterby59
, Sep 2019
After the first five minutes of this hour long tour you have seen everything on offer. My husband enjoyed it as he is an ex train driver.However, I was quite bored as once you have seen one redwood tree you have seen them all. I was quite shocked that theyvalso charged $10 for parking.
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star-5
Fun and Unique
dryoung12
, Jul 2019
My wife and I spent an afternoon at the Roaring Camp and took the steam train up Bear Mountain. We had a great time. This was such a fun and unique experience. The staff was very helpful and friendly. I would recommend this to anyone who is visiting the area.
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star-3
Issues at the ticket window
DayTrip440122
, Jul 2019
Unfortunately when we got to the window to pick up our tickets they only had one group of tickets for 4 because there was 13 of us we had to do 3 groups. Was then told they could not find the other 2 and probably would not be able to get on the train. I was assured when I bought the tickets there would not be a problem. But there was and they were just going to dismiss me but I made a fuss and after 10 minutes or so of no one seeming to be able to help they issued comp tickets so we could board. It put a damper on what turned out to be an enjoyable ride.
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star-4
Riding the train through the redwoods
Traveler39816847297
, Jun 2019
Ride was beautiful. Train was a little crowded which made it uncomfortable. We had 2 families and 4 grandparents. We couldn’t sit together and kids had to sit on our laps.
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star-5
Great Trop
Vacation35638651317
, Jun 2019
This was a very informative and wonderful trip through the Redwoods on the Steam Engine # 1. The conductor was a wealth of information and the student conductor followed orders very well. I would recommend this trip to anyone. I liked the explanation of the switchbacks also. Very Informative.
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Product code: 6697SC

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