Roaring Camp Railroads

#5 in Best Things To Do in Santa Cruz
Roaring Camp Railroads
Courtesy Roaring Camp Railroads

Key Info

5401 Graham Hill Rd.

Details

Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The same redwoods that awed passengers back in 1875 when the Roaring Camp Railroads opened are still doing so today. Roaring Camp, headquartered in Felton, California, takes visitors on train rides through the towering trees up to the summit of Bear Mountain or to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Visitors can also tour the train depot's grounds, which include an old-fashioned general store, playing fields, a stage for special events and more. 

Although the train tickets are pricey, most recent travelers said the breathtaking views of the redwoods are worth every penny (some described the experience as "magical"). Some reviewers recommend visiting during Roaring Camp Railroads' special events, including Thomas and Percy's Halloween Party and the Holiday Tree Walk. 

Roaring Camp Railroads is open on the weekends in the fall and spring, and is open daily in the summer. The trains take two different routes – the Redwood Forest Steam Train is a 75-minute round-trip ride up Bear Mountain; the Santa Cruz Beach Train is a three-hour round-trip ride from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Tickets cost $29 for adults and $22 for children for the Redwood Forest Steam Train, and $31 for adults and $25 for children for the Santa Cruz Beach Train. Kids younger than 2 ride for free. Keep in mind that there are also parking fees for both the Santa Cruz and the Felton (Roaring Camp headquarters) train departures – $12 and $10, respectively. Felton is situated about 7 miles northwest of downtown Santa Cruz. For more information, consult Roaring Camp's website.

See all Hotels in Santa Cruz »

More Best Things To Do in Santa Cruz

West Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz Main Beach
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 8
#1 West Cliff Drive

This 3-mile walking and biking path offers some of the best views of the county – and it's a great workout too. Along the way, you'll be treated to pristine vistas of the Pacific Ocean and you might even spot some surfers riding the waves at Steamer Lane or whales and dolphins cresting the water at Lighthouse Point. You can also stop in to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum along your stroll, which is stationed inside the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse.

Read more
Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Paul Schraub
See full list of Best Things To Do in Santa Cruz »

Explore More of Santa Cruz

Recommended

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019

15 Epic Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy Across America

Plan an unforgettable trip in your own backyard or on the opposite coast.

Will WalkeyMarch 12, 2019

The 30 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Explore the globe in search of these intriguing historic sights.

Gwen PratesiMarch 11, 2019

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2019

U.S. News ranked 3,877 top properties for 2019. Check out the 50 best.

Zach WatsonFebruary 5, 2019

30 Hot New Hotels to Check Out in 2019

See which new properties offer surprising and fun features.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 5, 2019

10 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA

Go all-in for these luxe resorts flush with amenities.

Will WalkeyFebruary 5, 2019

The Caribbean Comeback: 12 New and Renovated Caribbean Hotels to Visit

These island properties are sure to impress travelers.

Erin ShieldsFebruary 5, 2019

17 Amazing Kid-Friendly Hotels

Discover which properties offer ample amenities for children.

Christine SmithFebruary 5, 2019