California‍‍‍ Rail Tour

Interested in a different Railroading Journey? Contact us to learn about designing your own custom adventure!

PRICE: $3,49‍‍‍5*

DURATIO‍‍‍N: 8 days / 7 nights

From historic railways that supported the logging industry to metropolitan transport that moves today’s residents around the San Francisco Bay Area, California has known 150 years of railroad history. On this unique California Rail Tour you will experience the past and present on California railroads and glimpse the future. An unforgettable vacation by rail awaits you in California.


Best Western Plus Bayside Hotel - 1 night
This relaxed, modern waterfront hotel features bright, contem‍‍‍porary rooms offer free WiFi, cable TV and patios or balconies. Microwaves, fridges and tea/coffeemakers are also provided. The hotel has a free shuttle to the Lake Merritt BART station. There's also a bar, an outdoor pool with a hot tub, plus fitness and business centers.  

University Plaza Waterfront Hotel Stockton - 1 night
Each of the Waterfront hotel’s spacious guestrooms and suites have been nautically updated including flat screen TVs, pillow top king beds, and MP3 docking stations. With a panoramic view of the City and the Delta from the picturesque Waterfront Courtyard, The University Plaza Waterfront hotel presents an unmatched blend of luxurious accommodations, elegant meeting spaces and superb services, which make for an unforgettable stay.  

Hyatt Place San Jose - 1 night
Conveniently located in downtown San Jose. The bright, casual rooms and suites come with free WiFi, 42-inch flat-screen TVs and separate living/sleeping areas, as well as coffeemakers and minifridges. The hotel also has a 24-hour market café and fitness center.  

Coventry Inn - 1 night
Centrally located between the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco's Cow Hollow district is known for its rich architectural flavor and quaint neighborhood charm. The hotel offers traditional rooms with wood furnishings feature 42-inch flat-screen TVs and free WiFi.  

Hampton Inn Ukiah - 1 night
This hotel is nestled in the scenic valley of the Mayacamas Mountains of Northern California. Rooms feature balconies offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, plus coffeemakers, minifridges and microwaves. Also, the hotel has an outdoor pool, a sundeck, and an exercise room.  

Hilton Garden Inn Sonoma County Airport - 1 night
All rooms offer upscale decor and custom-designed beds, plus 32-inch flat-screen TVs with premium cable channels, microwaves, minifridges and free WiFi. There's also a fitness center and the indoor pool with a hot tub.  

Embassy Suites Riverfront Sacramento - 1 night
Enjoy the best of historical Old Town Sacramento and the modernity of downtown with this hotel that is a centrally located providing a comfortable all-suites experience. The modern one-bedroom suites come with living rooms with pull-out sofas, plus kitchenettes with microwaves, minifridges and coffeemakers. They also feature flat-screen TVs with premium cable channels, and WiFi.

Other Ra‍‍‍il Journeys you might like...


Day 1 — Arrivals in Oakland

Arrive in Oakland’s Jack London Square neighborhood by midafternoon for a welcome orientation and dinner.
Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 — San Joaquins and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

Depart Oakland’s Jack London Square Amtrak Station aboard the San Joaquins to Stockton. Once we arrive we take a short drive to California’s Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, home of the historic Sierra Railway and the embarkation point for the first of your scenic train rides this week. Enjoy a tour of the shops and a chance to photograph historic locomotives and railway cars. Afterward, we will return to Stockton for a relaxing evening.  
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3 — Altamont Pass / Niles Canyon / Redwood Forests of Roaring Camp Railroads

This morning you ride the route used by the pre-Amtrak California Zephyr on its way between California’s Central Valley and its terminus on the east side of San Francisco Bay. Your train, an Altamont Corridor Express, takes you over Altamont Pass and through Niles Canyon. You will transfer up into the Santa Cruz Mountains for your next train where you will travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain. In the 1880s, narrow-gauge steam locomotives were used to haul giant redwood logs out of the mountains.  Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4 — San Francisco & Cable Cars

Today, transfer to Caltrain for a ride into San Francisco on rails that Southern Pacific’s Coast Daylight traveled. We will experience San Francisco Municipal Railway “Muni” light-rail and cable car lines on our way to the Cable Car Powerhouse, which doubles as the cable car museum. You then ride a cable car to the foot of California Street, visit the SF Railway Museum and ride the historic streetcars that ply Muni’s acclaimed F-line along the Embarcadero. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at one of the tasty restaurants within walking distance of our hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner  

Day 5 — Wine Country & Napa Valley Wine Train

This morning we’ll shuttle north over the Golden Gate Bridge through Marin County to Northern California’s most famous wine country: Napa. Afterward, your lunch today will be a special treat–aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train’s Gourmet Express. Then we head to Ukiah, rated #1 best small town to live in California, for our overnight stay.  
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 —Coastal Redwoods by Rail

After a short drive this morning, you will travel the California Western Railroad aboard its famed Skunk Train through a redwood forest. Completed in 1911 as a lumber hauler, the California Western attracted summer visitors from the beginning. In collaboration with the Northwestern Pacific railroad during the 1920s, it even had through sleeping-car service from San Francisco Bay. Later you will transfer to Sonoma County where you will spend the evening.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7 — California’s Newest Railroad & California State Railroad Museum

Today’s train ride is on California’s newest commuter railroad, the Sonoma and Marin Area Rail Transit, 'SMART'. A revival of the south portion of the Northwestern Pacific, SMART was authorized by the California Legislature in 2002 and funded by a sales-tax initiative approved in 2008 by voters of the two counties it serves. Its first 43 miles, between the Sonoma County Airport station and downtown San Rafael. After our SMART trip, transfer to Sacramento. T‍‍he afternoon is yours to spend in Old Sacramento, home of the California State Railroad Museum, the best of its kind in the nation. Gather this evening for a festive farewell dinner.   Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8 — Departures from Sacramento

Your trip home may be arranged from Sacramento International Airport; or, by connecting from Amtrak Capitol Corridor service, Oakland International Airport. Sacramento is also served by Amtrak’s California Zephyr to Denver and Chicago, and Coast Starlight to southern California and the Pacific Northwest.  Meals included: Breakfast




Public Dates and Availability

‍‍‍August 26 - Sept‍‍‍ ‍‍‍2


‍‍‍September 8‍‍‍ -‍‍‍ 15

‍‍August  11‍‍‍‍‍‍ - 18‍‍‍‍‍‍














Request your Private Date


Single Supplement





The Great Northern Railway

Arizona & New Mexico

Southwestern Hospitality

Length: 7 days / 6 nights

Price: $3,395*

Length: 6 days / 5 nights

Price: $2,795*

Length: 7 days / 6 nights‍‍‍

Price: $3,595*

  • Arrive at East Glacier by train from Havre, Montana
  • Travel by open-top “Red Bus” to Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-‍‍‍Sun road
  • Visit the Museum of the Plains Indian on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation
  • Travel by boat on the park’s lakes to trailheads that are inaccessible by automobile
  • Stay at historic hotels built by the railway before 1915
  • Thousand-foot cliffs form Royal Gorge, originally on D&RG’s line to Leadville
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison, once a D&RG landmark, is now a national park
  • The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad travels the canyon of the Rio de las Animas
  • Cross 10,020-foot Cumbres Pass and tr‍‍‍averse the rim of Toltec Gorge
  • Ride the Verde Canyon Railway
  • Travel by train into Grand Canyon National Park
  • Experience Southwestern hospitality in hotels and restaurants established by Fred Harvey
  • Cross between New Mexico and Colorado eleven times in ruggedly b‍‍‍eautiful country

Pricing & Incl‍‍‍usions

Price Includes:‍‍

  • Lodging as outlined in lodging section above based on double occupancy
  • Meals as noted in itinerary above
  • Snacks and beverages
  • Train tickets and museum admissions for all included activities  
  • Commentary by rail expert
  • Services of professional tour manager
  • Ground transportation for all included events during the trip & porterage service

Trip Price ‍‍‍Excludes:

  • Pre & post tour travel
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for your BSA guides


Scenic Railroads in the Rockies

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