Northern California Nature September 24, 2018
This 40-Mile Train Ride Is The Most Relaxing Way To Enjoy Northern California Scenery
There are few things more relaxing than driving through the Northern California backcountry and taking in the scenery. That is, unless you’re riding on a train! Northern California is home to an abundance of scenic train rides but a favorite among most people is the iconic Skunk Train. This ride traverses 40 whopping miles of stunning landscapes; through towering redwood forests and breathtaking canyons. To top it all off, the train itself is a delightful gem from the past and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a simpler time. Sit back, relax, and soak up the views. This is the most relaxing way to enjoy the tremendous beauty our state has to offer and you’ll absolutely love it.
Located in breathtaking Mendocino County, the California Western Railroad was originally built as a logging railroad in 1885. The railroad played a vital role in lugging massive redwood logs to sawmills on the Mendocino Coast.
Today, the California Western Railroad is more well-known as "The Skunk Train". The nickname originated in 1925, back when the fumes created by the train's gasoline-powered engines created an extremely pungent and skunk-like odor. Locals living in the area would say you could smell the trains before you could see them.
The Skunk Train is now 131 years old and she's still running! The railroad offers several train rides throughout the year that are great for experiencing the Northern California countryside in a way you've never imagined. Their longest trip spans a massive 40 miles and it's a must-do for any train enthusiast.
The 40-mile trip departs from Willits and travels to Northspur on a vintage motorcar. The trip takes approximately four hours and boasts some of the most incredible scenery as the train car climbs the eastern slope of the Coastal Mountain Range and descends into the Noyo River Canyon.
As you depart from Willits, you'll immediately begin a steep ascent to the summit of of the line at 1,740-feet. You'll then travel through Tunnel No. 2 and begin a descent into the Noyo River Canyon which is dense with awe-inspiring redwood forests.
In one particularly magical spot, the train traverses a region of intense switchbacks for over 8.5 miles (although the straight-line distances is less than one mile). Four hours may seem like a long time but it goes by in a blink of an eye thanks to the outstanding scenery .
This year, the train ride is offered through November 30, and then again from December 26 through the end of the year. Adult tickets are $84 and tickets for children are $42. Oh, and your dogs are welcome too! Make it a family event and make some incredible memories that your loved ones will treasure for a long time.
There's no denying the endless beauty of this region's landscapes. As you chug along through the pristine backcountry, you'll feel as if you're leaving the "real world" behind you. Escape reality for a bit and explore this wonderful landscape for yourself. For more information, you can visit the Skunk Train website
Have you experienced this iconic train ride yet? This seems like a beautiful way to spend an afternoon! If you’re a train enthusiast, you’ll definitely be interested in this
Dreamy Train-Themed Trip Through Northern California.