Destination of the Year

Destination California: All aboard the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

“Hi folks and good morning! Welcome to Sugar Pine Railroad!”

That’s the greeting you’ll hear as soon as you pull off Highway 41, south of Yosemite National Park.

You’ll leave the roadway behind and jump on the rails of the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.

“It is a one-hour, steam-powered excursion, usually by the number 10 here, which is an 83-and-a-half ton steam locomotive,” operations manager Mike Hubble said.

Once you take your seat on the “logger,” you’ll learn about the history of logging and the railroads that lead to this mountain attraction.

The scenic ride will show you the beauty of the Sierra National Forest.

A stop at Lewis Creek Canyon allows you to enjoy a trail in high country while the locomotive takes on water.

After a 15-minute stop at Lewis Creek, it is all aboard for the second half of the train ride.

As the 90-year-old locomotive pulls back into the station, your journey continues.

You can step into the Thornberry Museum to learn about nature, logging, and of course, trains.

Stop by Gold Rush City, where the rule is “finders keepers” as you pan for gold.