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Itinerary: Trains & Tracks

The building of the transcontinental railroads to allow access into the American West ushered in a new era of settlement and development and lead to the population and development of the region as we now know it. And whether by Amtrak, museums or historic steam trains, the legacy of the Iron Horse lives on in the Real America.

  • Salt Lake City
  • Cascade
  • Sandpoint
  • Essex
  • Virginia City
  • Lewistown
  • Billings
  • Sheridan
  • Gillette
  • Deadwood
  • Keystone
  • Cheyenne
  • Denver

Day 1/2 - Arrive in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City to Cascade, Idaho. Arrive Salt Lake City. All aboard the Heber Valley Historic Railroad, a journey on a historic train from Heber Valley around Deer Creek to the western edge of the Great Salt Lake. The next morning, rent a car or motorhome and travel to Cascade. Showcasing Idaho’s rich railroad history, Cascade is home to the Idaho Historic Railroads. Here, visitors have the chance to experience that history while traveling on a scenic 51 km (32 mile) train ride between Cascade and Smith Ferry. On the way to Cascade stop off at the Railroad Museum in Ogden’s Union Station or the Golden Spike National Historic Site near Promontory. Overnights in Salt Lake City, Cascade or McCall.

Day 3/4 - Cascade to Sandpoint
Sandpoint, ID and Livingston, MT offer a rich series of multi-day excursions throughout the Rocky Mountain West and Pacific Northwest. The Montana Daylight includes an overnight stay in historic Gardiner and a tour of the Livingston Depot. Three classes of service are available. Overnight in Sandpoint.

Day 5 - Sandpoint to Essex
The Izaak Walton Inn was built on the Burlington Northern mainline, and today hosts activities for railroad enthusiasts of all personalities...including an overnight stay in a restored caboose. Overnight in Essex.

Day 6/7 - Essex to Virginia City
During the weekends, Virginia City features its newly acquired 1911 Baldwin steam locomotive and offers visitors a chance to journey between the historical mining towns of Virginia City and Nevada City. Overnight in Virginia/Nevada City.

Day 8 - Virginia City to Lewistown
While in Lewistown hop aboard the popular Charlie Russell Chew Choo and enjoy a classic dinner excursion. Overnight in Lewistown.

Day 9/10 - Lewistown to Deadwood via Sheridan and Gillette
The Peter Yegen Jr. Yellowstone County Museum in Billings offers visitors a peek into the past with the American locomotive the #1031 on display. Further north, the Sheridan Depot proudly displays a locomotive that was ahead of its time. This locomotive made the trip from Aurora, IL to Savanna, IL in 1957 with a 12 car excursion train in 1 hour and 11 minutes. Gillette is home to the Rockpile Museum, a Burlington Northern Caboose display. To enhance the visit, the museum also provides general history on the railroads. The Adams Museum in Deadwood offers visitors a chance to see the first locomotive in the Black Hills region. Overnights in Billings or Sheridan and Deadwood.

Day 11 - Deadwood to Keystone
The Black Hills Central Railroad, located in the Black Hills, offers a 32 km (20 mile) train ride between Hill City and Keystone along an old mining route once used by settlers. While traveling through the breathtaking scenery offered by the Black H ls, passengers also step into the past and experience the history of the region. Overnight in Keystone or Hill City/Custer.

Day 12 - Keystone/Hill City to Cheyenne
In Cheyenne, visit a variety of railroad attractions. Big Boy #4404, on display at the Holliday Park, is known as the largest successful steam locomotive built. At Lions Park, another display portrays the heritage of the railroad in the west. The Wyoming Transportation Museum, housed in the historic Union Pacific depot, is a must for train buffs. Overnight in Cheyenne.

Day 13 - Cheyenne to Denver
While in the Denver area, take a short scenic drive to the community of Golden to the Colorado Railroad Museum which displays more than 50 narrow and standard gauge locomotives and cars across 12 acres. Overnight in Denver.

Day 14 - Departure from Denver

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