The Yosemite Sugar Pine Railroad is a revived, narrow-gauge railroad that takes a four-mile trip out and back through the Sierra National Forest, through the same area where the railroad once hauled timber out of the mountains.
They have a couple of engines and train configurations that vary by season and on summer Saturdays and Wednesdays, their Moonlight Special includes a meal, entertainment, and a train ride. The conductor says he likes the open cars best. The ride is gentle - and not too long.
Judging from the level of excitement young'uns of various ages were waiting at the station, kids love the idea of the train. The railroad staff makes an extra effort to keep them engaged and the trip is short enough that they shouldn't get bored.
The Logger Steam Train is wheelchair accessible. For the Jenny Railcars, you'll have to climb a few steps to get in.
It may not matter to most of us, but steam train aficionados will be interested to know that the Sugar Pine uses unique locomotives called Shay engines that use vertical pistons instead of horizontal ones.
Yosemite Train Review
If you love old steam trains, you'll like the Sugar Pine Railroad.
If you love riding on old trains, you'll like this one. There's something about a train that appeals to a wide range of people - and the staff's enthusiasm for the old steam train is contagious.
Visitors who review the Sugar Pine Railroad on Yelp give it very high ratings. They especially praise the Moonlight Special which includes a barbecue dinner. The only complaints come from people who get bored after the first half hour of riding.
What You Need to Know About the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
Their hours vary by season - check the current schedule. Reservations are not required but may be helpful during busy times of the year. They charge an admission fee, but children 3 to 12 pay half price. Some people think it's a little too expensive for the time you spend on the ride, but you may be able to get a discount at Groupon.
Allow an hour for the daily ride - Summer moonlight specials are longer.
How to Get to the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
56001 Hwy 41
Fish Camp, CA
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad website
The Yosemite train station is located between Oakhurst and Fish Camp on CA Hwy 41, a few miles from the west entrance to Yosemite National Park. If you're going there from Yosemite Valley, take Wawona Road to the west entrance and drive a few miles outside the park boundary.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary tickets for the purpose of reviewing the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. While it has not influenced this review, Tripsavvy.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.