Train Tracks Across the Sierra: Sacramento to Reno and Return
Discover the rugged Sierra Nevada by train and enjoy expert-led excursions to museums, forts and historic sites as you learn the story behind the railroad’s remarkable impact.
Rating (5)
Program No. 12085RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
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At a Glance

The building of the railroad over the Sierra was a triumph of grit and determination. Ride the rails through the snow dusted Sierra Mountains and learn the harrowing history of settlement in Northern California, the land of gold and freedom. On our journey through the Bonanza days we will explore Sacramento’s rich Capitol city legacy, Virginia City’s roots as the richest town in America and local indigenous culture at the Nevada State Museum. Reflect on this step back in time as we enjoy lunch on the shore of sparkling Lake Tahoe on our return to Sacramento.
Activity Level
Walking up to 1.5 miles per day. Must climb 12 steep stairs to board train. Elevations of 4,400-7,200 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Keep an eye out for silver ore veins as we ride the Virginia & Truckee Railroad through Comstock mine sites.
  • Hear from the author of the definitive book on the Donner Party and visit Donner Memorial State Park and Museum.
  • Relive the historic railroad race at the California State Railroad Museum and learn about the famed ‘Golden Spike’!

General Notes

Some departures include two additional nights in Lake Tahoe.
Featured Expert
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Pete Haro
Pete worked for NASA for 38 years at the Ames Research Center in a number of positions both as a Technician and as a Manager. He also had the opportunity to serve on a number of NASA Agency wide Committees. After Pete retired from NASA, he worked for five years consulting for Silicon Valley companies who wanted to do work for NASA or the DOD. He has been leading Road Scholar programs since 2001 and enjoys meeting new people from all over the U.S.
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Pete Haro
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Frank Mullen
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