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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Frank Baker
Frank Baker had a career in nonprofit transportation management at NonProfits’ United in Oakland, CA. Along with his wife Sydney, they moved to Bisbee, AZ, in 2005 to pursue their artistic interests and embrace the beautiful outdoors. While in Bisbee, Frank began working as a Group Leader in Arizona and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. In 2011, Frank and Sydney settled in the Sierra foothills nearby Sacramento. Continuing to Group Lead in California, Frank has led several programs in National Parks and across the Sierra.
Frank Baker
Frank Mullen
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