Fancy an Old Timey train ride in the Wild West? Consider the Heber Valley Railroad in Utah
The Heber Valley Railroad takes visitors back in time when the Wild West was untamed and fierce, and its scenic views are only one benefit along the way.
Historic railways are one of the best ways to relive the past. When in Utah, be sure to check out the Heber Valley Railroad and its many themed rides. All trips on the Heber Valley Railroad are short-lived (less than 3 hours). For a true multi-day train ride on the world famous Canadian Rocky Mountaineer, consider it.
The Heber Valley Railroad operates between Heber City and Vivian Park in Provo Cayon. The railroad traverses some of the most spectacular scenery in the state (and Utah has very spectacular scenery). It’s an experience that over 110,000 passengers enjoy annually. The company’s flagship is No. 618 – a vintage steam locomotive from 1907 that pulls authentically restored vintage cars.
A little bit about the Herber Valley Railroad
Popular Heber Valley Railroad excursions include the Monday Night Train, North Pole Express, Murder Mystery, Tube’n Train (snow tubing and train ride), and Rafts’n Rails (rafting and train ride). There are many scenic trains around the world, see here for views of some of the most scenic.
One of the main trains is the number 618 steam locomotive. It is a historic locomotive that is over a hundred years old. It was in service with Oregon Short Line and then Union Pacific from 1907 to 1958. Then it was taken out of service and exhibited. In 1970 it received a new breath of life and was restored for service.
- Length: Approximately 16 miles or 26 kilometers
- Duration: The round trip takes about 1.5 to 3 hours
- Wildlife: There is plenty of wildlife to see (such as bald eagles, moose, elk, turkeys, and even (in rare cases) mountain lions
Below is a selection of their train journeys, this is not an exhaustive list. Note that all planning and dates are for 2021 and may have been affected by the pandemic. For the next dates and trips for 2022, visit the website for updates.
Deer Creek Express
This is a 1.5 hour drive that offers breathtaking views of the Wasatch Mountains and breathtaking views of Deer Creek Reservoir and Hebert Valley. You can buy food on the train. During the summer season, the train mostly runs from Tuesday to Saturday. In September it runs on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Season: May 28th to August 28th (and on a reduced schedule in September)
- Departure time: 3:00 p.m. (return around 4:30 p.m.)
- Adult: $ 20.00 (13 years and older)
- Child: $ 10.00 (3-12 years old – children under 3 years old do not need a ticket)
- Rent the red galley: $ 240.00 (Holds up to 12 people)
Pumpkin Train Ride (October only)
This is an option for a shorter train ride and an option tailored for children. The 40 minute ride features costumed characters that will amuse the kids and be well entertained. Enjoy a delicious pumpkin biscuit and choose a pumpkin from your pumpkin patch to take away.
- Season: October 7th to 30th
- Rates: $ 15 standing room (3 years and older)
Limited ride on the lakefront
Sit back and enjoy this relaxing two-hour drive along the banks of Deer Creek Reservoir and along the base of Mount Timpanogos. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, moose, mule deer and coyotes. Note that this 2-hour ride is currently replacing the 3-hour Provo Canyon Limited tour while parts of the route are closed for maintenance.
- Season: August 23 to October 30
- Runs: Mostly Tuesday to Saturday
- Departure: 11:00 a.m. and return around 1:00 p.m.
- Adult: $ 25.00 (13+) – (add lunch to each ticket for $ 13.00)
- Child: $ 15.00 (ages 3 to 12 – Free for children under 2)
- Open air car: $ 35.00 for adults and $ 25.00 for children
- Rent a Red Caboose: $ 300 (Holds 12 people)
Monday night train
This is a fun, family-friendly experience and departs most Monday evenings, year round. The wonderful train ride includes sing-alongs, affordable food and various surprises. It’s perfect for dates and for families. If you arrive early, you will see the shootings in the Old West before you board.
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Departure: 7:00 p.m. (return 8.30 p.m.)
- Family pass: $ 48 (up to 6 passengers)
- General admission: $ 10.00 per person
In addition, Herber Valley Railroad offers a number of other specials, including the Broadway Show Tunes Train, Princess & Pirate Train, Halloween Train, Wizard’s Train, The Cowboy Train, North Pole Express and After Christmas North Pole Express. Check their website for all of their offers and dates.
For the more adventurous, combine the scenic train ride with an adventure sport. Herber Valley Railroad offers packages that include zip lining and rafting. The rafting tour is a leisurely 6 mile ride down the river with several Class I and II rapids and is suitable for everyone (includes a gourmet lunch box). The zip lining experience is unforgettable, it’s the world’s longest zipline over water (it stretches over 3,900 feet). The zipline reaches speeds of 65 miles per hour.
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About the author
(324 published articles)
Aaron is a firsthand traveler who has visited more than 70 countries around the world. He loves to travel and open the world to other intrepid explorers.
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