See spring come alive on the most scenic train rides across America

From the desert wildflowers of the American Southwest to the cresting ocean waves of the Californian coast, see the spring season come alive with these scenic train adventures across the U.S.

Looking for a way to enjoy some of America’s most picturesque spring scenery?

Celebrate the season by hopping aboard one of these charming railroad journeys through peaceful landscapes of rolling hills, desert prairies and blooming wildflowers.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Embark on a scenic spring adventure through the Blue Ridge Mountains with a ride aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

Passengers aboard their springtime excursions can experience the mountains teeming with dogwood, redbud, flame azaleas and mountain laurel. 

Originally founded in the 1800s, the main railroad depot is located in the historic town of Bryson City, North Carolina, on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Verde Canyon Railroad

If you are looking to escape into the beautiful wilderness of the American Southwest, make sure to add Arizona’s Verde Canyon Railroad to your bucket list.

Located just outside Sedona, springtime is a prime season for visiting Verde Canyon, as the "creamy blooms of Yucca Elata, aka Soap Weed, are always a highlight of May in the Verde Valley," according to the railroad. 

Blooming wildflowers and colorful cacti can be seen dotting the high desert landscape from the train’s open-air viewing cars. 

Towering red rock buttes, steep ravines and bald eagles are just a few of the additional spectacular sights awaiting passengers during their 4-hour tour of the canyon. 

Pacific Surfliner

For a sun-drenched Amtrak journey, hop aboard the Pacific Surfliner for a tour of Southern California’s most stunning coastlines.

Running between San Diego and San Luis Obispo, the train offers its springtime riders majestic views of cresting waves, sandy beaches and colorful wildflowers. 


Also stopping in Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the 351-mile route is the second-busiest intercity passenger rail corridor in the U.S., with an annual ridership of nearly 3 million, according to Amtrak.

In true California style, Surfliner passengers are not only allowed to bring their surfboards and bicycles along for the ride but their small dogs and cats, too. 

Redwood Forest Steam Train

For a truly unique experience, make sure to visit Roaring Camp Railroad for a trip aboard the Redwood Forest Steam Train.

Located in Felton, California, the open-air train cars travel over wooden trestles and traverse towering ancient groves on their way to the summit of Bear Mountain.

Venturing deep into the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 75-minute route recreates the historic logging railroad operations that hauled giant redwoods in the 1800s. 

Onboard the narrow-gauge locomotive, riders can enjoy the grandeur of the redwoods while conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp, the railroad and the forest.


Grand Canyon Railway

The Old West comes to life aboard the Grand Canyon Railway, a heritage railroad that carries passengers from Williams, Arizona, to Grand Canyon National Park

From open prairies to pine forests, the journey to the Grand Canyon features a variety of stunningly different landscapes as the train changes in elevation. 

During the 65-mile trip, passengers are also treated to some fun with live musical performers and the reenactment of a classic western train robbery.

Upon arrival at the South Rim, springtime visitors can then enjoy the canyon alive with colorful yellows, purples, reds and whites.