best train rides USA

The 7 Most Scenic Train Rides In The USA

The United States has loads to offer in the way of scenery, ‘from sea to shining sea’ the country is full of sprawling forests, rivers, mountains, canyons and more. Whether you want some New England charm or the dramatic cliffs of the Pacific coast, there’s a railway with you in mind. If you’re looking to enjoy the scenery of the great outdoors by train, start with these beautiful train rides in the USA.

The Most Scenic Train Rides In The USA

1. White Pass & Yukon Route – Skagway, Alaska

Built at during the prime of the Gold Rush in 1898, this train ride is still wowing over 120 years later. Cruise through Alaska’s most stunning scenery full of glaciers, gorges, mountains and more. Take your pick from three different departures from Skagway.

2. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad – Bryson City, North Carolina

Enjoy stunning North Carolina scenery from the comfort of your seat with GSMR Nantahala Gorge train ride. In 4 1/2 roundtrip, you’ll be led 44 miles to and through the Natahala Gorge. Book your trip on a historic steam train here.

best train rides USA

3. Cass Scenic Railway – West Virginia

Embark on a journey from Cass Scenic Railroad State Park through Bald Knob. In addition to a stunning 4.5-hour route, the train also offers a lunch stop. If possible, book during the fall season to enjoy some of West Virginia’s most stunning foliage.

4. Mount Washington Cog Railway – New Hampshire

Tucked away in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is the Mount Washington Cog Railway. The area is home to some of the best scenery in the USA, especially during fall. After boarding, you’ll be en route to Waumbeck Station where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some hot cider and doughnuts while taking in the views.

5. Strasburg Railroad – Pennsylvania

Nothing says picturesque railways quite like Pennsylvanian countryside. That’s why Strasbourg Rail Road is easily one of the best in the nation. Strasburg Rail is the country’s oldest operating railway and dates all the way back to 1832. Take in the stunning scenery of the Amish countryside and farmland from the comfort of your passenger car.

best train rides USA

6. Grand Canyon Railway – Williams, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is in many ways, a jewel of the USA. Millions of years of geological history and cake-like layers of red make it one of the world’s best destinations. So, why not embark on a beautiful train ride that showcases the best of this natural wonder?

Leave from Williams en route to the Grand Canyon where along the way you’ll see everything from dense pine forests to barren deserts.

best train rides USA

7. Coast Starlight – Los Angeles / Seattle

Few things could ever come close to the scenery along the Pacific Coast. Over 36 hours, you will have a front-row seat to the stunning Cascade Mountains, rolling hills, glaciers and spectacular ocean cliffs. The most scenic route departs from Los Angelas and finishes in Seattle. Don’t miss the chance for the train of a lifetime.

best train rides USA

Melanie Hamilton

Melanie is an avid traveller with a passion for history and global foods. She is currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia where most of her time is occupied with qvevri wine and Soviet history. Having do-si-do'd her way across Europe and Latin America, she's enjoyed some of the world's most exciting places firsthand and can't wait to tell you about them.

View stories