Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine is now open and steaming ahead for another exciting season. Travel along the historic Madera Sugar Pine Railroad where mighty lumberjacks felled the timber and flumes carried the lumber to the town of Madera. Listen to the conductor as they relive the history of the line, the trees, and the wildlife native to the area whilst the train whistles blow and echo through the Sierra National Forest.
The railroad operates two historic geared steam locomotives called Shays. Both locomotives came from the Westside Lumber Company in Tuolumne, CA. These two locomotives represent the original shays that worked the line from 1874 to 1931. Shay #10 was built in 1928 and weighs in at 84 tons, while Shay #15 was built in 1913 and weighs 59 tons.
When the Shays are idle, Jenny rail cars make their way up and down the narrow gauge tracks. Ford Model A’s were modified by the rail crews back in the early 1900’s to ferry personnel and materials to job sites much quicker and more affordably than the steam engines. The Jenny’s continue to run today, offering another way to tour lines used by the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.
The railroad’s popular “Moonlight Specials,” offered on Wednesday and Saturday evenings will return after Memorial Day and includes a train ride, barbecue dinner and entertainment.
Other activities available at the railroad include gold panning and the Thornberry Museum. Learn to pan for gold as experienced prospectors teach you the proper method. You keep the gold you find!
The cool breezes and forested grounds make a delightful setting for birthday parties and other special events. For those of the canine persuasion, well-behaved dogs are welcome at Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.
To avoid missing the train, departure times are Saturday’s at 9:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.; Sunday’s at 11:00 a.m. & 12:30 a.m.; Monday, Wednesday & Thursday at 11:00 a.m.; Tuesdays & Fridays at 9:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.; closed Sunday, March 27th for Easter.
Located on Highway 41, just four miles from the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park, home of the Mariposa Big Trees, Glacier Point, Half Dome, and the many wonderful waterfalls including Yosemite Falls in the valley, the railroad is about 15 minutes driving time from Oakhurst, or one hour from River Park in Fresno.
The railroad will be open seven days a week for the rest of the 2016 season.
The Southern Yosemite Visitors Bureau was formed in 1985. It has been operating at The Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau for 30 years. The Bureau was established by a group from the Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce with a vision of the growing potential for drawing the millions of visitors to Yosemite National Park to the many businesses and attractions in Madera County. Recently the visitor’s bureau changed its name to Visit Yosemite | Madera County to more accurately reflect its mission to promote all there is to see and do in Yosemite and Madera County.