As the holiday season draws near, the city of Hood River, Oregon, comes alive with a multitude of festive events and activities to celebrate the joyous spirit of Christmas. Among these cherished traditions is the enchanting Mt. Hood Christmas Train Ride, an extraordinary journey that captivates hearts and leaves cherished memories for families and friends alike. Embarking on this magical train ride, passengers are transported through a winter wonderland, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and immersed in the true essence of the season.
A historic journey
The Mt. Hood Christmas Train Ride is a nostalgic trip back in time, a celebration of history combined with the holiday spirit. Operating since the mid-1960s, the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, in collaboration with the Mt. Hood Railroad Company, brings this delightful experience to life. The train’s vintage steam engine, adorned with twinkling lights and holiday decorations, takes passengers on a picturesque journey from Hood River to Parkdale and back, covering a distance of approximately 22 miles round trip.
As the train chugs along the historic track, it meanders through the stunning Hood River Valley, showcasing the region’s magnificent natural beauty. Passengers are treated to breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, sprawling orchards, and the serene waters of the Columbia River Gorge. The picturesque landscapes create a mesmerizing backdrop that enhances the enchanting ambiance of the Christmas train ride.
Once on board the Mt. Hood Christmas Train, the festive atmosphere becomes infectious. Passengers are greeted by cheerful staff members, donning Santa hats and spreading holiday cheer. The train cars are elegantly decorated, with colorful lights, wreaths, and ornaments, creating a warm and inviting ambiance for everyone on board. Cozying up in the vintage coaches, passengers are serenaded by Christmas carols, enhancing the magical spirit of the season.
Santa Claus and friends
A highlight of the journey is the special appearance of Santa Claus himself! The jolly old man, dressed in his iconic red suit, makes his way through each train car, offering warm wishes and distributing gifts to the young passengers. Children’s faces light up with joy and wonder as they share their Christmas wishes with Santa, creating heartwarming moments for both kids and adults alike. Alongside Santa, his friends like Mrs. Claus and a team of merry elves accompany the passengers, spreading happiness and laughter throughout the journey.
To make the experience even more delightful, the Mt. Hood Christmas Train offers an array of treats and snacks on board. Hot cocoa served by elves, cider, and a variety of seasonal treats are available, allowing passengers to indulge in the tastes of the holidays while enjoying the scenic ride.
A community tradition
The Mt. Hood Christmas Train Ride is more than just a holiday attraction; it has become a beloved tradition for many families and friends in the Hood River area. Generations have come together year after year to share in the joy and wonder of this unique experience. The train ride not only fosters a sense of community but also creates lasting memories and cherished moments that are passed down through the years.
Plan your trip
The Mt. Hood Christmas Train Ride typically operates on weekends throughout the holiday season, with multiple departures each day. It is advisable to book tickets in advance, as this popular attraction tends to sell out quickly. Families, couples, and solo travelers are all welcome to join in the festivities and experience the magic of this beloved holiday tradition.
The train ride duration is approximately 1.2 hours long. Starting November 18th through December 28, all seating on the train is first-class.
Parking: We strongly encourage you to pay for parking when making a reservation; this will save you time and make everything easier when arriving
Seating: Seating is assigned by Mt. Hood Railroad. If you would like to be seated with another group, please book everyone under one reservation — or put the first & last name of the group you want to sit with in the comment section when booking.
110 Railroad Ave., Hood River, OR. 97031