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Tillamook Coast Life Blog

Oregon Coast Crawler

This post was originally published in September 2014 and updated in September 2018.

Come to Garibaldi in the early fall for the Oregon Coast Crawler— a memorable eight-hour journey of exploration via a historic steam locomotive. In 2018, the trip dates were September 29 and 30.

The journey starts in Garibaldi and makes a leisurely trip on the Port of Tillamook Bay line, affording fantastic panoramic views of both Tillamook and Nehalem Bays. Explore the harbor town of Wheeler before the train turns inland to journey through the coast range and canyons, stopping next in Mohler, a small town along the Nehalem River. Travel along the scenic river, eventually visiting Rockaway Beach, where you can enjoy walking in the sand, check out the Offshore Grill for some tasty seafood and take a tour through the recently opened International Police Museum.

You’ll get about 45 minutes at each of the coastal towns along the route, and a new kind of experience on the Oregon Coast. Stop and enjoy food and drink: don’t miss the restaurant at Kendra’s Inn in Mohler for a cup of chowder, and Wheeler’s Salmonberry Saloon for a nice glass of wine!

Take a step back in time, as the historic steam engine is unlike anything else that runs on the rails. It’s a dream for many amateur and professional photographers, history nerds and anyone interested in trains. The vintage train is powered by the McCloud River Railroad #25, a locomotive that’s made several Hollywood appearances. You can see it ifn movies such as Stand By Me, Bound for Glory and Changing!

As this is such an historic locomotive, professional photos of the train are scheduled throughout the day. You can check out the results of these “photo runbys” after the ride and know you got to be a part of it. Older train photos can be found on the website. The billowing puffs of steam, green coastal scenery, mountains and ocean views in the background are enough to make most of us scramble for a seat! So, don’t miss out on this momentous trip.

Each year, the trip is highly limited to a select few customers—seats are doled out on a first-come-first-served basis, so it pays to make your reservations early! In 2018, the steam engine ran twice, each trip limited to just 120 passengers.

$125 per person, advance ticket purchase required. Contact 503-292-5055 or visit their website.