PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – In the weeks before Christmas, when Santa Claus isn’t flying his sleigh around the world, he’s traveling by train in Hood River.
The Mt. Hood Christmas Train has been transporting Santa and his elves from the Mount Hood Railroad Depot to Christmas Town for more than a decade and Trips to Discover recently named it one of the Top 15 Winter Train Rides in the U.S.
Trips to Discover, a digital travel magazine, said winter train rides can provide everything from holiday magic to views of snow-capped mountains.
The train in Hood River offers guests a 75-minute, 6-mile ride where they’re entertained by holiday music and Christmas characters. Everyone aboard the train is served hot chocolate and a cookie.
The Mount Hood Railroad decks out the inside and outside of the train with holiday decorations.
On the returning trip from Christmas Town, Santa Claus greets each child and presents them with a special Christmas gift.
“On the way back down, I visit with them, get their names, and what they want for Christmas and we try to get them set up for pictures,” Santa told KOIN 6 News in 2018.
Each child is encouraged to wear pajamas, and adults are welcome to join them in wearing their comfortable attire.
In 2022, the Mt. Hood Christmas Train runs from Nov. 18 to Dec. 28. Guests can purchase tickets online.
Trips to Discover’s list of the top winter train rides includes 14 others from around the U.S., including the Polar Express in the Great Smoky Mountains and the North Pole Express Train in Pennsylvania.