A Ride on The Heber Valley Railroad|
A Trip Report and Photo Essay by the staff at FortOgden.Com
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Riding through Provo Canyon on the Heber Valley Railroad is a celebration of Utah's rich railroad
First opened over one hundred years ago, the line between Provo and Heber hauled supplies and
livestock until the 1970's.
Now it is operated by State of Utah as a year-round tourist attraction.
The main terminal is in the little community of Heber just a few miles from Park City
and short drive from Salt Lake City. There is ample parking and good passenger facilities which
include a ticket office, gift shop, restrooms and a comfortable waiting area. The rail yards and
sidings contain a number of old rail cars and pieces of maintenance equipment. The two steam
engines and a newer diesel unit are housed in a modern engine shed.
We chose the Provo Canyon Limited, the longest of the three different excursions offered.
This takes us down Provo Canyon and return on a thirty-two mile round trip. It is mid August and
there is some dry brush along the way. So to prevent any possibility of fire, we are being pulled
by Number 1813, the diesel unit.
Our train has been made up with a chair car, a snackbar car, two open air cars and a caboose with
an observation room. This provides a lot of room for the one hundred or so passengers to move about freely.
The first part of our trip is crossing through the Heber Valley and snaking along the shore
of Deer Creek Lake Reservoir. We sight considerable wildlife including hawk, deer and a lone red fox.
When the train passes the head of the lake at the dam, we start down the canyon. This last seven miles
of our trip parallels the main highway and the Provo River. We pass by "Soldier Hollow"
which was the venue site for the 2002 Winter Olympic Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon competition.
A little later we can see the highway branching off to Aspen Grove and Sundance, Robert
Redford's resort. Redford's movie, "A River Runs Through It", was partially filmed here
using the Heber Valley Railroad's Number 75, steam engine.
The Provo River runs clear blue-green.
It is shallow and rapid with a number of backwater ponds. There seems to be a fly fisherman every
couple of hundred feet.
After a little over an hour we come to the end of the line at Vivian Park. While the train switches
around in order to return us back up the canyon, the passengers get off to enjoy the lush beauty of
the gardens and creeks.
The train crew eases the engine back for coupling.
On-board entertainment and a couple of fishermen along the way.
For up-to-date schedules, rates and special events,
please check the Official Heber Valley
FortOgden.com has no monetary or administrative connection to
The Heber Valley
Railroad or the State of Utah.
This Webpage is published for informational purposes only.
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