Tehachapi Loop

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
233 reviews
Excellent
144
Very good
69
Average
16
Poor
0
Terrible
4

Russell
Castro Valley, CA3 contributions
Jan 2020
I passed a BNSF freight train on the way up the mountain from Bakersfield at about 11:30 AM on Saturday, Jan. 4th, 2020. I've driven over the Tehachapi's many times but never drove over to the loop even though I'm a big rail fan. I figured this was my best time to see the loop in action. You can hear and feel the train coming before you see it enter the loop from the overhead vantage point. When I got to the viewing area there were only a few cars but more and more fans showed up until there was around 30 people. Everyone enjoyed the spectacle. If you are a rail-fan you must stop here at least once in your lifetime!
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BostonMeg11
Boston, MA42 contributions
Mar 2020 • Friends
When we got to the lookout, a train was just leaving the loop. We really wanted to see another one so we walked up the path to view the circle better. We waited over an hour but sadly never saw another train.

The spot is beautiful and it’s very much worth walking down the path (up the hill and make a left past the lookout sign) but just have the realistic expectation you might not see one. It was a Saturday morning at 10am (in March). From everything I read there’s no set schedule for the trains.

Quite disappointing because we are driving across the country and will likely never be there again.
Written March 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LA_dweller
Joshua Tree, CA3,616 contributions
Sep 2021
Trains go by just about every 20 minutes (!) so if you can pull over and just hang out (could have to wait up to an hour) it's worth it to see this phenomenal sight as the train loops around itself while part of it disappears into a mountain. Amazing. You'll want to get a high view, and just find a spot to pull over at the Tehachapi Loop Overlook - if you go to Google maps, and enter in Tehachapi Loop then zoom in on satellite view, you'll see the overlook point.
Written October 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

stevenjan
adelanto,ca6 contributions
Jul 2020
This was an awesome experience to watch a long train make the loop and go under itself using a tunnel and coming out the other end while it was still passing by us at the observation area. Cool Stuff!!! By the way while going to the viewing area we saw a bobcat in broad daylight. Also, COOL.
Written July 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bruce J
Sierra Madre, CA70 contributions
Aug 2013 • Solo
I confess, I've been coming to the Tehachapi area to chase trains for 50 years. OK, 49 but in 2014 it will be 50. "Back in the day" you could drive right up to the tracks but now the Loop property is completely gated off. Repeat visitors take note. Now you must drive up to the Loop overlook where the historic markers are and be satisfied with the overview. Be patient. Trains run when they are ready but I can tell you Fridays, Saturdays and early morning and evening are the best time to catch a train on the Loop. These days most trains loop around themselves which is quite a thrill to the first-time visitor. There is nothing at the site so use the rest room and take water before you head out. It's well marked and about 15 minutes off highway 58 at the Keene exit.
Written September 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

melsdad2002
Tehachapi, CA235 contributions
Mar 2012
Fun place to watch the train loop under itself. A real engineering feat.
Written April 2, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fritz59
Honolulu, HI184 contributions
Oct 2015 • Solo
Aloha Everyone,
Much chagrined, I have lived in the Bakersfield area in the past for many years and have been up and down Hwy 58 a ga-gillian times without ever stopping at the world-famous Tehachapi Loop. I've always promised myself that when I had a rare moment, I'd go take a look. Well, as it happened, such a moment arrived on the heels of a short PCT section hike. I had a few days to spare so I decided to knock off one of those, "I've always wanted to see that" items on my long list of the same. The Loop is about 15 miles west of Tehachapi and easily accessible from Hwy 58 at the Keene exit. It's about a 3 mile windy, curvy drive up (east) to the loop. There are two good vantage points. One is at the historic marker and the other is up the road towards the Tehachapi direction about another 300 yards past the marker. From there you can walk out a dirt road and have a great view of a pretty amazing engineering spectacle. (In either spot the view is fine.) In any case, there are more than 30-plus trains a day on average that go up and down this grade, so the chances are if you're patient for 30 minutes or less, you'll likely see a train. And it's truly worth seeing a train loop over itself. I gather there's really only one or two spots where you can see that...Tehachapi Loop being one of them. Now to be honest, I'm not a train freak, so once is good, but there were several folks from all over the world standing there the other day, so the word is out amongst train geeks. Many of them stayed for repeat performances. Either way, it's not a bad, low-cal (cheap) pastime on some lazy Saturday or Sunday and the drive can be combined with stops at the Cesar Chavez National Historic Monument site and the nearby Keene Cafe. All together, it's a very manageable little day trip from Bakersfield or other local points. Recommended for at least a one-time visit!
Written October 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

pedro r
Vespasiano, MG202 contributions
Aug 2013 • Friends
Tehachapi Loop is a wonder of railroad engineering. Is is located in Walong, about ten miles from the town of Tehachapi. It is located in a rural area. There is public area dedicated to the rail fans that usually go there to watch the train running in the loop. The public parking lot is closed since some people used to dump trash there. But you can park the car at side the road and walk to the observation area. The average trains running in the Loop is among 15 to 20 per day. On monday, the line use to be closed for maintenance from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. It is recomended to use boots and long pants because there are snakes and other poisonous animals in the fields and rocks in that area. If you decide to stay in the parking lot area, it is not necessary to use this kind of protection. There is not place to buy food or water nearby, so, provide them before drive to the Loop area. It is not permited to approach the tracks nor cross the fences of the private property around the tracks. Respect the non trespassing plates.
Written August 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alan B
Charlotte, NC85 contributions
Nov 2014 • Solo
The Tehachapi Loop is a 0.73-mile long spiral, or helix, on the Union Pacific Railroad line through Tehachapi Pass, of the Tehachapi Mountains near the unicorporated town of Keene in Kern County, south-central California. "The Loop" sees an average traffic of 40-plus trains a day, some over 7,000 feet long. Most of the trains on The Loop these days are BNSF (Burlington Northern and Santa Fe) powered, with all kinds of freight.

To visit THE LOOP, I leave Hwy 58 at the Keene exit and follow the signs to the viewing areas both below and above The Loop. While famous to railfans, the Loop isn't your typical tourist spot, so there is not much here. The closest gas and snacks are 3 miles away in Keene (and that's only one very small market). The closest real lodging, gas and food will be found in Tehachapi around 11 miles away. You can expect to see a whole lot of trains, of many different flags, with awesome scenery, rolling hills and long sweeping valleys. Paved, and good dirt roads, provide access. A little hiking will get you even further.

Anytime of year will provide a different look. Spring is green, and Autumn rather brown. Winter will sometimes provide very cold weather and possibly snow, so beware. Weekends tend not to have the long work windows that the weekdays have, so train frequency will be maximized. Bring something to read, when its quiet on the hill... it is quiet!
Written November 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

196CindyJ196
Camarillo, CA114 contributions
Jan 2019
We drove up to the loop in January to see what it was all about. There is a dirt trail and great hill to walk atop to view the look and the trains coming from Mojave direction. We did wait about 40 minutes to see the first one. What an amazing loop this, seeing the train start the loop and disappear behind a hill to appear again and circle inside of the still coming train at the loop's beginning. Another train appeared about 30 minutes later and then nothing. We looked at the loop cam and saw there was no activity. So, off we went seeing the two trains and in awe of the engineering that was done so long ago to have the trains gain elevation.
Written February 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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