The park will be unable to accomodate school groups from May 7th through May 12th, 2024.
School groups requesting visits during the winter months (October through April) should be less than 30 students. The Visitor Center will also be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, mid-October through mid-April.
Golden Spike National Historical Park is a fantastic location to bring school field trips! We encourage schools to schedule trips early to ensure adequate staff is available at the site. The locomotives are available for viewing year-round but only operate from May 1st through Columbus Day. Some of the programs available for school groups are listed below. In the summer months we are able to accept larger groups (150 students) but programs (locomotive demonstrations, facilitated reenactments) will be outside.
Big Fill Loop Trail – (75 min.) This is a 1 ½ mile walking trail. The trail show cases construction techniques used in the building of the railroad. The hike can be self-guided or ranger-guided.
Ranger Programs – (30 min. each, topic is dependent on staff on duty)
The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad: This basic program explains how the route for the transcontinental railroad was selected and highlights the differences between the Central Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad during construction. This program is provided during the arrival of the locomotives or the 1:00pm locomotive ranger program.
It's Snow Problem: Snow removal was a major problem for the Central Pacific Railroad during construction. Learn about how the CPRR cleared the way through snow packed tracks and how snow removal equipment evolved in the 19th century.
CPRR vs UPRR: This is a great short program that can be done after the arrival of the Jupiter and before the arrival of the No. 119. The program highlights the difference between the two companies including their workforce, environmental obstacles, and accomplishments.
A Snapshot in Time: Photography helped capture many aspects of the building of the railroad. But how did photographers take photos in the 19th century? This program addresses how photography progressed in the 19th century and even features photos taken in the park in 1869.
Steam Demonstration- (20 min., May –Sept) Golden Spike is home to two steam powered locomotives that run 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 4:30 pm.
Engine House Tour- (45 min. Oct – April) During the winter months the locomotives undergo maintenance at the Engine House. Students get to see what it takes to maintain the locomotives to get them ready for the next running season. Occupancy Limit 30, including chaperones.
Re-enactment – (15 to 30 min) Students can re-enact the ceremony which was the driving of the Golden Spike May 10, 1869.
Re-enactment Script for 7-9th Graders
Re-enactment Script for 4-6th Graders
The Golden Spike Movie (21 min) The building of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad became a race as the Central Pacific starting in Sacramento CA, and the Union Pacific, starting in Omaha, NE, overcame incredible obstacles as they race to complete one of the greatest works of American History.
School groups typically request the Steam Demonstration/Engine House Tour, Reenactment, a film, and finish with the Big Fill Loop Trail. To make reservations for a school field trip please click on the link below to download your application for fee waiver to help in the process of arranging your field trip.
Last updated: July 4, 2023