Natron Cutoff – Pengra Pass

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight route through the Cascade Mountain range is one of the most beautiful train rides in the United States. The route — dubbed the Natron Cutoff since the early 1900s — travels over Pengra Pass at an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet. Heading down the west slope, it cuts across the face of Judd Mountain, providing stunning views of the Salt Creek Valley. On the east slope the train passenger sees the relatively dry and open forests and rangelands of eastern Oregon. Taking the train at different seasons yields wildly varying views depending on weather and foliage.

Travel by train gives the passenger an entirely different view of the country than that seen from a car or plane. The Natron Cutoff section of Amtrak’s Coast Starlight travels through canyons and deep forests where scarcely any sign of civilization can be seen. Closer to towns and highways, the train passenger can see various types of forest management, from thinning projects to clear-cuts and agriculture.

  • Trained guides occasionally available
  • ADA accessible
  • Fee required

Get more information on this area from

National Geographic