Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  Tehachapi  /  Historic Sites  /  Tehachapi Loop

Tehachapi Loop, Tehachapi

(150+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site Tourist Spot
The Tehachapi Loop is a 0.73mi long spiral, or helix, on the Union Pacific Railroad line through Tehachapi Pass, of the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, south-central California. The line connects Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley to Mojave in the Mojave Desert. The line, which sees an average of almost 40 trains each day, is one of the busiest single-track mainlines in the world.With its frequent trains and spectacular scenery, the Loop is one of the prime railfan areas in the country. In 1998, the Loop was named a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and is now California Historical Landmark #508.HistoryOne of the engineering feats of its day, the Loop was built by Southern Pacific Railroad to ease the grade over Tehachapi Pass. Construction began in 1874, and the line opened in 1876. Contributors to the project's construction include Arthur De Wint Foote and the project's chief engineer, William Hood.Rising at a steady 2% grade, the track gains in elevation in the Loop. A train more than long passes over itself going around the loop. At the bottom of the loop, the track passes through Tunnel 9, the ninth tunnel built as the railroad worked from Bakersfield.
Put Tehachapi Loop and other Tehachapi attractions into our Tehachapi vacation planner, and watch your holiday take shape.
Create a full Tehachapi itinerary

Plan your trip to Tehachapi

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.
  • I was expecting to see more but the views from the road limit the sightline to actually see the train entering or leaving the tunnel. Actually saw more from interstate but there is no pullout to view ...  more »
  • Several years ago, my husband and I camped along the tracks at the Tehachapi Loop - it was GREAT! Freight trains all night long - best birthday in a while. Now we stop by on the way to Olancha, CA, fo...  more »
  • I am a motorcycle rider and whenever I am taking someone new out on the back of my bike I like taking them on this road to see how well they manage in the turns. It is a short ride, and I would rather...  more »
  • If you want to visit, drive in on Woodford-Tehachapi Road. Broome Road is private with posted no trespassing signs.
  • Watch a train loop above itself- apparently an engineering marvel. Trainspotters come from all over the world to witness this- their excitement makes this place all more special.
  • CALIFORNIA History, still in use today. With 36 Trains on average per day, you won't wait long to see the LOOP in action. Excellent stop on your road trip...
  • When we made a day trip to visit this site, it was almost a waste. The was very little info on how to get here and we never did find a good vantagepoint , just the monument another revier noted. It appeared that all of the good vantage points were marked off for no trespassing.
  • Dopeness if you like trains!