Verde Canyon Railroad

Verde Canyon Railroad: Arizona’s Longest-Running Nature Show

Located in the red rock country near Sedona, Arizona, sandwiched between two protected national forests, Verde Canyon Railroad runs a rare ribbon of rail where dramatic high desert meets a precious riparian area. Since 1912 this heritage railroad has existed in harmony with the wilderness and its native inhabitants.

The scenic Verde Canyon features an abundance of native flora and fauna, high-desert rock faces and spectacular vistas, and is only accessible by rail. During this four-hour, 20-mile journey history comes alive above, below, and around every turn. Ancient Sinagua ruins stand sentinel over the tracks. Timeless trestles and bridges span side gorges, testaments to the hard work and ingenuity of the men who built them over 100 years ago. Blasted through solid rock, a 680-foot man-made tunnel envelopes passengers in total darkness before delivering the train back into glorious Arizona sunshine.

The train’s handsome FP7 locomotives, built by General Motors Electromotive Division in 1953, are two of only 10 remaining in North America.

Accommodations

There are three types of accommodations on the Verde Canyon Railroad – caboose, first-class and coach.

The exclusive caboose is designed for one private party of six or fewer adults. Its luxurious appointments include oversized chairs, large picture windows, cupola seating for a birds-eye view and private outdoor viewing platforms. A personal valet pours your complimentary Champagne upon boarding and serves sumptuous, freshly-prepared appetizers. Your choice of premium alcoholic beverages is available for purchase.

First-class passage, accommodating fewer passengers than coach, includes spacious living room-style seating near panoramic windows. Other amenities include a Champagne toast upon boarding, a variety of complimentary appetizers, full-service bars with premium beverages available for purchase during the trip and service at your seat.

Coach features traditional Pullman-style seating, the classic style that has characterized train travel from its inception. Convenient snack bars offer an assortment of refreshments.

Indoor cars are climate-controlled and each has a restroom. The train meets ADA requirements.

All cars access open-air viewing cars equipped with shaded canopies. Outdoor attendants well-versed in the canyon’s history, geology and wildlife share highlights and answer questions.

 

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 34.776152 Longitude: -112.056269 Elevation: 3453 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Teresa Propeck

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Length of Byway or Route

40 miles, round-trip

Driving Directions

The southwestern-style depot is located at 300 North Broadway, Clarkdale, Arizona. In addition to being the reservation center, the depot houses a cafe, gift shops and a museum.

Highlights and Key Points Along the Route

Remnants of the rich copper mining history of the area, Indian ruins, eagles nests and the amazing wild beauty of the upper Verde River Canyon. We even pass through a 680' man-made tunnel!

Arizona provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the nation, with more than 900 animal species and 50 million public acres of natural land to explore. The Verde River provides critical habitat for the Verde Canyon’s native creatures, including the Great Blue Heron, and the over 74 different species of waterfowl, fish, frogs, insects and mammals. One of the highlights of the Verde Canyon Railroad journey is seeing bald eagles. Through the years, eagles have nested in the canyon and cohabited with the daily passing of the train, much to the delight of passengers and crews. The population of eagles swells in the Verde Canyon during nesting season between December and March, when resident birds are joined by migrating winter visitors.

Many seasonal highlights and special events take place throughout the year, including National Train Day every May, Grape Train Escape wine tasting and Tequila Sunset Limited events during the popular Summer Starlight rides, Ales on Rails and Fall Color Tours during autumn. In addition, Verde Canyon Railroad is frequently visited by Liberty Wildlife, an animal rescue and rehabilitation non-profit, that schedules educational presentations at the depot and aboard the train throughout the year.

ADA Accessibility Notes

Both first-class and coach-class are accessible. Please tell your reservation agent if you require an accessible car. 

Pet Friendly Notes

We're sorry, but only assistance pets are allowed on board. Please contact us for area pet care facilities.

Comments

Are was here around 10 years ago, and on open air train with friends, wanted to take someone and when I saw prices was shocked. I thought they only had open air cars, boy it now seems like only expensive accomodations.

Marilyn Muntz, 2/26/2016

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