Bunnies and blooms abound along Verde Canyon Railroad’s historic wilderness route in the springtime. With ample rain and snow this winter, wildflower season promises to be legendary in 2019. After a brief winter respite, the train’s wild and scenic canyon home bursts forth with new foliage, flowers, wildlife babies and favorite seasonal special events.
Though the ancient Cottonwoods of Arizona’s rare riparian landscape lost their leaves only a few short months ago, by St Patrick’s Day the canyon celebrates wearing o’ the green with tender new shoots and fresh vegetation. Early blooms cascade down the high desert hillsides in March and April, building to a crescendo of color lasting throughout the spring and summer. Keen-eyed train passengers will spot baby eaglets, deer, javelina and other wild creatures learning the ways of their parents along “Arizona’s Longest-Running Nature Show.”
The largest hare in the Verde Canyon may technically be Arizona’s Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, but on Saturday April 20 that title is taken by a favorite seasonal staffer, the Easter Bunny. While this classic cottontail may have a busy work schedule the following day, the big rabbit has scheduled time to hop along the rails at the depot the Saturday before Easter, sharing hugs, treats and friendly photo-ops with all guests prior to the train’s 1:00 p.m. departure. Children can participate in the famous “guess the number of jelly beans in the jar” contest. The winner will be awarded the entire jar to share (or not!) aboard the train ride.
The month of May brings bright blooms to the prickly pear cactus, just in time for the Verde Canyon Railroad’s popular Mexican-inspired celebration: Cinco de Mayo. This year’s party on the patio takes place on Saturday, May 4th, and will feature the train’s signature cocktail, the Prickly Pear Margarita, by the taste or by the glass, as well as Mexican beers and a great Mexican-style luncheon available for purchase.
A stone’s throw from the hillside mining town of Jerome, Verde Canyon Railroad’s Clarkdale depot is in the heart of the Verde Valley, a diverse crossroads featuring amazing adventures in every direction. Only two hours from Phoenix and 25 minutes from Sedona, Verde Canyon Railroad is the perfect Arizona day trip. Reservations are accepted at 800.293.7245 or online at verdecanyonrr.com