ARIZONA’S LONGEST-RUNNING NATURE SHOW
Verde Canyon Railroad
It’s Not the Destination, It’s the Journey
Verde Canyon Railroad provides a 20-mile roundtrip wilderness adventure through a wild and scenic river canyon only accessible by rail.
For four hours, passengers enjoy comfort and style, exceptional amenities and outstanding service in vintage rail cars on a century-old route through a red rock paradise, with tracks that hug the curves of the Verde River. Every season offers a different reason to ride along this rare riparian ribbon, where the river meets the dramatic high desert.
Ancient Sinagua Indian dwellings carved into the landscape and remnants of early pioneers have left their indelible mark along the route. Astonishing views of a wild and vibrant frontier are visible around every bend as the train winds its way northward on tracks originally built for a booming copper industry that is now just a distant memory. Historic trestles, bridges and a 680-foot tunnel are just a few of the highlights tucked into unusual rock formations, red rock pinnacles and towering crimson cliffs.
Majestic bald eagles and hawks float effortlessly on the breeze above Javelina, wild burros, jackrabbits and many other Canyon creatures, peacefully coexisting with this heritage railroad for more than 100 years. The Verde Canyon Railroad provides a luxurious and educational way to experience this wild and scenic area.
Unrivaled Passenger Experience
First class features living room-style seating, a Champagne toast upon boarding, premium beverages and complimentary appetizers. Coach has historic Pullman-style seating on each side of a center aisle.
Both first class and coach are climate-controlled, have restroom facilities and beverage and snack service. There are panoramic windows for remarkable viewing and all cars connect to open-air viewing platforms. Each passenger has two seats for the price of one!
Throughout the journey, the captivating history of the Verde Canyon and the Railroad unfolds with narration spiced with a variety of railroad tunes encompassing many genres. Car attendants on the open-air and in the indoor cars answer passenger questions, share history and point out highlights throughout the trip, including animal sightings long the route.
The John Bell Museum, located in a restored boxcar at the depot, is home to many significant artifacts and vintage photographs of the Railroad and the company town for which the railroad was built over 100 years ago. It is an ideal place to begin this astonishing adventure.
Storyboards, overflowing with details on the Verde Canyon encounter, pioneer spirit and railroad lore, are installed along the quarter-mile length of the depot’s loading platform. Visitors gather fascinating facts about the many animals, plants and people that have imprinted the Verde Valley and the Canyon through which the train passes.
The same private-labeled Verde Canyon Railroad beers and wines served during the journey also are available for souvenir purchase from the Whistlestop at Milepost 38 store located at the depot.
The Boxcar Gifts Store, inside the depot, offers a wealth of railroad-themed attire, books and souvenirs, as well as local art, crafts and jewelry.
On a monthly basis, Scottsdale’s Liberty Wildlife Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center provides seasonal educational programs both at the depot and onboard the train. On select days, passengers are able to interact with rescued raptors.
Passengers take advantage of the depot’s popular Copper Spike Café prior to the train’s departure by choosing a freshly-prepared lunch to enjoy under our canopied patio or packaged to be carried aboard the train. The standard menu features a wide variety of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, wraps, Paninis, tacos, soups and treats to suit any appetite. Seasonal special events like Ales on Rails, National Train Day and other holidays feature additional lunch options.
Location, Location, Location!
Our award-winning Verde Valley neighborhood includes scenic Sedona, the “Ghost City” art colony of Jerome, the burgeoning wine-country of Cornville and Page Springs, charming Old Town Cottonwood, Camp Verde’s Western outpost and our own celebrated company-town, Clarkdale.
Featuring world-class lodging, restaurants, boutiques, museums, galleries and an abundance of national monuments, state parks and historical sites, our Valley is ideally situated above the heat of the desert and below the cold of Arizona’s high country.