The 4th of July is a holiday rich with sentimental memories of youthful parades, ice cream, barbecues and the stars and stripes held aloft under blue summer skies. The Independence Day of our childhood memories lives on in small town Arizona…especially Clarkdale…home of Verde Canyon Railroad, a holiday favorite for both locals and visitors alike.
The morning begins with a pancake breakfast in the town’s vintage park and patriotic tunes performed by a local orchestra. The popular Children’s Parade soon follows and young Americans with bikes and pets all wrapped in streamers, flags, and costumes of red, white and blue entertain spectators as they mosey down Main Street. After Clarkdale’s morning activities, visitors make their way down to Verde Canyon Railroad’s depot to continue the revelry.
A treasured celebration of summer, Verde Canyon Railroad’s “Firecracker Express” on July 4th features an All-American Barbecue on the patio prior to the train’s 1:00 p.m. departure and a patriotic visit with a bald eagle during the train ride. A resident of Liberty Wildlife’s educational program, Arizona-native “Sonora” is the only train-riding bald eagle in the world. Joining us with volunteer handlers, this magnificent raptor visits each open-air car during the trip for a short educational presentation sharing a close-up glimpse and fantastic photo ops of our nation’s symbol. Verde Canyon Railroad is a proud sponsor of Liberty Wildlife, a Phoenix-based rescue and rehabilitation center that successfully saves thousands of injured creatures each year to be returned to the wild.
Sandwiched between two protected national forests adjacent to the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, Verde Canyon Railroad offers a great alternative to a hot afternoon hike during the summer.
Miles from hot pavement and city concrete, disconnected from technology, traffic lights and congestion, Verde Canyon Railroad is Arizona summer as it was meant to be. This Sedona-area adventure travels historic tracks along the cool green ribbon of the Verde River, nestled under towering red rock cliffs. Awe-inspiring scenery, soaring raptors and well-appointed accommodations make the perfect antidote to summer in the city.