A Genuine Canyon Railroad Tour
People travel from all over over the world to do this canyon railroad tour, 100,000 people per year in fact, and we’re humbled and honored that the only way to experience this rich canyon is on the Verde Canyon Railroad.
If you think you have seen it all…imagine for a moment that you’re flying on the wings of an eagle, seeing what it has seen—here in central Arizona, nearly unchanged for hundreds and thousands of years, where this unique and protected ecosystem remains unspoiled and rich in geological intrigue.
Once home to the Sinagua Indians who made its cliffs a safe haven, the Verde Canyon is truly one of the most remarkable places on this earth. Where still the eagle rules the skies…soaring, as does the spirit of all who see it.
Running through the heart of this Canyon is the Verde River—the life giver to millions of beings—where nature still acts out its natural evolution throughout each and every season, giving birth to new life.
We invite you to come and see this natural wilderness from your own unique prospective, through all its seasons and in all its natural splendor and wonder.
It’s no wonder pioneers were lured to this part of the country. Beyond its wealth of beauty, some saw riches of another kind—copper. It was Senator Clark from Montana who envisioned its prosperous future and purchased stock in the struggling United Verde Copper Mine, located in Jerome. Clark found it necessary to remove the old smelter and rebuild it in the locale that would eventually become the town of Clarkdale.
Prerequisite was an efficient mode of transportation to bring the workers and supplies necessary for construction. Thus, at a cost of one-and-a-half million dollars, the Verde Canyon Railroad was born. For over a year, 250 men and 250 mules labored to build 38 miles of track between Clarkdale and Drake.
Once in place, the railroad hauled workers to build the huge smelter. Later, it would carry out into the world beyond…the Canyon’s bounty of copper. Indeed, copper was king, until it played out. The copper smelters are gone.
What now remains an only ghostly remnant of this era gone by. But, the romance and the color of that railroad still runs strong.
Today, near Clarkdale, just 25 miles south of Sedona, Arizona, the Verde Canyon Railroad hauls a different kind of payload—people.
The incredible sights and sounds of the journey remain, complimented today by a host of amenities those first travelers could imagine only in their dreams—beginning first with the depot, complete with gift store, café, and museum.
Visitors come the world over to ride this train, eagerly anticipating the wilderness beyond. Pulling us along on this journey are two of the Verde Canyon Railroad’s rare FP7 engines, 2 of only 12 remaining in North America. Traveling along are the Railroad’s engineers and staff. Carrying as their payload—a wealth of knowledge about this train and this Canyon’s colorful history.
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