Ride the Rails on the Verde Canyon Railroad!
/>As the train winds along the banks of the Verde River, sunlight filters through oaks and sycamore trees, revealing shades of blue, green and grey in the water. Reflective shards of yellow shimmer at the surface. Overhead predator birds come and go, searching the bottomland and the craggy canyon walls for small animals. Hawks, buzzards and even eagles make this river corridor their home. They are used to the train, and do not stop circling while it passes.
Cliff dwellings, corn cribs and other remnants of a vanished Native culture can be glimpsed in niches high up the sandstone walls, the past standing silent guard over the present. So goes a typical afternoon spent on the Verde Canyon Railroad, a relaxing journey filled with the ancient rhythms of wildlife, shifting sunlight and the river itself. For four hours, passengers can forget where they came from and where they are going, letting the river take them where only it knows the way.
The Verde Canyon Railroad traces its lineage to the days when copper was king, and ore and materials needed a way out of the mining boom town of Jerome. As a working railroad, it ceased operation in the early 1950’s, when the mines shut down. In the early 1990’s it gained new life as a scenic railway, following the same route as in bygone days, showing off a remote riparian corridor that is mostly inaccessible by any other mode of transport.
Departing the station in the historic town of Clarkdale promptly at 1:00 pm daily, the train turns around midway at the old Perkinsville ranch property, and returns along the same route, reaching the depot by 5:00 pm. Passengers enjoy comfortable seating, good visibility from anywhere inside the cars and shaded viewing platforms to enjoy scenery in the open air.
First class seating is extra plush, featuring upholstered booths with tables, a full bar in each car, and an hors d’oeuvres buffet. An attendant who fills drink orders doubles as tour guide, pointing out distinctive geological features and signs of Native culture on the surrounding cliffs. Passengers are briefed on the railroad’s colorful history as well as alerted to the occasional riverfront homes visible from the train, wilderness outposts still occupied by special arrangement with the Forest Service.
For those who love the entrancing combination of sublime scenery, vibrant history and intriguing cultures, Sedona and the Verde Valley may be just for you. To help you create an unforgettable Sedona experience, Sedona Real has teamed with the Verde Canyon Railroad to offer the Ride the Rails package. Choose one night in a Royal King Corner suite or a Real Double Queen suite with patio or deck, and receive two first class tickets for the train, with full amenities. Explore the unique, high desert river country and know you’ve found a delightful bargain.