Travel on the historic Verde Canyon Railroad in style in one of eight first-class cars, all accessing open-air viewing cars.
Each car has panoramic windows and living room-style seating with love seats and bistro-style chairs and tables. Along with spacious accommodations, first-class passage includes Champagne upon departure, full-service cash bars with premium liquor, beverage service at your seat and complimentary appetizers reflecting the Southwest.
First-class service has fewer passengers indoors and out. Each car accesses a shaded open-air viewing car, which is like getting two seats for the price of one!
1:00 pm on selected dates
Schedule varies by season. Check Availability Calendar for specific dates.
During October, please order "Ales on Rails" for Thursday through Sunday tours.
Enjoy this four-hour scenic train ride in first-class style aboard renovated passenger coaches and open-air viewing cars pulled by vintage locomotives. A ride on the historic Verde Canyon Railroad route from Clarkdale to the ghost ranch of Perkinsville and back into the OTHER grand canyon in Arizona is an unforgettable experience. Enjoy visual feasts including seasonal spring flowers, fall foliage and hundreds of migratory birds, such as the majestic bald eagle.
Home to the American national symbol, the majestic bald eagle, Verde Canyon is accessible only by rail. The historic route is nestled between two national forests and adjacent to a designated wilderness area. This unique geological wonderland features rugged, high desert rock faces and spectacular panoramic views. This distinctive confluence of desert and wetland is populated by a variety of wildlife, which strives among the indigenous trees, shrubs, cactus and wildflowers.
Passengers on this popular excursion train are enthralled as the eagle-decorated vintage engines roll past towering, crimson cliffs; near ancient Indian ruins; over old-fashioned trestles and through a 680-foot man-made tunnel on a four-hour round trip to deserted Perkinsville Ranch and back.
Expert narration and guides leave passengers with a sense of history, archaeology, geology, wildlife and the Indian lore of the Verde Canyon. Original music also is an integral part of the excursion that takes passengers through the longest-running nature show in Arizona.
Verde Canyon Railroad, nestled in the heart of the expansive Verde Valley is ideally located above the heat of the desert and below the cold of Arizona high country.
Changing leaves add new color to many parts of Arizona each fall but nowhere do the branches blaze quite as brilliantly as they do along the Verde River. Photo opportunities are endless, or one may breathe in the crisp autumn air to appreciate the beauty of nature's dazzling display.
The Verde Canyon Railroad (formerly the Verde Valley Railroad, operated by the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railroad), was financed by Senator William A. Clark for a hefty $1.3 million. A miracle of engineering, the 38-mile line was built in just one year, from 1911 to 1912. It took 250 men using 200 mules, picks and shovels and lots of Dupont black powder explosives to lay these rails. Today, the same railroad would cost in excess of $38 million.
The smelter, which initiated the construction of the town of Clarkdale, named after Senator Clark, was located just below the Jerome mines. Used until 1952, the smelter had its final 400-foot high stack blown in 1962, signaling the end of an era and an industry on which a community had been built and prospered.
During the last century, the railroad, laid from Clarkdale to Drake, Arizona was often referred to as the Verde Mix because it carried such a diverse mixture of product and people. Today, the same transportation corridor still hosts both freight and excursion trains on its rails.
Vintage FP7 engines; two of only 12 such models remaining in North America, power all of Verde Canyon Railroad trains. Wildlife artist Doug Allen painted the bald eagle artwork on the engines. All passenger cars are climate-controlled with restrooms. All cars have panoramic windows and provide access to open-air viewing cars. Music and narration are provided throughout the excursion. The train and depot both meet ADA requirements.
Starlight Tours; Ride the trains under the star lit night! The canyon will come alive with nocturnal life. (2015 dates: June 18, July 16th, August 20th, September 17th)
Firecracker Express; Celebrate America with a picnic and good old-fashioned, patriotic music. (July 2nd)
Ales on Rails; There are parties and shindigs and then there is Oktoberfest, the grandest, most tuba-intensive bashes of them all. Of course Verde Canyon Railroad never misses out on a good time, so they roll out their popular Ales on Rails starting at 11:00 am every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October.
Year round highlights
Schedule is subject to change without notice and departure times are dependent upon weather.
72 Hours Minimum Advance Booking Required. Tour does not include hotel pick up. There is no child price discount for First Class. Train Depot is located in Clarkdale, Arizona, which is approximately 25 miles from Sedona and approximately 100 miles from Phoenix.
There are no refunds. All sales are final.
If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can only be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
Use the form below to select the date for your reservation. Calendar defaults to first available date. Please verify your date selection prior to submitting your order.
If you are unable to select a date, it means the tour is unavailable on that date.