Hop aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad for a 4-hour rail journey through the untouched and unspoiled Verde Valley. With first class seating, you will enjoy unobstructed views of Arizona’s geological wonders, wildlife, and archaeological finds of the ancient Sinagua people who once lived in the area. The Verde Canyon Railroad offers this monthly Starlight excursion on select Saturdays June through September, departing the depot during the cooler temperatures of later afternoon and traveling through sunset and into the moon glow of twilight. Sandwiched between two protected national forests and adjacent to the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, Verde Canyon Railroad brings its passengers into a untamed and unspoiled terrain, the exceedingly rare ribbon where high desert meets the river.
Make your way to the Verde Canyon Railroad Train Depot in Clarkdale, Arizona, not far from Sedona, to begin your Verde Canyon Railroad adventure. This rail adventure offers a wilderness train ride through the remote Verde Canyon which is known for its picturesque setting and abundant wildlife. Though it’s possible to hike in the canyon, by far the easiest way to experience it is by riding this scenic wilderness train. The train is made up of exquisitely-renovated passenger coaches and open-air viewing cars pulled by vintage locomotives and travels a route along the Verde River between Clarkdale and Perkinsville. After embarking from the Clarkdale depot, sit back for a 4-hour, 40-mile round trip that includes views of historic mining sites, geological wonders, Sinagua Indian cliff dwellings and wildlife from bald eagles to antelope. You will remain spellbound as your vintage carriages cross an expansive railway bridge embedded in basalt cliffs, glide through a covered bridge opening the gateway to Perkinsville, or experience daylight retreating in the 680-foot manmade tunnel, all odes to that same bygone era. Two FP7 locomotives, only two of 10 remaining in North America, are the muscle that powers the newly-renovated passenger cars. Indoor cars are climate-controlled with restrooms and the train meets ADA requirements. Your first class cabins feature panoramic windows in a living room-style atmosphere of comfortable love seats or bistro-style chair-and-table seating near panoramic windows. Enjoy a champagne toast upon boarding, a variety of complimentary appetizers reflecting the southwest region and full-service cash bars featuring premium liquors and beverage service at your seat. With comfortable seating indoors and access to high-backed benches on the adjoining open-air cars, it is like getting two seats for the price of one.