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Guide To Riding The Stunning Verde Canyon Railroad, Arizona

train going through the The Verde Canyon

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Arizona is known for its incredible red rock landscape and vast desert vistas. When it comes to viewing the best scenery, you can won’t find a more leisurely experience than on a Verde Canyon Railroad experience.

This relaxing vintage train journey allows you to take in the beautiful scenery from panoramic windows, or from an open air car.

If you want to see the unusual rock formations, copper mines, and stunning unspoiled Verde Valley landscapes, then you will want to give this experience a go.

But what is the Verde Canyon Railroad and what is a trip like? Then keep reading to learn about our experiences…

Disclaimer: We were hosted by the railroad when we visited. However, I would also recommend First Class to anyone looking to do this experience. The good news is it’s only $20 extra than a regular ticket and I think well worth the price.

What is the Verde Canyon Railroad?

train in the desert

The Verde Canyon Railroad is a 40-mile return journey through 100 years of history, culture and dramatic scenery.

It follows the Verde River and the riparian ecosystem it carves along the way with cottonwood and high sandstone cliffs flanking its sides.

You’ll ride along historic trestles, passing Native American ruins and historic sites, as well as see the iconic red rock canyon scenes.

This is a region that is only accessible by train – unless you want to strap on the boots and do a bit of hiking, but we’re talking about taking a break from that.

The Rail Road was completed in 1912 to service the mining town of Jerome. The mining era ended in 1962, but the railroad endured and in 1990 the first passenger scenic excursion of the Verde Canyon Railroad began.

train in a canyon with river running through it

Now passengers can travel through the same isolated and rugged landscape that those early pioneers saw as they were struggling to blast and lay the tracks.

For the train buffs, the train is powered by Vintage FP7 locomotives, only two of 10 remaining in service in North America.

Those into photography will want to grab their best wide angle camera for this trip!

What is the Railroad Experience Like?

The Verde Canyon Railroad is somewhat of a hidden gem because of its remote location, but is still one of the top things to do in Sedona, which is just a 30-minute drive from the starting point.

We had so many other tips and attractions on our list of things to do in Sedona,…

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