Take an amazing journey through the stunning Verde Canyon on board the Verde Canyon Railroad. This historic train runs between Clarkdale, Arizona, and the ghost town of Perkinsville on a 40-mile round trip. With its depot, headquarters, and railway museum in Clarksdale, the Verde Canyon Railroad is one of the most popular attractions in Arizona.
Traveling on the train is the perfect learn about the region’s history and marvel at the Canyon and its intrinsic beauty. Along the route, travelers can view ancient Sinagua Indian dwellings that are carved into the landscape, along with stunning views of the Verde Canyon around every twist and bend. The copper industry originally constructed this route to link the mines in and around Jerome, Arizona, to the Santa Fe Railway.
Historic Verde Canyon Railroad Depot
Before embarking on a memorable train journey, explore the historic depot of the Verde Canyon Railroad that showcases the history of this gem of Clarksdale. The depot features Verde Canyon, the history of the railroad, and information on locomotives and historic rail cars. Along with the depot’s loading platform, storyboards provide insight into the pioneer spirit and railroad lore of Clarkdale, Arizona.
Verde Canyon Railroad Excursion Train
Now it’s time to hop on board the Verde Canyon Train Tour. The vintage train transports you back to a time of lavish and comfortable train travel. The four-hour-long train journey covers 20 miles of track at a blistering speed of 10 mph. The journey is accompanied by thoughtfully selected railroad tunes along with educational narration.
Journey through the Canyon
The Verde Canyon is only accessible by rail, and as you travel through the canyon, expect to be captivated by the region’s rugged beauty. The wall-to-wall canyon of red rock buttes is truly breathtaking, and the views from the train will stay with you forever. Keep an eye out for ancient ruins, bald eagles, deer, and even the occasional bear as you pass through the canyon.
The turnaround point is the historic Perkinsville train depot deep in the Verde Canyon. Perkinsville’s claim to fame is a filming location for scenes in the movie How the West Was Won. The town remains on private property owned by the Perkins Ranch, and passengers are not allowed to get off the train. The train engine is switched to the back of the train here before the return trip back down the canyon to Clarkdale.
Select Your Coach For Travel
The Verde Canyon Railroad offers different onboard experiences to choose from. The First-Class travel coach has fewer people, spacious living-room-style seating, and big, panoramic windows. Complimentary champagne and full-service cash bars are available too.
Open Air and Coach
Coach travel has traditional Pullman-style seats that are characteristic of regular train travel through the years. Snack bars are available for purchasing snacks onboard the train. The open-air cars add to the overall experience of the train ride. Verde Canyon Railroad train conductors share their knowledge of the canyon’s history, geology, and wildlife highlights with all passengers.
Reserve A Caboose
The trains caboose can accommodate up to 6 people and comes equipped with oversized chairs, large windows, cupola seating, and private outdoor viewing platforms. A personal valet is also available for bar and food service. The Caboose is an expensive option but is a good choice for celebrating a special occasion.
John Bell Museum
Before you head home, stop by the John Bell Museum adjacent to the train depot. The museum houses artifacts, pictures, and memorabilia from the early days of Clarkdale and the Verde Canyon Railway. Suppose you want a memento from your train trip, the Whistle Stop @ Milepost 38 gift shop. The gift shop features a selection of souvenirs and railroad branded clothing for every member of your group.
Getting to Verde Canyon Railway
The railroad depot is located at 300 N Broadway, Clarkdale, Arizona. For up-to-date information on Verde Canyon Railroad tickets and train, schedules visit the train’s website. Travel time from Phoenix is just under two hours. Travel time from Flagstaff is just over one hour.