Riding the Verde Canyon Railroad

Getting ready to board the Verde Canyon Railroad.

This is our second trip to the Verde Valley west of Sedona, and while we explored a lot of this area the last time, one thing we didn’t get to do was ride the Verde Canyon Railroad.

Since we’re staying at Rain Spirit RV Resort in Clarkdale, Arizona, the Railroad is a short 5-minute drive for us. Yesterday we got the chance to do this amazing 4-hour trip.

This railroad runs along the Verde River starting in Perkinsville. Construction began in 1912 and took 13 months to complete.

Now, passengers can ride from Clarkdale to Perkinsville and back in closed coaches and open-air viewing cars that are pulled by vintage diesel engines.

The journey takes riders over three bridges.

As you begin the journey, the trip goes along flat landscape with the mountains in the distance. But once you get into the canyon, the scenery takes on a much different vibe.

If you’re riding in the open-air car, be sure to keep your extremities in and keep ahold of your phone. There are times when you are about a foot from the sidewalls of the canyon.

As you continue on, you are treated to a ride through the 734-foot manmade tunnel. Of the 13 months it took to complete building this railroad, five months were dedicated to solely to completing this tunnel.

Once you arrive at Perkinsville, which is little more than an old outhouse, bunkhouse, and depot, the massive diesel engines detach from the front of the train. They ride up alongside you and move to what is now the front of the train for the return trip.

Take a seat indoors to enjoy the bar and your complimentary snack box, or sit and enjoy the return views from the open-air car.

Since the schedule varies by day, month, and the weather, I would refer you to their website Verde Canyon Railroad Schedule for the date and time you would like to book.

The cost per rider is $109, no matter your age. However, they do have military, AARP, and other discounts, so check the website.

Outside food and drink are not allowed, but they do have a cash bar. You are also provided with a meat, cheese, and fruit snack box to enjoy on the trip.

We truly enjoyed this excursion. If you like trains and beautiful scenery, you’re in for a treat. One word of caution—the train cars rock from side to side, so if you are at all prone to motion sickness, you might want to take the necessary precautions. I did take my Dramamine beforehand and had no issues.

Here are links to our posts from the last time we visited this amazing area of Arizona.

We’re Mike & Jennifer Skinnell, and together we are The Rambling Quilter. We travel the country full-time in our 41ft. fifth-wheel pulled by our F-350 – affectionately named Beauty & The Beast. Mike still works part-time, and Jennifer writes our blog, travel articles, and contemporary fiction. Our blog is purely for information and entertainment purposes. However, if you’d like to support Jennifer’s writing career, her author link is below.

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