The beginning of the Transcontinental railroad is one of the defining moments of Arizona history. The rail system began bringing in new workers, families, and outlaws to the southwestern deserts.

An old photograph of a steam locomotive
Credit: Canva

The magic of those early steam locomotives came, in part, from the stunning natural landscape they travelled through. While the widespread appreciation for locomotion has slowly died, Arizona still remembers what drew people to the railroads.

What is the Verde Canyon Railroad?

Located just outside of Sedona, Verde Canyon is a portal back in time. The area is a perfectly untouched portrait of Arizona's natural beauty, and is inaccessible by any traditional means.

Train running through Verde Canyon
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The only way to truly appreciate the beauty of Verde Canyon is on their railroad, a 20 mile stretch of track that winds through the area. The trains that carry you through your journey are vintage diesel locomotives, and two of only 10 in the entire United States.

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What Can You Expect From the Journey?

Starting with a lunch from the Copper Spike Café, you'll board your car (either first class or coach), and begin on your way. While first class coaches have champagne, premium drinks and food, and more space, both classes have air conditioned cars, restrooms, food, and panoramic views of Arizona's beauty.

Verde Canyon
Credit: Canva

The trail sprawls 20 miles, and showcases stunning desert landscapes, winding riverbeds, ancient Native and Pioneer art, and so much more. The wildlife inhabiting this area is just as breathtaking. Hawks soar above you, and Jackrabbits scurry across the dusty ground.

A slim jackrabbit
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Equal parts educational and relaxing, the Verde Canyon Railroad is an attraction every Arizonan has to experience once.

[Verde Canyon RR]

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