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“Nice, train ride; don't take the kids.”

Verde Canyon Railroad
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Verde Canyon Railroad is a Southwestern adventure that takes passengers on a ride through Arizona’s backcountry, only accessible from the comfort of this train. This legendary “boutique” attraction allows members of groups an uncommon view of a wildly-wonderful red-rock canyon. The four-hour excursion requires no laborious effort or exertion except by the highly-trained staff who absolutely love what they do. As evidenced by exceedingly positive reviews, they do it very well. Verde Canyon Railroad is the only excursion train in the Southwest which offers every guest two seats for the price of one: inside viewing through large panoramic windows in all coaches and 360-degree views from open-air viewing cars attached to each coach. As the train passes “through” a grand canyon, both vantages celebrate incomparable scenery, high-desert flora and fauna, historic trestles, dramatic geology, unusual rock formations and passage through a century-old 680-foot tunnel. Throughout the journey the captivating history of the Verde Canyon and the Railroad unfolds with narration interlaced with a wide genre of popular railroad tunes.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 2 November 2008

This is a very relaxing train ride through the Verde canyon with beautiful views. Throughout the train ride, an overhead speaker shares informative facts about the terrain and history of this area. As well, there are personal guides in each section of the train which do the same. I thought it was interesting and a very personal experience. However, our 3 boys ages 9,8, and 6 were bored within 20 minutes of the train leaving the station...and its a 4 hour train ride! Most of the clientelle on the train consisted of older folks. I would not recommend this ride for children or teenagers, and not for anyone seeking adventure. For those seeking serenity, get a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery!

5  Thank dgibson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"small sandwiches"
in 29 reviews
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"brownie bites"
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1,791 - 1,795 of 1,831 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2008

I rode the train as a first class passenger on the "Phoenix" car. The accommodations were great! You were either seated in an over sized love seat that faced a coffee table; or a table for two that had an over sized very well padded tall back chair without arms. Plenty of glass windows meant that everyone has a view no matter where you sit.

The tables have chips on them. You are then offered either champagne or sparkling cider just prior to the appetizers being offered which consisted of chips, nuts, sub sandwich, veggies and condiments, delicious wings with wing sauce and gourmet little brownies. Ice cream was passed around on the ride back. Drinks were available at a very reasonable price including non alcoholic and water was given for free even tho it had a price.

First class passengers also had their own open air car to wander out to if they liked.

The bathroom was quite roomy and accessible within, with several grab bars for those shaky moments and a sink to wash hands in.

The cars only moved 11-13 MPH (according to my GPS) which gave plenty of opportunity for picture snapping and taking in the incredible views. I can see why people would want to take this trip at various times of the year to take advantage of the different seasons. From the eagles breeding season, to the fall colors and spring blossoms. I absolutely want to experience this trip again now that I have done it!

The stairs in and out of the train are steeper than normal, however there are grab bars on both sides and you are encouraged to take your time. If stairs give you no trouble, then you should not have any problem.

It was recommended by a local that we sit so that we were "facing the train depot" as we left (from a view standpoint). I was glad we listened to that, as that would be my preference if I was intending on sitting the whole time especially. I was able to move from side to side as the car was not full. On the return trip, the train doesn't turn around, the engine disconnects from the front and repositions itself to the caboose end. This means you are sitting on the same side for both legs of the trip (4 hours total).

Well worth the trip - go if you can!

8  Thank KerrilynnAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2008

My longtime guy and I took the first class trip last Thursday, July 24, 2008. Stunning beauty! We stay in Sedona for a week or so every year, and I honestly didn't think this level of natural beauty existed along the Verde River.

I really thought the comfort of first class was worth the few extra bucks. We met some interesting people and had good conversations during the excursion, and enjoyed our hostess/guide, Sally, very much. She had a great attitude--a real people person. Spent a lot of time in the viewing car. There was another young woman, I forget her name...very nice, probably a college student, who was also pointing out things to us from the viewing car.

I agree with the person who elaborated on the musical choices. I love just about every type of music, and my thinking is that there are only two kinds of music: good and bad. Unfortunately, this all fell in the latter category. There are better choices, and it was making me squirm in my seat. Some people like music that, in my view, isn't good at all. If I could give a suggestion at all, it would be to at least go instrumental and leave the vocals behind, because it detracts. The good news is that the natural beauty was so incredible that I'll give the trip an excellent rating, with the caveat being the music.

I will go again. I'd like to try all four seasons.

3  Thank jag56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2008

The Verde Canyon Railroad is a relaxing way to see some unspoiled and otherwise inaccessible areas of Arizona. The scenery is beautiful, and there is nothing like seeing the bald eagles in their natural environment. Although there were a few glitches in their automated narration, our cabin guide was very knowledgeable and humorous, and filled us in with the missing information and then some. I would give this five stars, but the "soundtrack" they play at times was cheesy and did not fit with the atmosphere. One song in particular featuring a female vocalist sounded like it was recorded using a dinky keyboard and a Playskool tape recorder, and used every cheesy cliche imaginable in the lyrics. It really was offensively awful, and I hate that this horror that was forced upon my ears sticks out so vividly and nightmarishly, when all of my other memories of the trip were fabulous.

8  Thank vitisvinifera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 May 2008

We took this trip in May 2008, and I agree with sherid; it was awesome. It is a 4-hour trip through the Verde Canyon and Verde Valley along the Verde River from Clarkdale to the remains of Perkinsville. We took the first-class cars, which are old cars, refurbished, have living room style seating and included appetizers and beverage service. We had lunch from the appetizer buffet. The cars are climate-controlled and include access to open-air viewing cars. An attendant is in each car to provide historical information let you know what is coming up next. It was an absolutely delightful trip. I spent most of my time, after the buffet, on the open-air car enjoying the scenery and making pictures.

We saw Indian cliff dwellings, eagle nests, bald eagles, beautiful cliffs, crossed trestles, went through a tunnel; saw 2 ranch houses where the only access to "civilization" is a 1-hour drive via a rough unpaved road. I think they said it's 15-miles, but takes an hour because of the road.

It was an absolutely delightful trip. I spent most of my time, after the buffet, on the open-air car enjoying the scenery and making pictures.

6  Thank hammonl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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