Are you planning a family vacation to Arizona near the Grand Canyon? If so, your family should visit the Verde Canyon Railroad. The ride on this Clarkdale train provides beautiful scenic views and old-fashioned family fun. Read on to learn more about Family Fun on the Verde Canyon Railroad Scenic Railway.
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From a young age, my boys have loved trains. So, when we were planning our family trip to Arizona, we decided to include this 4-hour train ride through the gorgeous red rocked cliffs of the Verde Canyon just outside of Sedona, Arizona in Clarkdale. The Verde Canyon Railroad offers a 4-hour ride in refurbished train cars for its guests.
Our world is so beautiful! Check out these photos:)
Photos taken during the month of March.
What Makes the Verde Canyon Railroad Train Ride Special?
Have Fun and Learn about History and Wildlife at the Same Time!
Taking a ride out of the historic train depot is a fun blast from the past. Riding on this unique train is both fun and educational for kids and adults as they can learn all about the history of trains and the region. Plus, all the train attendants are knowledgeable about the history of the area and trains, and the geology of the region. There is also some narration provided for guests.
There is the potential for wildlife viewing while on the train ride including the Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagles, waterfowl, and more. The staff are also educated on the wildlife of the area and engage train riders in conversations about the native animals. One attendant interacted with my kids teaching them about bald eagles, plus she gave them bald eagle bookmark keepsakes. Wild Raptors visit the depot as well (raptors are at the depot on certain dates/times, check the schedule).
Bonus: A portion of each ticket is donated to the Liberty Wildlife Raptor Rescue Program as well.
“Arizona’s longest running nature show.” Verde Canyon RR
Relax and Enjoy the Amazing Scenic Verde Canyon Views
During the four-hour tour of twenty miles through 100 years of history, train riders can view the gorgeous red rock cliffs and the Verde River. The rock formations are stunningly beautiful. We took so many gorgeous photos during our time on the train. We loved it when the train track curved so we could see the end of the train.
Being from Minnesota, seeing all the different types of cacti was fun in and of itself.
All cars have access to walk onto the open air car. We spent a lot of time on the open air car on our train ride. There is also a canopy to get out of the hot Arizona sun on the open-air car. When riders get hot, they can also go back in and sit inside the climate controlled car.
The highlight of the train ride for my kids was going through the tunnel. This brought squeals from many passengers as it got very dark while inside the tunnel, and then we popped back out into the bright sunshine. That first spurt of sunshine after the dark was glorious indeed! Riders get a double run through the tunnel as the train travels from Clarkdale to Perkinsville and back. My kids wanted to get out at Perkinsville, but riders aren’t allowed off the train there.
Tips for Families with Kids Riding the Verde Canyon Railroad
Four hours can get kind of long for younger kids, so bring along extra entertainment for kids in case they become restless. Bring a game or two and play it on the train and travel like the train riders of the past.
Or, purchase a snack at the snack bar, beverage, or an appetizer. We purchased the chocolate rocks and they were a giant hit with our kids! My boys still talk about the train ride where we all enjoyed eating chocolate rocks. They are a chocolate candy inside a crunchy shell where the shell looks like various colored rocks. A massive hit, in fact, I wished we had bought another container to bring home with us!
There is a bathroom onboard for guests, which is super important for kids, and adults! Who am I kidding, I need the bathroom as much as the kids do!
There is also a cash bar available.
My favorite travel backpack with tons of slots for everything you need. Read my full review at Neatpack Travel Backpack.
Options for the Verde Canyon Railroad Tour
There are various options to choose from when planning this train ride in Arizona.
- coach (we purchased coach tickets)
- first class (has tables)
- Chocolate lovers train (wish I had done this one!)
- Engineer for a day
- Caboose (private ride for groups of 6 or less passengers)
Historic Train Depot
The historic train depot contains a museum, as I mentioned above. It also offers a cafe and a gift store. Outside the depot, there are boards scattered about with tons of railroad history to read up on. Perfect for history buffs.
Location of the Verde Canyon Railroad
The depot is located outside of Sedona at 300 N. Broadway in Clarkdale, AZ. We visited this fun railroad on our way to the Grand Canyon. This Verde Canyon Railroad rail tour is a fantastic addition on the way to a visit to the Grand Canyon.
To learn more visit Verde Canyon RR Train Ride.
Family Fun Adventure Awaits in Arizona!
Riding this train is a great family fun adventure! Arizona has so much to offer families for family travel. Add Arizona to your family vacation bucket list:)
Looking for more ideas for what to do while visiting Arizona near the Grand Canyon? Read my other posts are fun things to do and see in Arizona.
I hope you have found this post helpful in planning your family travel to Arizona! Eat well and enjoy life!
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