West of Sedona and below Jerome, you will find a remote wilderness called the Verde Canyon. It's filled with red rock pinnacles, Indian ruins, clear green waters, tunnels, & trestles. In addition, it has beautiful flora & fauna, which attracts migrating waterfowl & bald eagles.
Some people like to hike this spectacular canyon; however, it's also possible to see it via The Verde Canyon Railroad.
Advanced reservations are required. There are six first-class cars where you sit in living room-style chairs & have complimentary appetizers, beverage service, a cash bar, and, best of all, fewer passengers. The cost for first class is $59.95 round trip. (We rode first class, & it was well worth the extra $20.00 per ticket)! Or you can go via one of the two coach cars where you sit Pullman-style with two seats on each side of a center aisle; there is also a snack bar. It costs $39.95 round trip. They also have children rates & senior (over 65 years) rates.
This train takes the historic route from Clarkdale to the ghost ranch of Perkinsville and back. The Canyon is nestled between two national forests, & it is next to a designated wilderness area. Strangely, this area is a combination of desert & wetland!
The train is decorated with a bald eagle painting which is appropriate since the Canyon is home to so many bald eagles.
We saw towering rocks, crimson cliffs, man-made tunnels, old-fahioned trestles, & a hint of the Indian Ruins. The whole trip takes four hours.
There are narrations, guides, & music, which combine to give the history, geology, & archaeology of the area. They also give details of the Indian lore. We found it quite enlightening & fascinating.
The depot is located at 300 N. Broadway, Clarkdale, AZ 86324 The new Depot is located on the same site as two other depots once stood. It has a southwestern look. This is where the reservation offices are located. There is also a Boxcar Gift Store, Copper Spike Cafe, & a John Bell Museum.