Mar 24, 2014

Heritage Railroad- Verde Canyon, a ride through the red rocks!



The 40-mile roundtrip, 4-hours long scenic ride on the tracks that were installed in 1912 crossing over old fashioned bridges and trestles, and passes a 680ft long tunnel- all in the red rock country along the Verde river! Verde Canyon Railroad excursion line started in 1990 between Clarkdale and Perkinsville- it a heritage railroad. Classic FP7 vintage locomotives pull the passengers through the towering red rock pinnacles.

Verde Camp Railroad Clarkdale
Railroad along the Verde River

The Verde Canyon website describes it as "Arizona's longest running nature show". On the way there are few interesting facts like copper waste dump, Sinagua Indian ruins, some pareidolia which your guide will show you. The train has renovated passenger coaches and open-air viewing cars from where people can enjoy the Sedona Verde Valley and Arizona landscapes. 

Verde Camp Railroad Clarkdale
Iron Bridge and Perkinsville Ghost Town

I took the cheapest available ticket for COACH-class (Cottonwood) which costed me $60. There is First Class and Caboose also if you want more luxury. Our guide was extremely friendly and was attentive to everyone! He showed us rock formations which 'he said' looked like 3-monkeys, 2-frogs and a croc. Believe me all of us nodded laughing because it was hard to figure out :) But it was fun! 

Verde Camp Railroad Clarkdale
Cottonwood Coach and an artifact from John Bell Museum

Passing the curved tunnel through a red rock pinnacle was fantastic! Pitch dark! Birds were in abundance all along the ride. I could spot few Bald Eagles and a Greater Roadrunner which is also known as Californian Earth-cuckoo. Not a great shot of the roadrunner but, it was my first spot and shot of the bird, that too from a running train :)

At Perkinsville the train stops for some time. The engine is moved from one end to another for the return ride. Smoking is allowed only at the Perkinsville stop before returning. I had an ice-cream bar while others enjoyed a smoke. Perkinsville seemed like a ghost town with abandoned cabins and vehicles.

At the depot in Clardale, the John Bell museum housed in an old boxcar displays few vintage rail artifacts and picture galleries most of which are from John Bell's personal collection. He was a historian and resident of Clarkdale. The depot also has a fancy gift shop where one can buy some expensive souvenirs. When I was here the Halloween Special lunch was going on and also they distributed a small gift to people who wore costumes!

Verde Camp Railroad Clarkdale
Verde Valley
This ride could be much more fun if you go with family. It is not the destination here to enjoy but the ride itself. I met a family on the train who were taking a vacation in celebration of one of the daughter's retirement! 

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Related articles-
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Meteor Crater, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Horseshoe Bend on Colorado
Enchanting Antelope Slot Canyon
American South-West: A road trip

This post is linked to Our World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

24 comments:

  1. That sounds like a wonderful train ride. It would have been a great experience to see spectacular landscapes open before you.

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    1. Yeah, it was fun! Just like the Toy train in Darjeeling!

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  2. It is indeed a beautiful place and I love train rides where you can see and enjoy the beauty around you!! Terrific captures for the day as always, Kusum!! Hope you have a great week!!

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  3. Wow, gorgeous scenery from the train ride..And I love the Roadrunner.. Thanks for sharing your trip! Enjoy your new week!

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  4. Looks like a great trip. I've never seen a photo of a road runner before only seen them in the cartoon!

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    1. Thanks! The cartoon must be very cute!

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  5. Old train rides are fun, especially if there's someone there to point out interesting sceneries as you passed them by. Oh my a real-life roadrunner :) Haven't seen one for real.

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    1. Ha ha! Roadrunner is much popular in my post than the train!

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  6. What a wonderful Arizona train ride! You saw so many iconic SW sights!

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  7. Thank you for the wonderful virtual train ride!

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  8. Looks like we may have been in Arizona at the same sort of time - I have been back for a couple of weeks. I had hoped to see Road Runner, but missed out - but was more than happy with the humming birds!

    What a great set of pictures.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

    PS: my other blog, which has far more words than my photo blog, can be reached through the "my other blog" tab at the top of the photo-blog! Hope that makes sense! SM

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    1. Yes, I see you had a great time in Arizona! Roadrunner seems to make my post special!

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  9. HI Looks like a fun train trip.Love the Roadrunner.

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  10. Great shot of the Roadrunner., The ones off the train looking into the Verde River and Sycamore canyon brings back hiking and camping trips I used to take back in the early 1980's. That was before there was a tourist train. The train only came thru once a week for maintenance so we would wave to the guys if we saw it.

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    1. Thanks you! Hiking in that area must have been a great experience! Waving at the train in the wilderness is really memorable.

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