Clarkdale Arizona Excape Verde Canyon Railroad

September 19, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

If you are looking to escape the heat of the desert or just take time, take a trip and get new experiences, then a trip to the Clarkdale Arizona area might do the trick.  My wife and I did just that with a trip to the Clarkdale area in Arizona. 

 

We stayed at the Desert Rose bed and breakfast in Cottonwood near Sedona.  It is a pleasant place with a nice setting and very pleasant host and hostess.  It was interesting to visit with the other guests at breakfast and compare notes with them on our adventures.  We were there in March so the swimming pool was closed, but we had fun feeding carrots to the goats and lamas.  If you are looking for a friendly place to stay I would recommend the Desert Rose.

 

Verde Canyon Railroad Verde Canyon RailroadVerde Canyon RailroadVerde Canyon Railroad

The Verde Valley railroad is located in Clarkdale Arizona.  Clarkdale was the home of one of Arizona’s largest copper mines and was owned by the United Verde Copper Company.  It was a company town in every sense of the word.  The housing and all the services were provided for the employees of the mining and smelting operation.  Clarkdale is now mostly unique shops, restaurants and antique stores, now occupy the town.

The Verde Valley railroad transports you into the peaceful Verde Valley.  The four-hour ride is a step back in time.   Where you can relax in climate controlled cars or step out onto the open air viewing platforms.  The train ride is the only way the canyon can be accessed.

The fully restored old-fashioned diesel train took the train over track that was laid almost a century ago.  Along the route it travels past prehistoric Native American ruins and remnants of pioneering settlements and travels between Clarkdale and the ghost town of Perkinsville and back.

The train carries over 400 passengers so, try to arrive at the station at least 20 minutes before departure.   There was plenty to do at the station between picking up the tickets, visiting the museum and browsing the gift shop.

We decided to go First-class because there were fewer passengers per car the seating was more comfortable. There was complimentary appetizers and first class treatment.  After all, we were celebrating our forty-fifth anniversary.

The open-air cars have s Verde Canyon Railroad-015Verde Canyon Railroad-015 haded canopies and attendants that share the canyon’s history and talk about the geology and wildlife along the way.  The walls of the canyon are covered with a wide variety of dessert cactus while the river is graced with cottonwoods and sycamores.

There is a wide variety of wildlife along the valley.  I saw several Eagles soaring high along the edges of the high cliff walls of the canyon.  Unfortunately, none of them were close enough for me to get any pictures of them.  One of the other passengers let me look through their binoculars so I could get a closer look at them.

 There is a 680-foot tunnel blasted through solid rock and several 100-year-old trestles and bridges spanning the gorges along the line.  Then we reach the ghost town of Perkinsville and it’s time to retrace our route back to Clarkdale.  It was interesting to me how different the scenery looks when you are going the other way.  That’s when the attendant pointed out the Sinagua ruins in towering cliffs.

All First class tickets are $79.95, Adult coach is $54.95, coach for Seniors is $49.95 and coach for children 2-12 is $34.95.  Some of the children were getting bored after a couple of hours, but they were happy as long as the batteries on their devices were working.

 

See more photos at http://www.bmwphotography.com/p614057828
 


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