Arizona might be known for its deserts, but there are some truly stunning green spaces hidden throughout the state — and you can only get the best views by rail.
The Verde Canyon Railroad offers an amazing four-hour sightseeing experience through central Arizona, where you can see the completely untouched greenery of the state from a route that only a train can reach.
The $99/person, 40-mile roundtrip takes you past the Verde Canyon's stunning rock formations, cactus-covered slopes and greenery-lined rivers, all while enjoying the comfort of a vintage train.
And it's no ordinary train. The Verde Canyon Railroad train includes outdoor viewing cars that give you a 360-degree panoramic view of your surroundings, with opportunities to take photos and videos as you ride through Verde Canyon.
The train's crew is also well-versed in the history, geology and wildlife of the area, so you can learn about the rare plants and rock formations while appreciating the scenic views.
The vintage train has been fully refurbished, and each passenger is greeted with a complimentary Champagne toast once they hop aboard one of the 10-passenger cars.
Each car features massive windows, full climate control and a restroom. You'll also get to listen to a narrator offering plenty of information about where the train is going, mixed with classic railroad tunes.
If you're looking to do a private booking, there is an exclusive caboose available for one party of six adults. The caboose car is super cozy, with oversized chairs, cupola seating for a birds-eye view and two private outdoor viewing platforms.
While you do get a complimentary glass of Champagne when boarding, as well as some appetizers, all other alcoholic beverages need to be purchased separately.
The Verde Canyon Railroad runs events throughout the year from the station in Clarkdale, Arizona, with special treks on Easter, Halloween and Christmas.
The railroad also runs wine tastings, such as the upcoming Uncorked Wine Festival in May. Guests will try a few different wines before heading off for the 4-hour-long train ride through the red-rock Verde Canyon.
On select Saturdays during the summer, there is also the Grape Train Escape, which offers onboard wine tasting of local Arizona State wines as well as others from around the world.
Verde Canyon Railroad
When: All year-round. Special dates are available on the website.
Why You Need To Go: See stunning 360-degree views of Arizona's Verde Canyon on a Vintage Railroad Train.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.