Setting up “home base” in Arizona’s centrally-located Verde Valley brings you close to a great variety of fun and educational activities as well as amazing landscapes. From the heart of Arizona’s mild high desert climate, visitors can make easy day trips to such great attractions as Clarkdale’s Verde Canyon Railroad, Cottonwood’s Blazin’ M Ranch and Camp Verde’s Out of Africa Wildlife Park. Sharing the valley with “bucket-list” locations like scenic Sedona and the “Ghost City” art colony of Jerome makes this destination a real “no-brainer”. Get yourself to the Verde Valley and allow its magic to take hold of your soul.
Verde Canyon Railroad’s depot is located in historic Clarkdale, a century-old company town created for nearby Jerome’s United Verde Copper. This heritage railroad follows the winding canyon curves along the spring-fed Verde River, flowing through brilliant red rock canyon scenery and eagle nesting areas, past ancient Sinagua ruins, over historic trestles and through a 680 foot tunnel. Riparian areas make up only 2% of Arizona’s landscape, making an adventure aboard Verde Canyon Railroad a special treat to view the rare and dramatic ribbon where high desert meets rolling water. Photo ops abound at every turn, and it’s an ideal adventure to share with family and friends.
It’s definitely a trip back in time, far from the pressures of modern life, to a time before e-mail, Wi-Fi and traffic jams. Jerome, perched high on Cleopatra Hill overlooking the valley, is a fun stroll before or after the train ride, as is the neighboring Tuzigoot National Monument and lively Old Town Cottonwood.