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Verde Canyon Railroad: Arizona's "Other" Grand Canyon (Part 2, photos included)

Verde Valley viewed from State Hwy. 89A, near Jerome, AZ

Arizona is one of the world's open books when it comes to geology.  An author friend of mine, Davis Young, retired to Arizona from his home in Pennsylvania specifically because the geology (his subject as a professor) is so diverse.

Prescott, AZ to Jerome, AZ on a visit to the Verde ValleyMy Darlin' and I spent a Christmas getaway weekend in Prescott, AZ.  On Christmas Eve morning, we drove through Jerome along this road (State Hwy 89A) on our way to preview the Verde Valley. 

In the photo above, you're looking across the valley from the Jerome (west) side.  You can see why it's called Arizona's Other Grand Canyon.

We had booked a Saturday afternoon trip through the Verde Valley on the Verde Canyon Railroad.  Put it on your bucket list!

My view of the canyon, and thus my photos, are from the perspective of the train itself.  For a bird's eye view of the Verde Canyon Railroad, click the link above. 

Arizona's Verde Valley from the perspective of the Verde Canyon Railroad

Riding the rails on the Verde Canyon Railroad

The ride begins in Clarkdale, AZ, on the valley floor, and the views leaving the station are expansive.  During the two hour ride (at a leisurely 10-12 mph) to the ghost town of Perkinsville, the rails follow the Verde River into deep canyons and gorges, and the geologic history of valley comes alive.

Part One of this blog series will give you a taste of the canyon if you missed it.  Stay tuned for more to come...

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Comment balloon 38 commentsMike Jones • December 28 2009 09:15PM

Comments

Dang...what a gorgeous view and i am a confirmed train fan too. Nice combination!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Russell,

Put it on the bucket list to do before you croak!  It's just awesome!  (And thanks for being the first to comment.)

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Hi Mike,

Nice trip and great photos. The last train ride I took was into the BC a day excursion from a cruise to Alaska. I got some extrordinary photos on a point and shoot. How  I wished I had my Pentax at that time. I made a litle montage of that train ride and added a little music and it was very cool.

What camera do you use Mike?

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 9 years ago

William,

It's a relative cheapie.  Panasonic Lumix, around $200 at Costco.  I like it because it has a 10X Leica zoom.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Mike,

Great view. Some previous posts said they had a ton of snow up there. Same place?

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) over 9 years ago

Very nice shots Mike and when I look at these pics it looks so much like parts of Nevada!

VB ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) over 9 years ago

I think your particular camera is special or blessed or something.  You are so good at getting the best shots.  I've never been on a train.  Hope to do the Williams to Grand Canyon someday...

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) over 9 years ago

Fabulous fotos and a great perspective on the American Southwest where the greatest features is

Miles and Miles of More Miles and Miles.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Mike,

I wish our mountains weren't worn down to nubs here on the East Coast. Wonderful photography.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Love trains. I need to do this one. I have taken the Durango-Silverton train in Colorado among others and it is a great way to see beauty at beauty's pace,

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 9 years ago

Joe,

You won't be disappointed!  My Darlin' and I took the Durango-Silverton ride on our anniversary several years ago--July 4th.

Rich,

Come on out and visit!

Lenn,

What an apt description of the American Southwest.  It's worth seeing!

Doreen,

You'll love the train ride to Williams.  We took visiting family on that ride five or six years ago.

Vegas Bob,

This part of Arizona is kin to similar geography in Nevada.

Terry,

The heavy snowfall was a day prior to our visit.  The mountain behind me in the first photo was covered in snow on the east flanks.  Anything facing west, like the subject of that photo, had already lost its snow; it had melted away by the time I took the photo.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Mike, I travelled all through Arizona and thought it was such a spectacular place to be.  I was in Prescott and Jerome but honestly don't remember if I did this drive.  It's just gorgeous and I plan on going back, the red rocks of Sedona took my breath away!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 9 years ago

What nice pictures, we don't need to vacation outside of the U.S. there is so much to see here.

Posted by Diane Williams over 9 years ago

We took that train ride a couple of years ago with kids during Christmas.  It was great.  Santa appeared.  The topography and vegetation are beautiful.  Great pictures Mike.  Best of luck to you.

Posted by Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES, Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate (Long Realty West Valley) over 9 years ago

Nice photos Mike... I've never been to Prescott or up through the Verde Valley. Your pictures make me want to go.

Posted by Rene Fabre, Marketing in the Digital Age (First American Title) over 9 years ago

Mike, That is my favorite train ride. Thanks for bringing back great memories.

Posted by Deanne Olivas, Your Home Matters (Keller Williams Realty East Valley) over 9 years ago

What a beautiful view.  I lived in AZ a couple years ago for almost 2 years, wish I knew about this train ride!

Posted by Trisha P Realty Group, "Holding the Keys to Your Dream Home" (Realty Executives) over 9 years ago

I've been seeing a lot of foreclosure properties for sale in Prescott and around the Verde Canyon in our web application (www.foreclosuregrove.com), but I had no idea it was so beautiful! I'm going to recommend this train ride to the real estate agents I know operating in the area, to take pictures and to recommend to clients to expose them to the beautiful landscape. Thanks for the psot!

Posted by Foreclosure Grove (Foreclosure Grove) over 9 years ago

You are just bound and determined to  get me to come out there!  LOL  I hope when we do get out there that we will have time to take this rail trip.  It looks like loads of fun!  Hope you and Ginny had a wonderful Christmas - and my best to both of you in 2010!

Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) over 9 years ago

What a fabulous view, and what an adventure. I would definitely enjoy a trip like this! Happy New Year to you and your family!

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) over 9 years ago

Sharon,

Plan to do it; you won't be disappointed!

Carol,

Yes I am!  And we wish you and yours a Happy New Year!

Foreclosure Grove,

What's your name?  And who do you know "in the area?"  Anonymity doesn't become you.

Trisha,

You'll just have to plan a vacation...

Deanne,

You're welcome!  Thanks for calling yesterday.

Rene,

Plan to do it; you won't be disappointed.

Jerry,

Thanks!  We'll see you on your blog.

Diane,

Yes there is!  And your dollar goes farther at the moment...

Carole,

Sedona's red rocks are beautiful, aren't they?

Mike in Tucson

 

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Mike - New shots and post... I love Az and wish I could come out for a visit... Went through Prescott once and would love to return one day.... Have  a Great New Year!

Posted by Robert Hammerstein, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) over 9 years ago

Beautiful photos!  Thanks so much for sharing!

Posted by Jeff D. Clark, Your Eastern Oregon Real Estate Specialist (Blue Summit Realty Group) over 9 years ago

Jeff,

You're welcome!  Come back any time; you never know what you might see here.

Robert,

Plan to do it!  I'd love to meet you and hike/take photos.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

As always Mike, BEAUTIFUL photos!  I just love living in Arizona...and I like seeing Arizona through your eyes, you tell a nice story!

Cheron Lange

Posted by Michael and Cheron Lange, Associate Broker, GRI (Solutions Real Estate) over 9 years ago

The Verde Canyon Railroad is a fun trip for all ages.  I'm a native Arizonan now living in Eugene, Oregon.  Arizona isn't just desert.  The state's geography is widely diverse with some spectacular landscapes.  The drive that you feature is very scenic and not heavily traveled.  Good luck in 2010!

Posted by Rick Obst over 9 years ago

Beautiful, Mike, makes me want to go dig out my old photos of a trip through the Rockies on Amtrak from Salt Lake to Denver. Happy New Year too!

Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) over 9 years ago

Teral,

Happy New Year to you over there in Plano, TX!  Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Rick,

All the best to you, and I'm hoping you survive the rain up there.  I'll see you on your blog.

Cheron,

You say the nicest things...   LOL

 

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Mike - THis looks like a lot of fun. I have never ridden on a train, but this might be worth the ride.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) over 9 years ago

thank you for once again sharing your wonderful photos - what a great place for a photographer!!! Happy 2010!!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 9 years ago

Nice...I'd love to see this in person. What a site it must be.

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 9 years ago

Mike, darn gorgeous scenery!  Great photos, I can't wait to check the first blog!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 9 years ago

Tony & Darcy,

Thanks for commenting; it was a beautiful day up in the Verde Valley.

Patricia,

I'm hoping you take some time to come visit; you'll love it.

BarbaraJo,

You're so welcome; thanks for your readership and comments.  Happy New Year!

Larry,

You can bet on it!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Wonderful travelog....thanks for the beautiful pix.

Posted by Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country (Pacific Union International) over 9 years ago

Sounds like a fun trip.  Most of my desert time is in Utah, but this is the time of year when I start thinking of making the trek to the south-west.

Posted by Mike Weber, 40+ years in Northern Colorado (Keller Williams Realty Northern Colorado) over 9 years ago

I am thinking that this is one place that has to go on my bucket list, What a VIEW!!!

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago

Don,

For sure!  Happy New Year to you two!

Mike,

It certainly was.  If you make your way down to Tucson, please let me know.  We should plan a hike together.

Kirsten,

Thanks for stopping by to comment!  Happy New Year!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Although I took the train there many years ago, I wasn't camera happy at the time. I need to make a return trip I think.

Happy New Year!

Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer (Russel Ray) over 9 years ago

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