Verde Canyon Railroad is back on track and reopening July 1st. Arizona’s state flag was inspired by the sun’s red and golden rays dancing across the horizon in symphony with the desert air, bathing everything in a deep sunset glow. Verde Canyon Railroad’s popular Starlight adventure, one summer Saturday each month, brings passengers into a red rock wilderness at this bewitching golden hour. The colorful aerial infusion continues as the spectacular tones of twilight and starlight accentuate this wild Southwestern canyon in lunar reflection.
Scheduled closest to the full moon, Saturday Starlight Tours offer a glimpse of an Arizona evening which can’t be duplicated in the city. Enhanced by Champagne, comfortable loveseats or bistro table seating, tasty appetizers and, best of all, full access to open-air viewing cars, the ride has passengers truly immersed in the magic of the desert night. You pay for one seat and Mother Nature pays for the second … it’s two for one!
During the journey a Great Blue Heron glides across the polished waters of the Verde River. The train’s headlight waltzes lazily back and forth across steep canyon walls, slowly transforming to towering jagged silhouettes. An owl hoots to its mate. The constellations of the western sky take shape through the clear night air. A cool, gentle breeze envelops the train. Loved ones raise glasses in the romantic setting, friends toast to success and happiness, and all are grateful to be together to celebrate being on a train.
Toasts made to love and friendships are elevated aboard the Grape Train Escape, a wine-tasting upgrade offered on every Starlight Tour. Each month a specially curated selection of vintages from Arizona and beyond are paired with harmonizing appetizers for a sumptuous wine-tasting experience in a stunning wilderness setting. Raising a glass of wine to salute the striking riparian scenery streaming past is a rare pleasure only possible aboard this vintage train.
Verde Canyon Railroad’s Summer Starlight Tours depart the depot at 5:30 p.m., during the waning daylight and return illuminated by the moon and stars at 9:15 p.m. on July 18, August 1 and September 5. While riding in the exclusive Grape Train Escape cars featuring wine-tasting are the most popular, standard coach and classic first-class seats also are available.
Known worldwide as “Arizona’s Longest-Running Nature Show” since 1990, Verde Canyon Railroad travels a historic line built in 1912 which played a prominent role in Manifest Destiny. Celebrating 30 remarkable years of service in 2020, this award-winning attraction promises rail passengers exceptional service aboard every journey every time. Visit the Verde Canyon Railroad website at www.verdecanyonrr.com to make a reservation or call 800-293-7345 for more information.