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Santa’s Secret… He Loves a Good Train Ride!



Exiting the Tunnel

Exiting the Tunnel

On Santa's annual sojourn away from the North Pole, his favorite pastimes are listening to children's gift wishes and satisfying his passion for vintage trains. Lucky for us his December schedule prior to Christmas includes Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday afternoons riding the rails of the Verde Canyon Railroad's Santa Claus Express. Eagle-decorated FP7 engines pull coaches filled with gleeful passengers away from the station at 1:00 p.m. for a round trip through the wonderland of Verde Canyon to the old Perkinsville Ranch, returning at about 5:00 p.m.

Santa excitedly fills two seats with his ample girth and invites the children to gather round his magic story book for 'Twas the Night Before Christmas...' Mrs. Claus doles out scrumptious cookies to all, and Elfie tags behind with milk and hot chocolate. Beer, wine and cocktails are available for the big kids.

Outside the panoramic windows of the comfortable, climate-controlled coaches, the breathtaking splendor of crimson cliffs and brilliant blue sky passes by. From lofty trestle bridges the shimmering Verde River is seen snaking along the valley floor. Deer, elk and Javelina emerge from the forest of Cottonwoods and Sycamores to quench their thirst and Great Blue Heron cruise along its emerald waters.

Nesting Bald Eagle

Nesting Bald Eagle

As nature's extravaganza unfolds in the canyon, the train's narrator enriches the experience with historical, archaeological, geological and wildlife facts. Young and old alike take to the open-air viewing cars as attendants point out the sizable nest perched precariously on a canyon wall. Everyone wants to know if Black and Decker, one of the resident bald eagle couples, are at home. Eagle Watch will soon be underway as many annually returning bald and golden eagles join the locals and a variety of other migratory birds and waterfowl already comfortably ensconced within the rugged canyon walls.

Join Santa, the king of merriment; his better half, Mrs. Claus, and Elfie as they sweep you away from the bustling city into a magical family get-a-away steeped in nature's spectacular wilderness vistas.

The Verde Canyon Railroad depot is located at 300 N. Broadway in Clarkdale, AZ, 25 minutes from Sedona, 2 hours north of Phoenix, and 90 minutes south of Flagstaff. Passengers are encouraged to arrive approximately one and one-half hours prior to departure.


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  2. Eagle Watching at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks
  3. Rocky Mountaineer Offers Travelers A Chance To Ride Two Of The Best Trains In The World
  4. Park City Utah’s Deer Valley Resort Celebrates the Holidays in Style
  5. Oh What Fun It Is To Ride: Travelers Hitting Holiday Sleighs but Feeling Pressure of Family Stays

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