Escape Ordinary This Summer: - Visit Sedona Blog

Escape Ordinary This Summer:

Saturday Nights are Rockin’ at Verde Canyon Railroad

Surrounded by the red rocks of Sedona, a Saturday evening rail adventure aboard Verde Canyon Railroad offers a very romantic perspective of the Verde Valley … under the moon glow and star shine, with side options of live music or wine!

Beginning in May and running on select Saturday evenings through September, Verde Canyon Railroad now offers two completely different experiences on its popular Saturday night excursions each month. Departing the depot during the cooler temperatures of late afternoon and traveling the train's historic route through sunset and twilight, 5:30pm-9:30pm it’s the perfect venue for a romantic date night. Whether it’s by Starlight or Moonlight this wilderness train ride offers something for all of the senses. As the sun begins to set against a scenic Arizona backdrop, an amazing show of color transforms the cliffsides and skies. At twilight, visitors may get a rare glimpse of animals foraging in their natural habitat as silent canyon walls stir with the calls and cries of native wildlife.

Starlight rides are scheduled nearest the dark skies of the new moon when the cosmos is most magnificently visible. Moonlight rides are scheduled closest to the full moon, illuminating this wild western canyon during the train's return.

The rhythm of the rails and the “clickety-clack” of steel wheels on iron track makes for perfect percussion to accompany live music amidst wild Arizona scenery. Back by popular demand, Verde Canyon Railroad proudly presents “Rhythm on the Rails”, live music rotating throughout each historic train car on Moonlight nights, May 29th, June 26th, July 24th, August 21st and September 18th. This special event features a series of live concerts on board the train, musical interludes throughout the journey, winding its way through scenic southwestern sunset. The rise of the full moon is the cue to turn up the bass!

Several distinctive musical acts will be aboard when the train rolls out of Clarkdale, each representing a different melodic genre, and each group giving passengers an up-close and personal entertainment experience on this unforgettable journey. Throughout this adventure through one of Arizona’s most scenic inner canyons, each band will play private concerts in every impressively detailed passenger car. Plush furnishings, fresh and individually boxed appetizers, an extensive selection of wine, beer and chic cocktails served to one’s seat… will all be relished to the sophisticated sounds of accomplished musicians.  While resonant delights fill each car, outside the window, visual awe takes center stage; the canyon painted golden with sunset glow and punctuated with fragrant wildflowers in bloom makes each of the senses shout for joy.

First introduced in April 2012 to rave reviews, Rhythm on the Rails is an event that has been requested for years, and Verde Canyon Railroad is pleased to announce its return.

One of Verde Canyon Railroad’s most popular signature events since 2003, the Grape Train Escape, takes passengers on a journey through varied vintages and varietals while savoring the sunset wilderness of a rare riparian canyon. Taking place in conjunction with the Starlight schedule, each Grape Train Escape features a different renowned wine region.  Rich with history, culture and adventure, wines from Chile inspire passion and stir the soul with their robust notes and spicy aromas on May 15th. June 12th brings the Grape Train Escape back stateside to the Pacific Northwest and the wines of Washington State. The wines of Argentina will inflame passion for adventure on July 10th. A swing Down Under to the wines of Australia on August 21st shares the boisterous and dynamic selections of this spirited nation. The grand finale of the Grape Train Escape on September 4th returns us to our roots, vineyards nurtured in own backyard, the distinctly flavorful wines of Arizona’s Verde Valley.  The Grape Train Escape is a flight of tastes and accompanying appetizers to complement each selection during the Starlight journey.

Verde Canyon Railroad is an escape from the ordinary, and Saturday night trains are a romantic date night like no other.  The depot is located in Clarkdale, 25 minutes from Sedona and two hours north of Phoenix, making Verde Canyon Railroad the perfect Arizona adventure. Book online at or call 800-293-7245.


It’s not the destination, it’s the rhythmic and romantic journey.