moonlight ride photo, Verde Canyon

Stars Shine Bright and Red Rocks Glimmer in Verde Canyon

What Sedona and the Verde Valley lack in traffic signals and street lamps, they trade in exchange for brilliant star shine bursting with galaxies and distant planets. City slickers enjoy an awestruck adventure stargazing beneath the summer sky in Arizona’s remote Verde Canyon wilderness. A canyon cruise by moonlight via Verde Canyon Railroad has long been one of the train’s most popular seasonal specials.

Departing during the cooler temperatures of late afternoon and traveling through sunset, twilight and starlight, Verde Canyon Railroad’s Summer Starlight rides take place on May 17, June 14, July 12, August 9 and end with the season finale on September 6th. Departing at 5:30 p.m. and returning at 9:30 p.m., the evening excursion serves up a wide-ranging mix of light, color and shadow. As the moon crests the horizon the riparian wonderland and its native creatures are illuminated amidst an unforgettable dreamscape.

In addition to first-class and coach seating, the Starlight schedule also features two special event options: the Grape Train Escape and the Tequila Sunset Limited.

The Grape Train Escape is perfect for leisurely sipping of a variety of specially-chosen vintages. Each month highlights a different wine-growing region from across the globe, including Italy, New Zealand, South America, California and Washington State. A tasting flight of five wines includes special accompanying hors d’oeuvres to complement each selection.

The featured Tequila Sunset Limited distillery for 2014, Luna Malvada, will offer a selection of three premium tequilas, paired with inventive appetizers to complement each selection. The agave-distilled liquor can boast a complex sipping flavor suited to any snifter.
The train provides a peaceful sanctuary from the ordinary as it travels a leisurely four hours from the charming Clarkdale depot to the ghost ranch at Perkinsville and back. Awe-inspiring rock formations, historic trestles, ancient cliff dwellings and soaring raptors are just a few of the trip’s many highlights. First-class cars boast plush seating, complimentary appetizers and a full-service bar. Coach offers vintage Pullman-style seating, panoramic windows and snack bars.

Passengers may toast “Cheers!” under the night sky, enjoying star gazing opportunities galore from the unique vantage point of the train’s open-air viewing cars.

Just 25 minutes from scenic Sedona and 10 minutes from historic Jerome, Verde Canyon Railroad is located in the heart of Arizona’s Verde Valley, named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 destinations. With sky above, water below, and heaven in between, Verde Canyon Railroad guarantees an unforgettable rail adventure. Get more information at or call 800-293-7245.


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