HomeArticlesAll Aboard Train Rides & Experiences Across Arizona

All Aboard Train Rides & Experiences Across Arizona

Kids love trains! And let’s face it — plenty of adults do, too.
In honor of National Train Day on May 13th—which marks both the day in 1869 when railroads first connected America from coast-to-coast, and Amtrak’s birthday in 1971—we’ve pulled together a list of places in Arizona with immersive train rides for the whole family and even a cocktail-themed train experience for adults!

Full-Scale Trains

Grand Canyon Railway
233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams
800-THE-TRAIN (843-8724) • thetrain.com

The historic Grand Canyon Railway departs daily from Williams, Arizona to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Enhance your Grand Canyon experience with an entertaining train ride featuring western musicians and cowboy characters on vintage rail cars.

Verde Canyon Railroad
300 N. Broadway, Clarkdale
800-582-7245 • verdecanyonrr.com

Embark on year-round wilderness adventures from the old mining town of Clarkdale (just outside of Sedona). From the moment you step foot on one of the refurbished train cars, you and your family will be transported to a simpler, more leisurely time away from the distractions of our modern world. Relax as you glide along on a 4-hour, 20-mile journey through 110 years of history and enjoy awe-inspiring scenery.

Miniature Trains & Train Experiences

Benson Visitor Center Train Simulator
249 E. 4th St., Benson
520-586-4293 • bensonvisitorcenter.com

The City of Benson Visitor Center is located in the heart of Benson, Arizona. The visitor center is a Train Deport replica of the original Benson Train Depot established in 1880. Embracing the city’s history of being a train town, there is a G-Scale Model Train Simulator that attracts train enthusiasts. Kids (and adults) can try the train simulator for free and earn themselves a nifty souvenir Benson Train Engineer Certificate.

Daisy Mountain Railroad
41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway, Anthem
623-551-5880 • daisymountainrailroad.com

The Daisy Mountain Railroad is a 24” gauge railroad located in the community park at Anthem. The 2800 feet of track carefully winds its way past a tiered seating area cut into a sloping hill, past skateboard ramps, softball and soccer fields, through the tunnel, along the catch and release lakes, by the depot, and circles the children’s playground before slowing to a stop at the loading platform.

Desert Breeze Park
660 N. Desert Breeze Blvd. East, Chandler
480-893-6652 • desertbreezerr.com

Climb aboard one of the open-air coaches for a breezy trip around the park. Come along as the glistening 1/3 scale GP-38 locomotive leads the train (complete with a little red caboose) as it winds through a scenic three-quarter mile tour of the park, past grassy play areas and a sparkling lake. The train runs weekends from Labor Day through Memorial Day.

Freestone Park
1021 E. Juniper Ave., Gilbert
480-632-2702 • freestonerr.com

Choose from shady covered coaches or breezy open-air coaches, and tour the park in style on Freestone Railroad’s miniature train. The streamline Sante Fe Style Engine pulls excited rail travelers of all ages around the park on a three-quarter-mile ride, past grassy fields and sparkling lakes.The train runs weekends from Labor Day through Memorial Day.

Goldfield Ghost Town
4650 N. Mammoth Mine Rd., Goldfield
480-983-0333 • goldfieldghosttown.com

The Superstition Scenic Narrow Gauge Railroad’s 36-inch gauge train has a Plymouth diesel pulling a passenger car and a caboose along a 20-minute, narrated journey around a mile and a half of track. The engineer tells of the history of Goldfield, the Superstition Mountains, and the desert southwest in general. Departs every 35 minutes.

Maricopa Live Steamers Railroad Heritage Preservation Society
22822 N. 43rd Ave., Phoenix • maricopalivesteamers.com

The Maricopa Live Steamers Railroad Heritage Preservation Society is a club for people who enjoy preserving the heritage of railroading. Every Sunday from October 1 through April 30, they offer free train rides to the public. Donations are appreciated. Bring your friends and family for a leisurely ride along the rails. Open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale
480-312-2312 • therailroadpark.com

The Arboretum Railroad runs on Saturdays and Sundays through the park’s two acre, desert arboretum. The ride, a 1.5 inches to 1 foot scale train, takes guests on a ten minute loop through the desert arboretum, providing a scenic view and unique train riding experience for people of all ages. Currently the Arboretum Railroad runs the first weekend of the month and takes donations. This ride is open seasonally from October to May.

Old Tucson Studios
201 S. Kinney Rd., Tucson
520-883-0100 • oldtucson.com

Take a trip through cinema history via a miniature railroad at Old Tucson Studios, the filming location of silver screen classics such as “Tombstone,” and “Little House on the Prairie.” Today, the studios are a small theme park through which the train runs. On your ride, you’ll see Hollywood’s version of a historic mission, railroad station, grand hotel, and livery stable.

Platform 18 at Central Grand (adults only)
3626 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
602-739-1388 • centurygrandphx.com

This is a special train experience just for parents! Inspired by luxury train trips of the 1920s, Platform 18 is a cocktail lounge designed as a Presidential Pullman train car with windows that display the moving scenery “outside.” Embark on a 90-minute “train ride” with more than 45 cocktails influenced by classic Prohibition-era drinks, and a story chronicling the history of their unseen host, a railroad tycoon and bootlegger. You’re in for a one-of-a-kind experience that you’ve probably never had (especially in a bar!).

Southern Arizona Transportation Museum
414 N. Toole Ave., Tucson
520-623-2223 • tucsonhistoricdepot.org

All aboard! Visit the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum where your tour guide will explain the historic and present day uses of the former Southern Pacific Depot. History comes alive when you explore the restored Depot Lobby, the historic Locomotive #1673, and the Museum. Learn how the railroad impacted Tucson since its arrival in March 1880 all while cargo trains chug along by (it’s still an active depot, serving as a stop for Amtrak passenger trains).

Trail Dust Town
6541 E. Tanque Verde Rd., Tucson
520-296-4551 • traildusttown.com

Visit scenes from the “Old West” on the C.P. Huntington train. Board on the East side of the Chocolate Depot. Rides cost $3 each and may be purchased from Trail Dust Town Trading Co.

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium
16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park
623-935-WILD (9453) • wildlifeworld.com

Take a ride on the wild side! This African Safari Train is a 5/8-mile narrated ride through the simulated plains of Africa with views of endangered antelope, gazelles, ostriches and more.

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