Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Scenic Railroads Across the Southwest

When you bring attendees aboard scenic railroads, you will be met with delight and excitement

By Todd R. Berger

6.5.24 Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad from Chama, New Mexico, to Antonito, Colorado
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad || Photo by Bob, courtesy of Adobe

From the Rocky Mountains to sweeping desertscapes, the Southwest is home to some of the most spectacular landscapes in the U.S. When gathering in the region, bringing your attendees aboard a scenic railroad will be met with delight and excitement. Here are some of Southwest Meetings + Events’ favorites.

Dating to 1880, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad—departing from Chama, New Mexico (two hours north of Santa Fe), and Antonito, Colorado—is the highest elevation and longest (64 miles) steam-powered train route in the U.S. The railroad can put together group programs during the summer (the train operates June through October), and meeting planners can also rent the entire train for group excursions. 

The Heber Valley Railroad departs from Heber City, Utah, 45 minutes from Salt Lake City and 15 minutes from Park City in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains.  The historic 16-mile route uses three steam locomotives and winds along Deer Creek Reservoir, the Provo River, and Provo Canyon before arriving in Vivian Park. Small groups can reserve the caboose.

Some 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, the Nevada Southern Railway embarks from Boulder City Station in Boulder City, Nevada, and runs 4 spectacular miles to Railroad Pass, near Hoover Dam. Groups can book the entire train for up to 200 eventgoers, with the rentable dining car seating 48 at a time. 

Departing from Clarkdale, Arizona, 30 minutes from Sedona and two hours north of Phoenix, the Verde Canyon Railroad traces the Verde River and Verde Canyon to Perkinsville, a route that includes stunning views of red rock formations and ruins of ancient Native American dwellings.