When the town of Jerome was busily mining copper, a railway was built to link the booming town with the territorial capital at nearby Prescott. Because of the rugged mountains between Jerome and Prescott, the railroad was forced to take a longer but less difficult route north along the Verde River before turning south toward Prescott. Today, you can ride these same tracks aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad. The 4-hour route through the canyon traverses the remains of a copper smelter and a stretch of unspoiled desert, inaccessible by car and part of Prescott National Forest. The views of the rocky canyon walls and green waters of the Verde River are quite dramatic, and if you look closely along the way, you’ll see ancient Sinagua cliff dwellings. In late winter and early spring, nesting bald eagles can also be spotted. Although the Grand Canyon Railway travels to a more impressive destination, this is a more scenic excursion.