By Train, Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon Depot is only one of three remaining of 14 log depots built. This beautiful building is part of the Grand Canyon National Park Historic District and is a National Historic Landmark. It was designed by architect Francis W. Wilson of Santa Barbara, Calif., and built in 1909. Not far from the station is one of many historic building located within the Grand Canyon park area. El Tovar Hotel was built conveniently near so passengers had a place to stay to enjoy the park.
AMTRAK stops at Williams and Flagstaff, Arizona.
Shuttle service runs from Flagstaff to the South Rim daily. The Grand Canyon Railway runs a daily excursion train from Williams to the South Rim. The train leaves Williams at approximately
10:00 a.m. and arrives at the canyon by noon. It leaves the canyon at 3:30 p.m. and arrives back at Williams about 5:00 p.m.
From I-40 exit onto Highway 64 (Exit 165, just east of Williams). Head north on Highway 64 directly to the South Rim (approximately 60 miles).
I booked my trip through the local American Automobile Association office (I am a 25 yr member). In 2001 I paid $45 per person however check with the railroad for more recent prices. We got on the train at Williams, Arizona and rode the 1.5 hr so the rim admiring the scenic landscapes along the way.
The Grand Canyon Railway offers a unique opportunity to travel within a National Park system. In fact, it's the only railroad doing so in the United States.
As we drove into Grand Canyon Village, the train was leaving the depot as people waved and the whistle sounded. I think this would be a relaxing way to see the canyon!
The depot was built in 1905 and the railway operated within the park until it was retired in 1968. The railway was brought back into service in 1989 and has been serving the public ever since.
Grand Canyon Rim Tours provide a 1 1/2 hour tour charging $28.00 for adults and $17.00 per youth/child. Should you wish to enjoy a buffet lunch, add $10 per person to your ticket price. If a simpler meal is more to your liking, a box lunch can be ordered by adding $10 per person to your ticket price, also.
There are five classes of service when taking the overnight tours of two days or more. See the website for prices. There is A DAY OUT WITH THOMAS (scheduled this year for May 11-13; May 18-20, 2007) The cost per adult/child ticket is $16.00.
We didn't take the train this visit, but if we return I would like to see the highlights of the canyon by this means!
Starting at the cute railway town of Williams, about 30 miles south of the Grand Canyon, the train takes you to the edge of the South Rim. The first train leaves daily (except during extreme weather) at 10 am.
A sample rate, for a family of four, with round-trip coach, plus a 1-1/2 hour bus tour of the South Rim, would be $324.10. That might sound like a lot, but believe me, it is definitely worthwhile. There's no driving, no traffic, no parking and stress-free. The only thing you need to be concerned with is getting to the train on time...
This is something I didn't actually do, but it does look like a fun journey.
During the summer there are 2 trains daily from Williams, Az going to The Grand Canyon with a journey time of 2 and a quarter hours. The trains themselves are refurbished vintage engines and carriages and the journey includes commentary as well as various refreshment options.
Prices vary from $60 for coach class up to $155 for the Parlor Car.
Website has all the info as well as package deals including accommodation at the Railway Hotel in Williams (Which I might add also looks pretty good).
The best way to reach Grand Canyon is by car.There are a few bus services from the closests main cities around aswell .Another good option may be go to Flagstaff by train and then rent a car or take a bus till Grand Canyon.Flagstaff is located about 90 miles away from Grand Canyon.
Picture taken at Flagstaff train station.
The Grand Canyon Railway is a must for train buffs. This steam railway leaves the station at Williams, (having first seen the Wild West Shootout) and transports you to the Grand Canyon is any of 5 classes or travel - I kid you not !
Coach class,- a restored 1923 Harriman-style Pullman car , -$58 Adult
Club Class - $79 Adult
First Class -$116 - Adult
Observation Dome - $137. Adult
Luxury Parlor Car. - $147 - Adult.
Of course the latter 4 come at a price!
Club Class, has complimentary soft drinks. and then a few more niceties are added in the next classes, until you get to Luxury, where there is a private bar, outside is an open rear platform for photo's, fresh fruit, pastries, coffee, etc., champagne and appetizers compliment the return journey.
Train journey starts at 10.00am. arrives at the Canyon at 12.15 p.m., returns 3.30 p.m. arrives at Williams at 5.45 p.m.
We did watch the shootout, but had an escorted tour booked for the Canyon so could not take the train, but it looks great fun.
The trains Depart Williams 10:00 a.m. Arrive Grand Canyon 12:15 a.m. Depart Grand Canyon 3:30 p.m. Arrive Williams 5:45 p.m.
From January 1 up to Memorial Day weekend will be using 1950 diesel engine.
From Memorial Day weekend through the summer season (September) will use the steam engine.
You can drive or you can catch THE TRAIN from Williams , Arizona .
I would take The Train to the Canyon , matter of fact I did !