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Grand Canyon Railway Rails to the Rim Adventure

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6 days From $1,176 per person
4.3 stars(142 reviews)
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Heritage Tour

Visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World on this exciting rail adventure.

Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2024 Tour code: WC-GCRR-24

About the tour

The Grand Canyon is one of the world's top natural attractions. Visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World on this exciting rail adventure. Beginning in Chicago, board Amtrak's Southwest Chief bound for Flagstaff, Arizona, the gateway to the Canyon. Upon arriving in Flagstaff, catch the historic Grand Canyon Railway for your journey to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This is the same rail route that great Presidents such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower once took. Once at the South Rim embark on a narrated motor coach tour to discover the most scenic views.

After your day of guided sightseeing, take in the stunning sunset as you look out at this exceptional wonder. Spend the next morning, at the Grand Canyon at leisure, walking the Rim Trail or visiting historic buildings. 

This 6-day rail vacation includes round-trip travel on Amtrak's Southwest Chief, roundtrip travel on the Grand Canyon Railway, hotel accommodations, sightseeing at the Grand Canyon, and more!

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief

Board Amtrak's Southwest Chief and prepare for your afternoon departure for Flagstaff, Arizona. Make the most of your time on the train, meeting your fellow travelers and ensuring a visit to the Sightseer Lounge with its floor-to-ceiling windows offering impressive views of the picture-perfect scenery passing before you. As your train crosses the mighty Mississippi, cutting across Illinois, briefly into Iowa, and then onto Missouri, enjoy a hot meal in the Dining Car before retiring for the evening. Overnight train.

Day 2 - Williams, Arizona

The sun rises as you leave Kansas and travel through southern Colorado. Start your day with breakfast in the Dining Car followed by a day of relaxing while watching the scenery change. Your journey today takes you through Colorado and New Mexico before arriving in Arizona. You are scheduled to arrive in Flagstaff this evening, where a shuttle waits to transfer you from the rail station to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. Overnight Williams.

Day 3 - Grand Canyon Railway

Wake-up early and enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet at the Fred Harvey Restaurant. Then board the vintage rail cars of the Grand Canyon Railway for a 9:30 am departure to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Travel the same route as other notable railway passengers before you including William Howard Taft, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Clark Gable, Jimmy Durante, and Doris Day. Upon arrival, you will be met by tour buses waiting to take you on a Freedom Tour of the Grand Canyon. This narrated motorcoach tour of the South Rim visits the most scenic overlooks of the canyon, with stops at breathtaking vistas including Mohave Point, Pima Point, the Abyss, and Hermits Rest. Overnight Maswik Lodge.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Grand Canyon at your Leisure

Spend the morning exploring the South Rim on your own or take another guided tour. There are several historical buildings worth visiting including Buckey O'Neill's Cabin, the longest continually standing structure in the South Rim; and Bright Angel Lodge with its small museum honoring Fred Harvey, who played a prominent role in popularizing the Grand Canyon. Opt to visit Mary Colter's Lookout Studio and Hopi House, or take the shuttle to the Geology Museum at Yavapai Point or to the Visitor Center. Board the Grand Canyon Railway southbound to Williams Depot at 3:30 pm. Dinner this evening is at the Fred Harvey Restaurant. Overnight Williams.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 5 - Southwest Chief to Chicago

Your return journey to Chicago begins with an early morning wake-up call for your transfer to Flagstaff to board Amtrak's Southwest Chief to Chicago. The train is due to depart Flagstaff at 4:20 AM (5:20 during daylight savings). Nap, read a book or spend the day marveling at the canyons, deserts, mountains, missions, pueblos, and ranches that comprise the picturesque scenery. Overnight train.

Please note: Early morning transfer time subject to change subject to Amtrak's schedule.

Day 6 - Chicago

Awake to the wheat fields of the Midwest this morning. Leisurely prepare for your afternoon arrival in Chicago, where your journey concludes. You may elect to extend your stay in the Windy City with a variety of hotel and sightseeing packages.

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Amtrak accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette and Bedroom.

Coach accommodations include a reclining seat with leg rest.

Roomette accommodations include a private cabin that features two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, which converts to an upper and lower berth at night.

Bedroom accommodations feature a sofa and chair by day and upper and lower berth by night. Bedroom accommodations also include a sink and self-enclosed toilet and shower.


This vacation can be booked online for departures from the following Amtrak stations: Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, and Albuquerque. For other departure cities, please select the Chicago location, and a rail specialist will contact you within 48 hours with a package customized with a departure from your most convenient Amtrak station.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Maswik Lodge - Grand Canyon Lodges, Grand Canyon National Park

Maswik Lodge - Grand Canyon Lodges, Grand Canyon National Park

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Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, Williams

Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, Williams

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Trains

Amtrak's Southwest Chief
Grand Canyon Railway

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Reviews

4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 142 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (69)
  2. 4 stars
    (61)
  3. 3 stars
    (6)
  4. 2 stars
    (4)
  5. 1 star
    (2)

CONNIE DODSON

5 stars

Submitted 05 Feb 2024

Married 33 yrs and our 1st train trip together! We had no idea what to expect and were very happy with all aspects of the vacation by rail. First, Dorian D at vacations by rail is an asset to the company. She answered alllll of my questions kindly and patiently. Had she not been so, i doubt l would have booked as it was a spur of the moment decision to call. Next, the Amtrak meals and service were outstanding! Picture riding along at sunset, enjoying a delicious 3 course meal, prepared and served with a rocking smile! The Grand Canyon Railway hotel, Judy and Lindsey shuttled us safely, the train and robbers were great, as were the musicians and conductors/guides. Maswik staff Beau, Chelsea, and team were welcoming, kind, and helpful. We will travel.this.way again

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STEPHEN HOLLOWAY

5 stars

Submitted 24 Jan 2024

And the adventure begins

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THERESA O'SULLIVAN

4 stars

Submitted 16 Jan 2024

Good trip to Grand canyon but left sleep deprived due to timing of getting off train at 3 am,then picked up at 8 to get to next destination,and scenic bus trip due to hotel not letting us in before 3 pm. Should have been better organized. Grand canyon is beautiful. Train staff fantastic. Meals were good. Get a sleeping car. Forget roommette. No sleep either train rocking

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Laura Lowery

5 stars

Submitted 13 Jan 2024

This was our first vacation by rail and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Will definitely try it again.

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CATHERINE ARNS

5 stars

Submitted 10 Jan 2024

It was nice having someone else arrange the tour. My one recommendation would be to offer a two night stayover at the Grand Canyon. For the total cost and time invested in the trip, an extra full day at the Grand Canyon would have been wonderful. I tried to ask for that after my days were changed due to Christmas but was told it was not possible.

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RALPH W MEYER

4 stars

Submitted 26 Nov 2023

We chose the train and it was our first rail trip. The first leg provided excellent service. Our attendant, Steven was phenomenal. The food and service in the dining car were very good both ways. On our return trip we had an attendant, Rashad, who was definitely sub par. He was very difficult to find if you needed anything. He turned our roomette to a bedroom at a ridiculously early hour (7:30) without checking with us first. He was quite a disappointment. Both directions, Southwest Chief, were very rough trips. Clearly the rails needed maintenance. The sleeping cars could also use refurbishing. It’s time to put money into Amtrak.

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