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Grand Canyon Railway Rails to the Rim Adventure

You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
6 days From $1,188 per person
4.3 stars(164 reviews)
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!


What’s included


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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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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Amtrak's Southwest Chief
Grand Canyon Railway

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4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 164 reviews

  1. 5 stars
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  5. 1 star


5 stars

Submitted 25 Jun 2024

Great ride just late

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 11 Jun 2024

Everyone was very polite, friendly and helpful. Hotels and train were clean and comfortable. We are going to take another trip.

Collected by Trustpilot


4 stars

Submitted 09 Jun 2024

staff was awesome, great train ride.

Collected by Trustpilot

Susan Duarte customer

2 stars

Submitted 08 Jun 2024

The hotel and train schedules were quite inferior. Trains ran late and the food on the train was not very good. I think you need to work with Amtra to get the situation improved.

from Vacations By Rail
We are sorry the level of service provided by Amtrak did not live up to your expectations. We thank you for the feedback and will forward it to Amtrak directly. All feedback is valid and valuable for improvement.
1 comment

Collected by Trustpilot

Hol A Nunn

5 stars

Submitted 03 Jun 2024

It was well planned, communication was beyond expectation, the lodging & restaurants were first-rate, and ALL the staff; train, lodging, restaurants & buses were all helpful, seemed to love their jobs and made it all fun! And the Grand Canyon - mind-blowing!

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 29 May 2024

Safe and comfortable way to see the canyon

Collected by Trustpilot

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