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Grand Canyon Railway Rails to the Rim Adventure

4.4 stars(93 reviews)

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

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
6 days From $1,499 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2022 Tour code: WC-GCRR-22

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 a 3:00 pm 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 series of presentations from volunteer park rangers as part of the Trails & Rails program (seasonal). Enjoy hearing stories and viewing artifacts from the region as your travel through Colorado and New Mexico. Your train arrives in Flagstaff, Arizona around 9:30 this evening. A shuttle will transfer you from the rail station to your 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

Wake-up early and transfer to Flagstaff to board Amtrak's Southwest Chief to Chicago. 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.

Day 6 - Chicago

Awake to the wheat fields of the Midwest this morning. Leisurely prepare for your arrival in Chicago a little after 3:15 pm. 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.

Please note
Recommended Airport
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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4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 93 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star


4 stars

Submitted 21/Nov

It was great fun and I would book with them again. Everyone we dealt with were helpful and pleasant; from those taking our reservations, the Amtrak staff, the folks at the Grand Canyon Rail, and the staff at the hotels. Because this was our first rail trip, we were sometimes confused/concerned about what to expect.

Collected by Trustpilot


4 stars

Submitted 21/Nov

Bedroom was perfect for two people. Difficult to control the temperature on the train going westbound so it got a little too warm. West bound crew for train car and dining were rather rude and disrespectful and we were not the only ones that felt that way. East bound crew coming back was a lot nicer and much more helpful and respectful.

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5 stars

Submitted 19/Nov

Everything was planned perfect. All connections, tours, stays and meals were very well handled. Luggage transfers were always done for us, and the canyon was spectacular site. We all enjoyed the rail trip and can't wait to plan another trip with Vacations by Rails.

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3 stars

Submitted 14/Nov

The sleeper rooms were tight. If we had known ahead of time that there was no room to elevate my legs in these rooms, we would have asked for a room with a recliner. Also, returning from lunch on our final trip back to Chicago, I entered the room just as the train lurched. I, of course, was holding onto the side of the doorway. However, my leg caught on the side of the lever that elevates the beds for sleepers. It started bleeding so I put pressure on it. I am as yet having it bleed and must keep a tight bandage on it. I should have reported it at that time and taken photos of it. However, the train had been delayed almost 5 hours due to engine blowing up and then our favorite chef having to be taken off to the hospital. Our prayers are with him. Food was great and the personnel were exceptional. We had to reschedule our flight home and did so from the train. There were no flights available until the next morning. We were advised that Amtrak would put us up overnight, give us breakfast the next morning, provide transport to the airport.. However, we were NOT advised that in ourder to get this, we would have to wait for the shuttle BACK to AMTRAK from the hotel. Have breakfast and get transport from there. This meant our flight should have been made for late afternoon or evening. We had tickets for the theatre at home Monday evening, meaning we would miss that by a later flight.The hotel provides no airport shuttle and the cost, with the tip which the driver had to put in, as he was in a hurry and I was not familiar with the Chicago cab credit card macines, came to $65.00. The views from the train weree mostly beautiful and, of course, the Grand Canyon was spectacular. The hotel room at the Grand Canyon was very nice.

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5 stars

Submitted 11/Nov

The trip was very good . . . affordable. The cost is worth the wonderful sites.

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5 stars

Submitted 6/Nov

A wonderful trip, well thought through.

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