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Grand Canyon Railway Rails to the Rim Adventure

4.5 stars(72 reviews)

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

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6 days From $1,474 per person
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2021 Tour code: WC-GCRR-21

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, spend the rest of the time exploring the Canyon at leisure. Make sure to visit important sites such as the Desert View Watchtower and the beautiful Colorado River or just take in the stunning sunset as your time at this exceptional wonder comes to an end.

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.


*The Freedom Tour has suspended operations through September 2, 2021 due to the coronavirus.

  • 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; Desert View Watchtower with one of the few views of the bottom of the Canyon and the Colorado River; and Bright Angel Lodge with its small museum honoring Fred Harvey, who played a prominent role in popularizing the Grand Canyon. 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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4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 72 reviews

  1. 5 stars
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  3. 3 stars
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  5. 1 star


5 stars

Submitted 28 Mar 2020

This was a great trip and a wonderful experience

Collected by Vacations By Rail


4 stars

Submitted 07 Dec 2019

Agent helped us with problem with our initial train trip from Milwaukee to Chicago even though it wasn't part of VBR package. Wish the itinerary had been available before committing to the trip as there were some very tight and early connections that ended up not being a problem. All in all, we very much enjoyed our trip and met some very nice people along the way.

Collected by Vacations By Rail


4 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2019

In coach it was a long day+, coming back in an upgraded roomette the trip back was alot better for the most part. Not too much running around etc. The car attendant was the best very attentive and courteous. The hotel were better than average except for the lodge night. The room was great but being over 65 and coming from an altitude of <600' to 7200' too long of a walk to the main building without a couple of stops to catch our breath, nobody to give us a ride. The grand canyon railroad was a great ride, the car attendants were good and informative. And for the canyon itself well pictures do not do it was big,deep and very impressive, need to see it for yourself.

Collected by Vacations By Rail


5 stars

Submitted 22 Sep 2019

Expertly arranged as definitely exactly what was described. A bucket list trip handled to perfection.

Collected by Vacations By Rail


5 stars

Submitted 09 Sep 2019

Awesome staff - (helpful , kind, patient ),clean quarters, delicious food. Would recommend experience to others

Collected by Vacations By Rail


5 stars

Submitted 07 Jul 2019

well planned, good job. Enjoyed it.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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