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Southwest Chief with the Grand Canyon - Chicago to Los Angeles

4.5 stars(6 reviews)

Ride the rails west to the American frontier and experience the magnificent Grand Canyon up close and personal.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
6 days From $1,444 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2022 Tour code: WC-SGCW-22

About the tour

Trek through the changing landscapes of America's southwest as you travel from Chicago to Los Angeles. You'll have stunning views of everything from snow-capped mountains to sparkling cities.

Kick off this amazing train tour with deluxe accommodations on the Southwest Chief as you depart Chicago and head toward Arizona. You'll arrive at the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon to experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A tour is included for you to learn about this magnificent sight that was created over millions of years. The next day you have all morning to explore the Grand Canyon on your own before heading back south to Williams on a lively train ride.

An overnight journey brings you into Los Angeles, where you will awake in this buzzing California city. The day is yours to explore ultra-hip LA's museums, beaches, or cuisine.

This vacation is also available from Los Angeles to Chicago based on your travel preference.


What’s included


Day 1 - Depart Chicago westbound on Amtrak's Southwest Chief

Get set for adventure as you board the Southwest Chief at Chicago's historic Union Station. Settle in your comfortable reclining seat with leg rest or private room (upgraded passengers) for a mid-afternoon departure. Relax, read or listen to music. Be sure to see the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car with its swivel seats and expansive views. Have a glass of wine and toast to the marvelous journey ahead. You'll pass through the prairie, the plains and the mighty Mississippi River. Overnight train.

Day 2 - Arrive Flagstaff, Arizona

As you head west, you'll notice the changing scenery, where snow-capped mountains and lush valleys come into view. Relax as you spend the day riding the rails over Raton Pass, elevation of 7834 feet, through New Mexico and Arizona. You'll arrive in Flagstaff, Arizona just before 9 p.m. and check into the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. Overnight Williams.

Day 3 - The Grand Canyon and Historic Grand Canyon Railway Train

This morning, enjoy breakfast at the Fred Harvey Restaurant and board the historic Grand Canyon Railway for a ride to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Carved over several millennia through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau, the Grand Canyon is seen by more than five million visitors who come from all over the world each year. From any perspective, this great chasm is unsurpassed in size, color and geological importance. After your tour, you are free to explore the Grand Canyon South Rim or check in to your hotel. Overnight Grand Canyon.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Discover the Grand Canyon on your own

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. Relax at the historic Grand Canyon Railway hotel before transferring to Flagstaff tonight for your train west to Los Angeles. After such a full day, you'll be ready for a good night's rest aboard the Southwest Chief. Overnight train.

  • Dinner
Day 5 - Arrive in Los Angeles -- Hooray for Hollywood!

Your train arrives in LA's Union Station in the morning and you'll check into your hotel before you head out to explore this cosmopolitan city. See the extensive art collections in the J. Paul Getty Center or the La Brea Tar Pits on Museum Row. Who knows which Hollywood stars you'll run into while shopping on Rodeo Drive or Melrose Avenue? No trip to LA would be complete without visiting Venice Beach Boardwalk, TCL Chinese Theater or the Santa Monica Pier. Overnight Los Angeles.

Day 6 - The tour ends

Plan to stay in Los Angeles for another day or two. Catch all the action at Universal Studios Hollywood, Warner Bros. Studios and Disneyland. Take an Amtrak train back to your city of origin or transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

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

Please Note

*Arrival and Departure times are subject to change. Please be advised that passengers traveling on Southwest Chief trains may encounter delays of approximately three to six hours due to heavy congestion, speed restrictions and other operating conditions.

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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Millennium Biltmore, Los Angeles

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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 · 6 reviews

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

Leslie S, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

4 stars

Submitted 20 Dec 2018

The planning and organization was good. The selection of hotels was very good

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Mayra, P, Morton Grove, IL

4 stars

Submitted 11 Nov 2018

Thanks for your help coordinating our trip. I had a fantastic time on my vacation, the train experience was unbelievable, it's too bad that this form of travel has gone by the wayside and, it's too bad that it is so expensive to travel by rail. The coach itself was clean and the accommodations made by our coach attendant were great, they (we had two, Julio and Brian, were both extremely jovial, and considerate of our concerns. They treated my son who is seven years old very well. The dining room staff was also very accommodating, great service and great attitudes on the dining car. Moses, the head chief in the dining car ran a tight ship, John a very senior gentlemen compared to the rest was amazingly cordial and served us wonderfully. This is the best vacation we have had, the combination of the overnighter in the roomette, the dining car, and the Grand Canyon tour were just amazing. Thank you ! ! !

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Rebecca R, Brookville, MD

5 stars

Submitted 09 Oct 2018

Fabulous vacation planning by our Vacations By Rail agent. She even planned an extra day for us to stay in the Grand Canyon and our family enjoyed the beauty for another day. Thanks Vacations by Rail for letting us see our beautiful country (USA) and leaving the 'driving' to Amtrak.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Diane S, Tonawanda, NY

5 stars

Submitted 26 May 2018

Everything was planned for us from beginning to end but still gave us the freedom to explore once in the cities

Collected by Vacations By Rail

James H, Woonona, New South Wales, AUS

5 stars

Submitted 14 Feb 2018

All arrangement were carried out without any fuss. We had great accommodation especially in LA. A lovely way to end the holiday. Smooth operation and staff was always available for any inquiry. Itinerary was very well thought out

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Crystal B, Madison, WI

4 stars

Submitted 12 Dec 2017

Excellent customer service when we needed to switch lodging due to train delay and weather.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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