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Expert Advice, News, Tour Resources & More - Destination Spotlight - National Parks

Vacations By Rail's Expert Advice, News, Tour Resources & More keeps you up to date with all the latest exciting train vacation and train tour options available throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Beyond.

Spotlight On: Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon astounds the mind, lifts the spirit, and is recognized not only as a national park but also as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is no wonder if is one of the World's greatest attractions and a popular vacation destination.


President Theodore Roosevelt said it best: "The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison—beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world.” The Grand Canyon astounds the mind, lifts the spirit, and is recognized not only as a national park but also as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is no wonder it is one of the World’s greatest attractions and a popular destination on many USA rail vacations.

Must-see sights:

  • Lipan Point
    Lipan Point is the best place to see the Grand Canyon’s famed sunsets. Watching the changing light dance across the red rocks of the canyon walls is nothing less than a transformative experience.
  • North Rim
    The North Rim is the “road less traveled” of the Grand Canyon. Here, you’ll find a ruggedly beautiful terrain free of the crowds that can sometimes congest the South Rim. The best view of the North Rim is at Bright Angel Point, which can be accessed by trail.
  • Desert View Watchtower
    Designed to resemble Ancient Pueblo watchtowers, this striking architectural feature was built in 1932 and is now a designated National Historic Landmark. From the top of the 70-foot watchtower, you’ll have wide-ranging views of the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert.
  • Buckley O’Neill’s Cabin
    First constructed in 1890 by a member of Roosevelt’s “rough riders,” this structure ranks as the oldest still standing on the South Rim. With rich history, memorable views and even a place on the National Register of Historic Places, the cabin draws frequent visitors.
  • Hopi Point
    Named after the prominent Native American tribe, Hopi Point marks one of the best and most popular viewpoints along the canyon’s western rim. From here, you’ll have clear views of a group of mesas named after ancient Egyptian figures.

Top activities:

1. Ride the Grand Canyon Railway
In the days of the old Wild West, this historic Grand Canyon Railway was used to transport ore. Now, it brings travelers on a scenic journey to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Board the train for an authentic, practical and beautiful way to reach the Grand Canyon from nearby Williams, Arizona.


2. 
Marvelous sights by Motorcoach
A Freedom Tour of the Grand Canyon invites you to take in some of the South Rim’s most striking views, all from the comfort of a motorcoach. As you wind down picturesque roads, take time to wonder over the cliffs and mesas of Mohave Point, the depths of the Abyss and the stone architecture of Hermit’s Rest, a National Historic Landmark.


3. Explore a museum
The Grand Canyon not only offers natural beauty to engage the sense but also a range of museums to enrich the mind. Open year-round, the South Rim’s Yavapai Geology Museum features fossil records, panoramic views and a variety of geological exhibits sure to entertain visitors interested in the Grand Canyon’s breathtaking plateaus and cliffs.

4. Take a Hike
Hiking trails crisscross the canyon, and provide a great way to get up-close and personal with its landscape. There are many trails in Grand Canyon National Park that can accommodate those of most fitness levels. 

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