Visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World on this exciting rail adventure.
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!
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.
- Rail travel on Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 3 nights including 1 night at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
- Breakfast and dinner at the Fred Harvey Restaurant
- Meals on the train included when upgrading to private sleeping accommodations
- Roundtrip travel aboard the Grand Canyon Railway
- Grand Canyon Freedom Tour
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. (B)
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. (D)
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.
Hotels include the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and Maswik Lodge.
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 featuring two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, converting 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. All travelers have access to the Sightseer Lounge. Roomette and Bedroom accommodations include all meals aboard the train.
Know before you go
Please be aware Amtrak may experience occasional schedule changes and service disruptions. Vacations By Rail recommends visiting the Amtrak web site prior to your departure for the latest information.
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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