Great Parks of the Southwest featuring the Grand Canyon
Discover the scenic southwestern U.S. on this 10-day rail tour through Canyon Country.
Your tour begins in Chicago or Los Angeles, where you'll board the legendary Southwest Chief for your journey to Flagstaff. From there travel by motorcoach to Williams, where you will board the vintage Grand Canyon Railway for the trip to Grand Canyon National Park for a 2-night stay at the South Rim of the Canyon.
However, that is just the beginning! Your travels continue by coach to Lake Powell for a narrated boat cruise to Antelope Canyon; Kanab, known as ‘Little Hollywood” due to the high number of Western TV shows and movies filmed in the area; Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Arches National Parks; a jetboat ride along the Colorado River, and a stay in Moab.
The rushing rivers, deep canyons, rugged wilderness and natural wonders of Arizona and Utah make this a southwestern adventure to remember!
This tour can start or end the tour in a city other than Chicago, based on your travel preference.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Rail travel on Amtrak (1 night on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 8 nights, including 2 nights in Moab at the Red Cliffs Lodge and 2 nights at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
- 12 meals, including lunch in the Rainbow Room
- Meals on the train when upgrading to private sleeping accommodations
- 5 National Parks: Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Arches
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
- Jetboat ride on the Colorado River
- Antelope Canyon Cruise
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage handling
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief
Board the legendary Southwest Chief in Chicago or Los Angeles for your journey to America's Southwest. Settle into your onboard accommodations, chat with your travel companions, and take the time to explore the train including the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge. Overnight train.
Day 2 - Southwest Chief to Flagstaff
Enjoy spectacular scenery from the comfort of your onboard accommodations, the Sightseer Lounge, or over a meal in the Dining Car as you travel to Flagstaff. Upon arrival, we'll board our waiting motorcoach and transfer to our hotel. Overnight Flagstaff, AZ
Day 3 - Grand Canyon National Park
This morning we travel by motorcoach to Williams, AZ, where we board the Grand Canyon Railway for the 90-minute journey to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We arrive in Grand Canyon Village in time for sightseeing and lunch on your own. Our narrated motorcoach tour takes us east along the South Rim to the Desert Watchtower viewpoint. We return to Canyon Village Area for two nights lodging in Grand Canyon National Park. Overnight Grand Canyon, AZ (B)
Day 4 - Grand Canyon at Leisure
Enjoy a day at leisure to discover Grand Canyon National Park. The park's complimentary shuttle buses pick-up right outside our rustic lodge and take you on tours around the park. Hop on and off at those stops you want to explore at greater length. Also, you might like to take a Ranger Talk or trail walk along the South Rim or take the shuttle west to Hermit's Rest viewpoint. Your tour manager can assist you with suggestions. Overnight Grand Canyon, AZ (B)
Day 5 - Antelope Canyon Cruise
After breakfast, we leave Grand Canyon National Park for Page, Arizona. As we head north out of the park, we stop at the Cameron Trading Post before having a delightful lunch in the Wahweap Lodge Rainbow Room. After lunch, meet at the boat launch on Lake Powell for a narrated scenic boat cruise to Antelope Canyon. This cruise provides an up-close opportunity to view the narrow, colorful, and sculpted sandstone geology of the lower end of Lake Powell. Our next stop is Kanab, Utah, known by locals as “Little Hollywood” due to its history as a filming location for many western movies and television series including Stagecoach, The Lone Ranger and Gunsmoke. Overnight Kanab, UT (B, L)
Day 6 - Zion National Park
Today we travel to Zion National Park, taking the Mount Carmel Tunnel, built in 1931, into the park. There will be time for lunch on your own at Zion Lodge before an afternoon guided tram tour. We will learn the geological history of Utah's first national park as we see the most stunning aspects of the Park, making several stops along the way for pictures and short walks. After touring the park, there is free time to explore on your own before departing the park from the east gate. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep along the sandstone slopes! Overnight Kanab, UT (B)
Day 7 - Bryce Canyon National Park / Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
We depart Kanab this morning and drive down Long Valley on our way to Bryce Canyon National Park. There is time for lunch on your own before our tour of the park. The pink rocks of Bryce were formed by the sediments of an ancient lake. The hoodoos and spires of the canyon seem to stand erect as if mimicking people frozen in time. We leave Bryce Canyon for a drive through one of the newest monuments in the parks system, Escalante/Grand Staircase. Escalante consists of 1.9 million acres of wilderness, cut by the Paria and Escalante Rivers. We will stop for panoramic pictures as well as at the Ranger Station to learn about the establishment of this area. Our day continues with the drive to Torrey, Utah for our overnight. The views from our hotel are breathtaking. Overnight Torrey, UT (B)
Day 8 - Capitol Reef National Park
We depart Torrey this morning and travel to Capitol Reef National Park. This remote and little-visited area of Utah is a pristine wilderness and is famous for its Navajo Sandstone that erodes into dome-like structures that resemble our nation's capital. We will stop at the park Visitor Center first and then make two stops at spectacular viewpoints for pictures and to see some ancient ancestral Pueblo petroglyphs. Next, we head to Green River, Utah, for lunch before continuing to Moab. Overnight Moab, UT. (B, L)
Day 9 - Arches National Park / Colorado River Jetboat Ride
Today begins with a tour of Arches National Park. This rugged area contains the largest concentration of sandstone arches, fins, spires and balancing rocks. The scenery is spectacular—be sure to bring your camera! After a delicious lunch, we will board our Jetboat to travel down the calm water section of the Colorado River. Moab is one of the few places where you can access the Colorado River along its 1,450-mile route to the sea. Enjoy the beauty of the wilderness as we float leisurely down the red rock cliffs that mark the southern boundary of Arches National Park. We return to our hotel this evening and gather with fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner. Overnight Moab, UT. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Tour Conclusion
Your journey concludes after breakfast today with a motorcoach transfer to Grand Junction for an optional return aboard the California Zephyr or flights after 1:00 pm. (B)
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Extend Your Vacation
Extend your rail vacation with new city packages in Chicago, Toronto, and Vancouver. Optional pre- or post-night packages include hotel accommodations for two nights and popular local sightseeing, and may be added to the beginning or end of qualifying rail vacations.
Look for the Extend Your Vacation icon to identify those vacations which offer new city stay packages. Ask your rail specialist for details about these pre- and post-night extensions.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the DoubleTree by Hilton (Flagstaff), Maswik Lodge (Grand Canyon), Hampton Inn (Kanab), Capitol Reef Resort (Torrey), and Red Cliffs Lodge (Moab).
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. Roomette and Bedroom accommodations include all meals aboard the train.
+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.
Click here to view testimonials for Great Parks of the Southwest featuring the Grand Canyon.
All the services were top notch! It was a joy to travel with a group of people who were enjoying the trip also. No complaints!
This tour has been a trip of a lifetime - the areas visited were majestic and unforgettable.
There was not one moment that I regretted taking this tour. I have travelled extensively throughout the world - always with tours and usually would say that there was a complaint or 2 - not so on this tour! My first by Rail - won't be my last.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|15th May 2019||$2,705||Book Now|
|22nd May 2019||$2,705||Book Now|
|8th September 2019||$2,705||Book Now|
|18th September 2019||$2,705||Book Now|
|25th September 2019||$2,705||Book Now|
|15th May 2019||$3,194||Book Now|
|22nd May 2019||$3,194||Book Now|
|8th September 2019||$3,194||Book Now|
|18th September 2019||$3,194||Book Now|
|25th September 2019||$3,194||Book Now|
|15th May 2019||$3,450||Book Now|
|22nd May 2019||$3,450||Book Now|
|8th September 2019||$3,450||Book Now|
|18th September 2019||$3,450||Book Now|
|25th September 2019||$3,450||Book Now|
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Amtrak Coach: Departs 15th May 2019 ($2,705), 22nd May 2019 ($2,705), 8th September 2019 ($2,705), 18th September 2019 ($2,705), 25th September 2019 ($2,705)
Amtrak Roomette: Departs 15th May 2019 ($3,194), 22nd May 2019 ($3,194), 8th September 2019 ($3,194), 18th September 2019 ($3,194), 25th September 2019 ($3,194)
Amtrak Bedroom: Departs 15th May 2019 ($3,450), 22nd May 2019 ($3,450), 8th September 2019 ($3,450), 18th September 2019 ($3,450), 25th September 2019 ($3,450)
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