Ride the rails west to the American frontier and experience the magnificent Grand Canyon up close and personal.
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.
- Transportation aboard Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 3 nights including a night at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
- Dinner and breakfast at the Fred Harvey Restaurant in Williams, Arizona
- Train travel on the Grand Canyon Railway
- Grand Canyon Freedom Tour
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. (B)
Day 4 - Discover the Grand Canyon on your own
Spend the morning exploring the South Rim from many different vistas. Photo buffs will want to capture the best shots at sunrise. The overlooks along Desert View Drive and Hermit Road are some of the great viewing spots. In the afternoon, board the historic Grand Canyon Railway southbound back to Williams. Enjoy the ride and the grand folklore shared by the conductors and strolling musicians as well as a few surprises along the way. Have dinner at the Fred Harvey Restaurant and board the Southwest Chief at 9:00 p.m., heading westbound to Los Angeles. Overnight train. (D)
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.
Hotels include the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, Maswik Lodge, and Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
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.
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.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
Tour Dates & Prices
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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.