The historic Grand Canyon Railway, which is based some 60 miles to the south of the canyon in Williams, Arizona, has been a fixture in the area for over 100 years. Embarking on its maiden journey in 1901, the Grand Canyon Railway was in existence even before the Grand Canyon was made into a national park on February 26, 1919. In fact, the railway’s conception even predates Arizona becoming a state, which occurred on February 14, 1912. In the early part of the 20th century, the Grand Canyon Railway was the primary line of travel used by visitors to reach the Grand Canyon, and the great Grand Canyon train continues to bring eager travelers along the very same route. Together with the Fred Harvey Company, which revolutionized American travel services in the way of restaurants and hotels, the Grand Canyon Railway is responsible for commissioning and building some of the Grand Canyon’s most recognized historic structures. The Grand Canyon Railway offers a number of package deals that can include train trips, accommodations and meals, which should be of consideration to anyone planning Grand Canyon vacations.
The Grand Canyon train is responsible for helping develop Grand Canyon National Park into the tourist destination that it is today. Long before Grand Canyon helicopter tours, Grand Canyon mule rides and other Grand Canyon tours were offered, the Grand Canyon Railway tour was awarding visitors with inspirational views of one of the country’s greatest attractions. When you ride the Grand Canyon train today, you will have the opportunity to select from its different cars and varying levels of service. Generally, from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend, the prices of a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway increase a bit, but year round you can expect rates to start at around $65-$70 for adults, and top out at around $170. On the train’s Budd and Pullman coach cars, the trip is most basic, but nonetheless rewarding. On the Budd cars, air-conditioning keeps you cool during the hot summer months, and on the Pullman cars, the large windows open so you can savor the fresh air. Complimentary soft drinks are served when you ride in one of these two coach options. With the Club Class option, a mahogany cash bar serves up refreshing drinks and complimentary coffee and pastries are offered, as well as soft drinks.
Grand Canyon Railway
The Grand Canyon Railway also features 4 First-Class cars that offer more space and reclining seats to compliment the extra-large windows. In addition to the complimentary items offered in the Club Class cars, guests in First Class are served champagne on their return trip to Williams. For a bit more money than you’ll pay in First Class, you can ride in one of the first class cars that features an observation dome. On these Dome Cars, the service attendants go the extra mile to ensure your comfort, and in addition to complimentary food and drink items, guests can order from a list of top-shelf spirits, or enjoy a cool beer or a nice glass of wine. However, if you have the money to spend and want the ultimate Grand Canyon Railway experience, then you can shell out the extra dough for a ride on the Luxury Parlor Car. Plush seating and an excellent private bar can be found on the train’s Luxury Parlor Car, and guests have the chance to step out on the car’s open-air platform for a truly unique experience. It is important to note that children under 11 years of age are not permitted in the dome cars, and that the Luxury Parlor Cars forbid children passengers under the age of 10. Also, for guests who want to experience a bit more on their layover at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, there is the option to add a Grand Canyon bus tour to the agenda. These motorcoach tours last about 1.5 hours and include a knowledgeable guide and different meal options. These added bus tours are exclusive only to train passengers and are quite affordable to boot.
As already mentioned, a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway can be included in any one of the various package deals that the company offers. These can include stays at one of the many Williams hotels, or can involve accommodations at the Grand Canyon hotels or RV park. But, if you are looking for the full experience, you might choose a package that has you staying in the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. Located just two blocks from downtown Williams and the famous Route 66, the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is among the finest you will find in the Flagstaff/Grand Canyon area. Among the hotel facilities are sports courts, a large indoor pool, a nice lounge and a souvenir gift shop. Guests here can choose from a selection of stylish guestrooms, from the standard rooms to the spacious suites. Among the 287 spacious-enough standard rooms, the featured amenities include two queen beds, cable television, coffee makers and comfortable full bathrooms. The 10 suites found at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel offer a separate living area and fully equipped kitchenettes, in addition to the standard amenities. If you want to live extra-large, you can attempt to book the exclusive Rail Baron Suite, which tops out at over 1,000 square feet. Regardless of the package you choose, a trip on the historic Grand Canyon train is sure to provide you and your family or friends with wonderful lifelong memories.