With its dramatic scenery of enormous proportions, the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most spectacular landscapes. The only one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World located in North America, more than 4 million people visit the canyon each year, making it the most visited national park in the United States. Despite the Canyon’s rugged appearance it is a breathtaking and enjoyable trip for the whole family.
We opted to ditch the car and travel to the Grand Canyon by train and here is why we think you should too!
1. A BREAK FROM DRIVING
The Grand Canyon Railway is an excellent option for anyone who is tired of driving, especially if you have just made a long road trip to see the canyon. Why not let someone else do the driving so you can relax a bit? Aboard the train, you can kick back, order a few snacks & drinks, and enjoy the pretty landscapes of Arizona’s high desert.
2. ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
This is not your typical boring train ride through the countryside; it’s an entertainment packed adventure. Before your train ride, a wild west shoot-out will give you a taste of the west. Once on board, you will enjoy live country western music and interaction with wild west characters. Beware on your return journey; we encountered a train robbery!
3. ENJOY SIX CLASSES OF SERVICE
Whether your vacations are budget minded or luxury, Grand Canyon Railway offers a class for everyone. The most budget-friendly option is the Pullman car, a fully refurbished 1923 Harriman style coach car. Looking for the ultimate unforgettable experience, ride in the Observation Dome a glass-enclosed streamliner offering panoramic views. We opted for the middle route and rode in a first-class car, with reclining seats, plenty of leg room, and grand picture windows — we enjoyed the enhanced journey. No matter which class of service you choose, you’ll experience a truly memorable trip to the Grand Canyon.
4. EXTEND YOUR TIME AT THE CANYON
While the almost 4 hours at the Canyon was enough time for our family, you may wish to explore longer. Extend your time at the rim by combining your train ticket with lodging at Maswick Lodge. Located inside Grand Canyon National Park. The lodge is just steps from the canyon edge and a great way to ensure you enjoy the spectacular sunset and sunrise at the Grand Canyon. Your bags will even be transferred straight to your room when staying the night at the canyon.
5. SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE IN WILLIAMS, ARIZONA
The train departs from Williams, Arizona. Home to a small stretch of Route 66, Williams maintains the nostalgia of the historic highway. Our kids were fascinated to find out that Williams was the inspiration for the fictional town of Radiator Springs in the movie Cars. Just like the movie — the downtown area is full of neon signs, quirky cars, and motor hotels. Throw in some great restaurants and a healthy dose of Route 66 memorabilia and gifts, and Williams is a great place to start your Grand Canyon adventure.
Check out our video below for a peak into the fun we had on our Grand Canyon Railway journey.
NOW WHO WANTS TO SEE THE GRAND CANYON BY TRAIN?