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Grand Canyon Train - The Grand Canyon Train: A Special Way to Visit a Natural Wonder

williams historic depot travelers

The Grand Canyon in Arizona is a natural wonder that is a vacation destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. One special way to see this spectacular attraction is by traveling on the Grand Canyon train. The train takes you to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The train depot at the Grand Canyon is located near the public parking lots and lodging facilities. It is just a short walk from the rim of the canyon.

The Grand Canyon Railway is the official name of the Grand Canyon train. It carries over 200,000 travelers each year. The train leaves from a classic train depot in Williams, Arizona. The trip to the Grand Canyon takes a little over two hours each way. The train runs every day of the year with the exception of Christmas Day.

The Grand Canyon train offers four levels of service at various prices. Coach class is the least expensive option. It provides comfortable seats and large windows. A host is available to answer questions. And, musicians and costumed performers make visits throughout the trip. First Class adds reclining seats and snacks. The Observation Dome is an upgrade from first class. The domed cars offer improved seating and dramatic views. The top class is the Luxury Parlor Car. This elegant car has a lounge atmosphere with a bar and access to an open-air area. Children under 16 years of age are not allowed in the Observation Dome and Luxury Parlor Car classes.

While the Grand Canyon train is a relaxing way to get to the canyon, it is also an entertaining trip. The train provides more than just transportation. The railway attempts to recapture the atmosphere of the historic West as seen in countless Hollywood movies and television programs. Actors wear cowboy costumes. Native American and folk musicians perform period music. And, the train, itself, recreates the feeling of traveling in a bygone era. For those who simply want to enjoy the natural beauty of the northern Arizona countryside, the entire journey offers scenic views and a chance to catch glimpses of native wildlife.

Another noteworthy feature of the Grand Canyon train is the fact that both the train station in Williams and the terminal at the canyon are historic facilities. The depot in Williams is in the National Register of Historic Places and the depot at the canyon is a National Historic Landmark. The Grand Canyon Depot is one of the few remaining railroad facilities made with logs. It is located in an area with a number of other historic buildings.

Travelers can get to the Grand Canyon train by driving to Williams or by making Amtrak connections from anywhere along the rail route known as the Southwest Chief. This train runs from Los Angeles to Chicago. Train travel gives you the opportunity to get up and walk around instead of sitting in a cramped car all day. The availability of restrooms is an additional convenience. Train tracks are often located in more remote areas than highways. So, train travelers can get a better view of the countryside.

Lodging is available at both ends of the Grand Canyon railroad for travelers who want to extend their visits to the area. Reservations should be made well in advance for rooms at the Grand Canyon. There is a great deal of demand for rooms during the peak tourist seasons.

Visitors who are not familiar with Northern Arizona may be surprised to learn that the climate is significantly different from the major cities of Phoenix and Tucson. The area around Williams may experience seasonal heavy rains and cold weather. Travelers who visit the area to take a trip on the Grand Canyon train should be prepared for cooler weather in the evenings.

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