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Grand Canyon Railway
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Grand Canyon Railway Adventure Package
Ranked #1 of 37 things to do in Williams
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Historic train that takes a 65-mile trip from Williams to the Grand Canyon and offers great views of the Arizona high country.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

You can book different classes of seats for the round trip. You can ride the cheap seats to the canyon, and then splurge for luxury on the way back. There is nothing to see during the journey except desert, so don’t bother with the observation deck seating. Mixed drinks are served in the luxury areas, but not in the cheap seats. The complimentary orange juice and pastries in the luxury seating are very low quality. Do not plan on eating this as a breakfast; you will be sorely disappointed. The snack car has very minimal selection.

There is no way to opt out of the entertainment on the train – it literally comes to you. Even in the cramped observation deck. Although the train’s top speed is 40 mph, don’t expect a quiet, peaceful journey.

Bring enough money for tipping at least three people.

Our instructions were to arrive 1 ½ hours prior to boarding time in the morning. We parked and picked up our tickets in the first 15 minutes. There was no reason to be early; we had to wait an hour for the “shoot out”. The shoot out just seems to be cover for when they back the diesel train up for boarding. Perhaps they don’t want you to know you’re not being pulled by the antique engine on display beside the station.

Don’t book the related bus tours that take you from the train unless you absolutely don’t want to do any walking. Everyone we spoke with that took the bus tours advised against it. Once you leave the train, it is an easy walk to the canyon overlook. There are trails going both directions on the rim. You can easily walk to the Geological Museum and back before the return train. There are two restaurants and a burger/sandwich place at the rim near the train depot.

You can see a lot more of the Grand Canyon in one day if you take your own car. If you are a train buff or hate driving, taking the train can be a fun experience. We were lucky enough to have Kathy with a “K” for our return journey. Kathy was extremely enthusiastic and helped pass the otherwise boring ride on the way back. The trivia games and jokes bridged the gap between young and old. You just have to be in the mood for that type of thing.

I agree with some of the other reviewers about the “train robbery” and having guns pointed at them. I don’t think passengers should be expected to hand over more tip money after having paid so much for the train tickets!

The train is a great thing in that it takes cars off the roads and frees up parking spots at the Grand Canyon overlooks. Carefully consider your options; do you only want a few hours of viewing the canyon or do you want the whole day with the option of hiking using your own vehicle?

7  Thank Outdoorpartner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,107 - 7,111 of 7,796 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2012

A wonderful car-free day out. Relaxed atmosphere. Good company with other travellers. Friendly service. Fun entertainment. Worth spending a little more on the deluxe package to get option of sitting under the glass dome, in the spacious carriage (with lots of cake, fruit and savoury nibbles), or standing on the deck at the back of the train with the wind in your hair!
3 hrs at Grand Canyon was fine for us, as we had been before, but 1st-timers may want a little more time there.

3  Thank Liz G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

We had guests from Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma visiting us in Arizona for the first time. They wanted to see the Grand Canyon while here. Walking distances or hopping on and off shuttles was going to be a challenge for some of our guests. The Grand Canyon Railroad proved the perfect solution. Our hostess on the train, Kathy (with a K) was a delight and very entertaining. We took lunch along and enjoyed it as we cruised to the Canyon. We spent about 3 hours admiring the views and then back to Williams. A truly wonderful day.

2  Thank TheMutts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

The train ride was fun and the 'PSA' was extremely educated and friendly. Definitely a great idea for couples and/or families.

2  Thank chicphx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

The train ride is just beautiful with a wonderful staff on board, there are musicians that walk around for each car to experience and even some "visitors" that give you the old west feel, I highly recommend!

1  Thank Tleigh1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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