Grand Canyon Train Ride Tour

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Get your ticket for the Grand Canyon train ride to one of the seven wonders of the world. It’s an unforgettable trip that will take you back in time to the South Rim’s Historic Village.

Grand Canyon Railway train car.

The Grand Canyon Train, also known as the Grand Canyon Railway, is a historic train that offers passengers an unforgettable journey from Williams, AZ, to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. After you depart the station, the train heads north toward the South Rim’s Historic Village. The ride is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes each way and travels through various landscapes, including forests, mountains, and deserts.

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Originally built in 1901 to transport tourists to the Grand Canyon but closed in 1968 due to automobiles being the preferred mode of travel. It was reopened in 1989 as a unique way to experience one of America’s most iconic natural wonders. Passengers can choose between sixe different classes of travel: Pullman, Coach, First Class, Observation Dome, Luxury Dome, or Luxury Parlor.

Upon arrival at the Grand Canyon South Rim, visitors have several hours to enjoy the Grand Canyon before returning on board for their return journey. Whether you’re a history buff or nature lover, the ride to the Grand Canyon Train is an unforgettable experience that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

History of the Train

The history of trains dates back to the early 19th century when steam-powered locomotives were first introduced. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that trains began transporting passengers and goods across long distances reliably and efficiently. One such train is the Grand Canyon Train, which has been running since 1901.

As tourism grew in the area, the train became a popular mode of transportation for visitors wanting to see one of the world’s natural wonders: The Grand Canyon. Today, the scenic train ride is a popular tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors yearly.

Although automobile travel is more convenient, train travel remains an iconic and timeless experience for many people — including those who take the Grand Canyon Railway’s scenic ride. From the start, this train has been an essential part of Arizona’s tourism industry. Today, the historic train is a unique part of American history and culture.

Ride Overview

The Grand Canyon Railway train is a one-of-a-kind experience that takes you on an unforgettable journey through the rugged landscapes of Arizona. The ride begins at the historic Williams Depot and travels through the Coconino National Forest as it heads towards the canyon.

Views while on the train.

In addition to the views, the train ride also has entertainment. Musicians and cowboy characters will come to entertain you as you make your way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. When we rode the train, we had some excellent entertainment. There’s even a staged train robbery, which is super entertaining for kids.

Western musician on train.

We rode in an Observation Dome, which was comfortable and spacious. It had large windows on top and along the sides, providing panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. Luxury Dome passengers enjoy even better accommodations with a full-length dome on top and a spacious lounge area below. Both dome cars offer complimentary snacks.

As you approach your destination at Grand Canyon National Park, prepare to be awed by one of nature’s most magnificent wonders – the Grand Canyon itself. This massive gorge stretches for 277 miles across northern Arizona and plunges more than a mile deep in some places.

Whether you’re hiking around the canyon rim on foot or taking in the view from above the canyon on a helicopter tour, there’s no denying that this natural wonder is truly awe-inspiring.

Aerial view of the Grand Canyon.

Popular Attractions

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the Grand Canyon, look no further than the Grand Canyon Train. The train offers a scenic journey through Northern Arizona, complete with views of the surrounding landscape and some entertainment.

Williams, Arizona, is where you will board your train to the Grand Canyon South Rim. This small town serves as both a departure point for the train and a destination in its own right. Visitors can explore historic Route 66 or participate in outdoor activities like hiking in Buckskinner Park.

Route 66 sign.

In addition, you can stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, Arizona. The 298-room hotel is right next door to the train depot. It’s a great place to spend the night before you take your trip to the Grand Canyon. The hotel has many amenities, including a fitness center, a playground, and an indoor pool.

Before you depart Williams to make your trip to the Grand Canyon, be sure to experience all the train depot offers. While waiting for departure, we grabbed coffee and snacks from the cafe, took a family picture, explored the shop, and took advantage of all the different photo opportunities. There was even a western-themed show!

Western-themed show at the train depot in Williams AZ.

Of course, the main attraction remains the Grand Canyon itself. The train takes passengers directly into Grand Canyon National Park, where they can marvel at one of nature’s greatest wonders up close.

Whether you’re interested in hiking along the rim, photographing the incredible scenery of the Grand Canyon, or simply taking in stunning views from above, there’s no shortage of things to see and do at this iconic destination.

Grand Canyon from along the South Rim.

Onboard Amenities

The Grand Canyon Railway offers a unique onboard experience with its amenities. Passengers can relax and enjoy the scenery or ask the service attendant more about the area.

In addition to comfortable seating options for the higher class options, passengers can enjoy various food and beverage choices during their trip on the Grand Canyon Train. Complimentary snacks and bar service is available for those traveling First Class, Observation Dome, Luxury Dome, and Luxury Parlor.

Posing on the Grand Canyon Railway.
Enjoying snacks aboard the Grand Canyon Railway.

Overall, onboard amenities are important in enhancing passenger comfort and enjoyment during train travel. With its diverse options, the Grand Canyon Train will surely provide an unforgettable experience for all passengers who embark on this exciting journey through one of America’s most iconic natural wonders.

Tips for Riders

  1. Stay Hydrated: One of the most important tips for riders on the Grand Canyon Train is to stay hydrated. The train ride can be long and hot if traveling in Pullman Class which doesn’t have air conditioning.
  2. Dress Appropriately: It’s also crucial to dress appropriately for your journey on the Grand Canyon Train. Wear comfortable, breathable clothing that will keep you cool in warm weather. Bring an extra layer or jacket as it can get chilly, particularly during early mornings or late nights.
  3. Take Advantage Of Viewing Cars: The train has multiple viewing cars available, so be sure to book the best option you can afford to get a good view! Some cars provide panoramic views of the scenery outside, giving you the best photo opportunities.


In conclusion, taking the Grand Canyon Train is a unique and unforgettable experience that immerses you in the natural beauty of the American Southwest. The train journey takes you through rugged landscapes, including the Coconino National Forest.

Once at the Grand Canyon, visitors can explore breathtaking views from various lookout points or hike down into the canyon.

The commitment to preserving history and culture sets this train ride apart. The staff on the train are knowledgeable guides who provide insight into the railway history. Additionally, passengers enjoy live music performances on board featuring local musicians.

Overall, riding on the Grand Canyon Train offers an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the majestic beauty of nature while learning about the area. It’s a must-do for anyone visiting Arizona looking for a unique experience.


How long is the Grand Canyon train ride?

The ride is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes each way and covers 65 miles through some of Arizona’s most stunning landscapes

Where does the Grand Canyon Railway drop you off?

The train ride takes you to the South Rim’s Historic Village.


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One Comment

  1. did this last yr highly recommend the experience of views most never get to see one thing you left out is the morning you leave hotel you leave you luggage at the lobby and they magically appear at your hotel if your staying in the park

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