Grand Canyon Train Tours
For a novel way to visit the Grand Canyon, nothing beats a train tour. The Grand Canyon Railway runs from Williams, AZ, across 65 miles of spectacular terrain. During the two hours and 15 minutes you spend on the train, you’ll make memories that you’ll never want to forget.
The route of the Grand Canyon Railway is one reason it’s so special. Before hitting the South Rim, you’re going to pass through several peaks and valleys along the Colorado Plateau. You’ll start at around 7,000 ft. above sea level, dip down close to 2,000 ft., before gradually making your way back uphill as you approach the Grand Canyon. Surrounding you the whole time will be forests of the area’s famous ponderosa pines, as well as colorful aspens, firs, and spruces, inside of which live an assortment of wild animals.
Keep your eyes peeled, and you just might spot a mule deer, pronghorn antelope, or elk, or perhaps a bobcat or mountain lion as it stalks its prey! Appropriately enough, those who have eagle eyes could even lock gazes with the bald eagles that inhabit the area, as well as other avian species like red-tailed hawks and wild turkeys. Meanwhile, in the distance, you’ll see the contours of the San Francisco Peaks, which stand several thousand feet over the surrounding terrain, at a maximum altitude of 12,633 ft. at Humphreys Peak.
That’s not to say that all the action is happening outside of your passenger car—far from it! Inside of the train, musicians and other performers will entertain you with songs from the days when the American West was all about cowboys and ranchers. You’ll find yourself happily tapping your foot along as they do, and perhaps later whistling the melodies that you heard on the Grand Canyon Railway.
By about 11:45, the train will pull into the Grand Canyon Depot in Grand Canyon Village. From that point forward, you’re free to explore the area, both the historic buildings and, of course, the marvelous Grand Canyon itself. If you plan to catch the train back home, know that the departure time is 3:30 p.m.