Grand Canyon Train Ride

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D2

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Is the train ride from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon worth the price?  Are there views of the Grand Canyon from the train or just a ride to and from the park?  Any information about pros and cons of the train ride vs driving to Grand Canyon will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

D2
 

Lowell

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It's a train ride to the park.  I don't believe you can see the Grand Canyon from the train. From the trains arrival point at the park, you can walk and/or ride busses to the various view points at the park.
 

Carl L

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Like Jake said, a train ride to the park.  It ends up at a station in GC Village.  From there walking or a shuttle bus gets you to the sights.    See the following NPS website http://www.nps.gov/grca/grandcanyon/index.htm  (click on the link).
 

Wendy

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I've never heard anyone who did the train ride who didn't enjoy it (my 90-year-old great aunt loved it) and trainies shouldn't miss it. But I'd rather drive in to the park, spend a few days in the campground, and suck up the canyon for more than the brief stay you get with the train. The train lets you out within walking distance of El Tovar and other historic GC buildings and you can walk to the rim, take a bus ride, or ride the park shuttle around. But to only spend one short day at Grand Canyon would, for me, be one of the saddest things that could happen.

I'll probably be hearing from the Williams Chamber of Commerce.
 

UK-RV

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"......trainies shouldn't miss it......"

;D ;D ;D I really need to take my time reading these threads.

I had visions of a carriage full of men in dresses.

Paul
 

normeller

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The campground inside the park lacks a lot to be desired. I would recommend a campground and drive into the park. If you really want to see the park I would recommend the mule ride.
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Darlene,

It's my understanding that vehicular traffic is limited into the GC much of the year. You must either take the train or bus to the rim. I'm not sure of the campground situation. I would think the train ride would be a great way to go to the canyon. I think it starts in Williams, AZ which is about an hours drive by car to the canyon. The El Tovar is an old elegant hotel right on the rim of the canyon. A night's stay there might be memorable. To see the canyon by mule will require reservations in advance, probably a year!
 
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D2

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Thanks, Jim.  We are currently in Williams, AZ.  We went to the Grand Canyon on Friday and were able to get a "handicap accessible" pass which allowed us to tour the west rim in our vehicle and bypass the shuttle ride.  We are hoping to take a plane ride over the canyon before we leave.  There is so much to do here.

Hope all is well with you and Pat.  Have you been keeping up with the fire threat at TGO?

D2
 

John From Detroit

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The Grand Canyon Train ( http://www.thetrain.com ) is the train used in the filming of "The Northern Express"

I did not take the ride when I was there.  I would like to on a later visit though, bit pricy for my tastes

I have ridden steam trains though,, Main line steam trains, and in the 1980's no less
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Darlene,

Glad you were able to use your own vehicle. Be careful of those plane rides. They used to go down into the canyon but I think they've put a stop to it. Lost too many of them. We did a helicopter ride from Las Vegas to the lower part of the canyon. Didn't go all the way to the South Rim. Someday I'd love to do the mule ride but you have to make reservations well in advance, a couple of years I think!

I haven't followed the fires too closely but did get an email from the Phanuefs saying it was very smoky and they needed rain. I read they had cut a swath around TGO to try to stop it from encroaching on the property.
 

Ian

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This looks to be a nice RV Park at the Williams Depot. Might be a nice idea to park the RV here and take the train for a ride.
http://www.thetrain.com/home_about_rvpark.cfm

I was especially impressed with their Polar Express Steam specials. That sounds like a lot of fun for the little ones and us trainees (sans dresses).
http://www.thetrain.com/polarexpress.cfm

Also check out their Pets care arrangements. I think that is a neat idea for the pup or moggie.
 

Jim Dick

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Jim Johnson said:
I tried to do it one year.  Everything was going good until they brought out  the scale ;D  Over 200 lbs and you can't go :'  Wimpy mules ;D

JJ,

They're probably getting old. :) :)
 

Jim Dick

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Ian,

I think during the peak visiting times one must either take the train or a bus into the park. The pollution has been ruining the view for several years from what I understand. The North Rim is much nicer since it's not as commercialized as the South Rim.
 

Ian

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Jim Dick said:
The pollution has been ruining the view for several years from what I understand.
I don't like the sound of that, is it localised pollution or pollution blowing in from towns nearby?
The North Rim is much nicer since it's not as commercialized as the South Rim.
I was reading the National Park site about the Grand Canyon. While the North Rim sounds interesting the facilities, roads, campgrounds, seem to be just a little too 'basic' for my idea of 'comfortable camping'.
 

Wendy

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Most of the pollution at the Grand Canyon, like the pollution here in the Four Corners and at Mesa Verde, comes from nearby power plants as well as blowing in from L.A. and Phoenix. Coincidently, the power generated at the polluting power plants is mainly sent to those same big cities. Of course, now that fire season is here, there will be days when smoke ruins the views, too.

As for the North Rim, it's the better of the 2 rims, more peaceful, fewer crowds, a different perspective on the canyon. Being a bit more 'basic' is what makes it a great place to visit.
 

Jim Dick

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Ian said:
I don't like the sound of that, is it localised pollution or pollution blowing in from towns nearby?I was reading the National Park site about the Grand Canyon. While the North Rim sounds interesting the facilities, roads, campgrounds, seem to be just a little too 'basic' for my idea of 'comfortable camping'.

Ian,

The North Rim can be accessed from Kanab on a day trip, though it's a long one. I am not familiar with their camping areas but I'm sure they must have basic ammenities. It certainly is a pleasant experience where the South Rim is a typical tourist rush.
 

BernerGran

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I have never taken the train to the Canyon, but my husband did several years ago. He said there was a staged gun fight/robbery on the trip that was fun, and hee thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

I realize this reply is old, but as it regards the canyon, I thougght I'd throw in one other thought.

Camping in the canyon's campground does require a reservation, I belive; particularly in the Trailer Village Campground which has full hookups. I believe the others do not. However, I wanted to let you know that you can walk to the rim of the canyon from that park. Not sure about the others. The rim path is paved and lovely. It works well for us, as I have to use an electric scooter to get around, so we just get out my wheels and off we go. We take the dogs, and enjoy. You can go to El Tovar one way and to the gorgeous hotel, where the train comes in the other way. There are gift shops, and I think concessionaires for snacks and drinks.

Hope this helps.

BernerGran
 

Smoky

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Wendy:

We love the North Rim also.  Go there every year when we leave Montana for Arizona, though we may miss it this year if we come down the California coast after our appointment with Davis Cabinets.

Can you recommend a campground that can take a big rig near the North Rim?  We have been staying at a nice campground in Kanab Utah, but it is a 2 hour drive from the North Rim.
 
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