WILLIAMS, Ariz., – The Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Ariz. offers activities and atmosphere that appeal to children, their parents and grandparents alike.
Among the suggestions for making the most out of a visit to the Grand Canyon Railway and to Grand Canyon National Park are:
* Catch a shootout. Every morning before the train departs Williams, a rough and tumble – actually, they’re not that rough – gang of outlaws takes on the local sheriff. After the jokes fly as fast as the pretend bullets, the bad guys are taken into custody and the train depot is safe for another day.
* Experience living history. The Grand Canyon Railway offers a wide range of vintage equipment, including diesel locomotives and a steam locomotive on display at the Williams Depot. The Railway also offers four classes of rail service including coach class, first class, observation dome and luxury parlor class.
* Sing along. Musicians on the train wandering through the railcars with their guitars and other instruments combine music and humor as they play their favorite songs or take requests.
* Enjoy the ride. The train trip from Williams to Grand Canyon National Park takes approximately two hours and 15 minutes and runs 65 miles through Ponderosa Pine forests and scenic desert landscapes. Along the way are great views of the San Francisco Peaks and other classic Western scenery.
* Get robbed. Don’t be surprised if, on the return trip, robbers on horseback stop the train and try to rob you. Fortunately, the sheriff is on their tail to haul them off before they make their getaway.
* Of course there is the park. One of the world’s most spectacular sights and one that must be seen in person to truly appreciate is the Grand Canyon. A national park since 1919, the Grand Canyon is also home to California Condors, historic buildings and hiking ranging from easy and flat to steep and strenuous.
* Extend your adventure. The Grand Canyon Railway offers the option of adding on to its packages regional tours that include pick-up and drop-off service at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel or from Maswik Lodge inside the park. Tours include inner-canyon Jeep rides, Jeep tours of Sedona, a Colorado River float, a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon and a hiking tour. Railway guests taking regional tours receive a 50 percent discount on an extra night’s stay at the hotel.
* Visit with Santa. Every November through early January the Grand Canyon Railway offers the highly popular Polar Express. Based upon the book The Polar Express, the train travels 17 miles to the “North Pole,” passengers enjoy a reading of the book, hot chocolate and cookies are served, and then Santa joins them on the return trip.
* Get steamed. The Grand Canyon Railway hosts popular Steam Train Weekends when it operates special shorter train rides aboard the Cataract Creek Rambler, a steam locomotive powered by recycled waste vegetable oil. The next Steam Train Weekend is scheduled for the July 4 weekend. The steam train makes a full run to the Grand Canyon Sept. 18, 2010.
The Grand Canyon Railway operates the 298-room Grand Canyon Railway Hotel located steps away from the Williams Depot. The hotel resort offers great retail and dining options including Spenser’s Pub, which features an authentic English bar and the Grand Depot Café. The Grand Depot Café is a family friendly, buffet service restaurant offering expansive breakfast, lunch and dinner options. The hotel’s 1,000-square-foot Rail Baron Suite is a popular special-occasion lodging option.
Recipient of ISO 14001 certification, the Grand Canyon Railway is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Xanterra is known for its innovative and effective environmental programs.
Grand Canyon Railway is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. For more information visit www.thetrain.com or call 1-800-THE-TRAIN (1-800-843-8724.)Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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