Ticket to Ride

Take a thrilling train ride aboard the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, Arizona, to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. This trip began in 1901, bringing passengers to the famed canyon, which was difficult to reach over rugged landscape at that time. The train made it quicker and more convenient for visitors to make the journey, taking them on a 65-mile railway trek through the desert and Kaibab National Forest.
Many celebrities and notable figures of the early 1900s like Clark Gable and Theodore Roosevelt rode the train. All water and supplies for the construction of the buildings around the South Rim were also brought to the canyon by the train.
However, as automobiles took over as the popular mode of transportation and the Interstate Highway System was formed, train operations halted in 1968. For 20 years the railway lay dormant until Max and Thelma Biegert restored the train and resumed passenger travel in 1989.
The historic draw of the Grand Canyon Railway has kept business chugging along, as the train takes around 200,000 passengers to the South Rim each year, almost 120 years from its maiden voyage.
The train runs daily, departing Williams at 8:30 a.m. AZ time. The experience begins before that at the depot, with a Wild West show at 8 a.m. On the way up, a passenger service attendant will share area points of interest and musicians will play a country tune as entertainment. The cowboys from the Wild West show may make another appearance to add some excitement to the ride as well.
The train pulls into the Grand Canyon Depot at 10:45 a.m. and riders will have a 3.5-hour layover at the canyon, so there is plenty of time to check out the viewpoints and the historic village. Stop in the Hopi House, opened in 1905, for authentic Native American art, jewelry, rugs and a gallery on the second floor. Lookout Studio, opened in 1914, is another great spot for awe-inspiring views right on the canyon’s edge, and a souvenir shop selling photography and books related to the canyon.
The train leaves the Grand Canyon at 2:30 p.m. AZ time and arrives back in Williams at 4:45 p.m. Have an early dinner at the Fred Harvey Restaurant at the Williams Depot and pick up a souvenir from your trip at the gift shop.
For overnight accommodations, the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is a convenient option next door to the depot. There are package deals available to include a stay at the hotel with your train ticket, and the hotel and depot are just a block away from historic downtown Williams and old Route 66. Visit thetrain.com to book a ticket and plan your trip.
There are five train car classes to choose for your ride, ranging from the historic Pullman cars to the ultimate luxury parlor class.

Pullman Class
Ride in an original 1923 Harriman style coach car at a great low rate, fully refurbished by the Grand Canyon Railway. These classic cars, built by the Pullman Company, feature seats that flip so families can face each other, and windows that open to let in the country air. An adult ticket (ages 16+) is $67 and children (ages 2-15) cost $32; children under 2 are free.

Coach Class
Take a journey to the canyon and back with style aboard the streamliner-era coaches. Enjoy comfortable bench-style seating in these classic air-conditioned 1950s-era passenger cars while strolling musicians roam the cars playing the tunes of yesteryear, or explore the train and visit the Café Car. Snacks and soft drinks will be available for purchase. NOTE: Coach Class and First Class cars are handicapped accessible, with ADA-compliant restrooms, and power lifts available at both depots. There is also space on the train to store most wheelchairs, power chairs and scooters. Please notify your reservations specialist of your specific needs, so they have the appropriate accommodations available on your day of travel. An adult ticket (ages 16+) is $82 and children (ages 2-15) cost $51; children under 2 are free.

First Class
Ride in first-class style with oversized, reclining seats, plenty of leg room and grand picture windows that enhance the scenic journey. Fresh fruit, pastries, coffee and juice are provided during the morning, while snacks and soft drinks are provided on the return trip in these air-conditioned streamliner cars. Beer, wine, and mixed drinks are also available for purchase at the bar inside each car. An adult ticket (ages 16+) is $159 and children (ages 2-15) cost $121; children under 2 are free.

Luxury Dome
Embark on a new era of luxury rail travel with the breathtaking views of the Observation Dome with the opulence of parlor cars. Don’t miss a minute of the surrounding scenery upstairs in the full-length dome with its extra-large windows. Downstairs, you can plan your day at the Grand Canyon and enjoy a drink or some refreshments in the elegantly appointed lounge, which features a full bar, entertainment center and plush furniture. Service provides fresh fruit, pastries, coffee and juice during the morning, while snacks are available on the return trip along with a sparkling white wine toast, included in the ticket price. Children 15 and under are not permitted. Adult tickets (ages 16+) cost $226.

Luxury Parlor
The Luxury Parlor Car is a grand tradition of elegance and extraordinary comfort. This is the most exclusive ticket with lounge-style comforts including a private bar and access to the open-air rear platform. Service provides fresh fruit, pastries, coffee and juice during the morning, while snacks are available on the return trip along with a sparkling white wine toast, included in the ticket price. Beer, wine, and mixed drinks are also available for purchase from the full bar. Children 15 and under are not permitted. Adult tickets (ages 16+) cost $226.