Getting on/off the train; ride is 60 miles; approx. 2.5 hours. Walking about 1.5-2 miles during group activities, more dependent on personal interest; mostly paved, but some uneven surfaces; elevation of approx. 7,000 feet.
At the Grand Canyon Railway Depot dining facility.
Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll load our luggage onto the motorcoach before breakfast. After breakfast we’ll enjoy the Wild West Show before boarding the Grand Canyon Railway train for a scenic and entertaining ride across the Coconino Plateau to the Grand Canyon, narrated by the rail car attendant. The Grand Canyon Railway first arrived at the Grand Canyon in 1901. It heralded in a new age of travel, development and some might say luxury at the canyon. We’ll experience and relish this "classic" way of travel to the "doorsteps" of the historic El Tovar Hotel, Grand Canyon Village, and to the very rim of the canyon. On board, strolling musicians will provide entertainment during the ride.
Aboard the train en route to the Grand Canyon, we’ll have sack lunches including a sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie.
After arrival at Grand Canyon Village and the South Rim, we’ll gather for our first views of the canyon. Our Group Leader will point out the canyon's many features with historic and natural significance. We’ll also explore historical Grand Canyon Village— sometimes called "downtown Grand Canyon" — the site of much of the human development on the canyon's South Rim. Highlights of the village include the Kolb Studio where the Kolb brothers took photos of mule riders into the canyon, the buildings of Santa Fe Railroad and Fred Harvey, and architect and designer Mary Jane Colter’s work including the Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio, and the Hopi House. At the east end of the Village, we’ll visit the El Tovar Hotel, built in 1903 and one of the great hotels in the National Parks. From the village, we’ll be able to see the North Rim and various spires and monuments rising from the canyon floor. We’ll also have time to explore rim trails and admire canyon vistas. Those who are energetic can walk part way down the famed Bright Angel Trail independently. We’ll then check into the lodge.
Currently, the lodge restaurant is not doing full service and instead preparing pre-ordered "take away meals". After distributing our meals we can then go inside the facility to enjoy the meal. In event the lodge restaurant reopens to full service prior to our program, we will then make our food selection upon arrival. We apologize for this inconvenience and can only hope that things change back to normal operations.
At leisure. Those who wish to participate may transfer to a park location for an engaging elective presentation led by National Park Service Rangers. These will cover a Grand Canyon topic of interest and change nightly. NOTE: This activity is dependent on national park scheduling and current Covid restrictions.