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Grand Canyon Railway

Stamford...
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Grand Canyon Railway

Our family of 5 (3 boys under 14) will be renting a car to travel the National Parks (end of June). Since we will have a car rental, is it still better to take the Railway to the Grand Canyons for the view over driving? If so,we would need to return back to Williams to get car rental to head back north. Suggestions? We are flying in and out of Phoenix.

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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1. Re: Grand Canyon Railway

I'd definitely drive myself. You won't see GC from the train. You also only have limited time for the GC views from GC Village depot to the rim and with the ride back after that. You need a reservation for an overnight stay at the rim www.grandcanyonlodges.com

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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2. Re: Grand Canyon Railway

There is no scenic advantage to opt for the train...If a rail excursion appeals book one from Durango, CO. or Chama. NM ...carracar

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Grand Canyon Railway

The big drawbacks to the Grand Canyon Railway are:

1. It's not particularly efficient. It is pulled by an antique diesel engine, so it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes (each way) to make a trip that would just take you 1 hour by car.

2. Further to what Tet14 has said, it does not travel along the Grand Canyon rim or through the Grand Canyon at all. You don't see the Grand Canyon until you get to the park and get off the train.

3. You only get about 3 hours in the park (on the day trip). That's enough to see the basic "must-sees," such as the Grand Canyon Village Historic District, walk the rim trail, maybe do a little shopping, but that's about it. (Although you can add a bus tour to the package that gets you out a bit further).

If you're a train and/or Old West history buff, you might find the Grand Canyon Railway attractive, but it also helps to have all the time in the world, which most families don't. Here's a video that addresses the train vs. self-drive issue in more detail ->: http://youtu.be/xysC8k6JIEs

Do try to free up the time to spend at least 1 night at the park. In-park hotels are very likely booked up, but give it a try (Tet14 has provided the link). If you find that to be the case, then Tusayan/Grand Canyon Village South, just outside the park gates, is your next best option. Info on these hotels ->: http://bit.ly/FQ2Leb

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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4. Re: Grand Canyon Railway

Forget the train. It is an expensive way to waste time getting to and from the park. Unless you and your family have a keen interest in historic railroads, it will be a very costly mistake.

Drive to the park and stay over night there. Book your rooms RIGHT NOW.

Stamford...
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5. Re: Grand Canyon Railway

Thank you for your response. Would you recommend a jeep tour in the Sedona area? Hiking? If so, any specific company? We are hoping to spend one or two nights in the Sedonna area and travel from there. Would you recommend that or would one night be sufficient before we head to the Grand Canyon.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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6. Re: Grand Canyon Railway

Jeep tours are probably the favorite activity in Sedona. Pink Jeep, Broken Arrow is the most popular for many good reasons.

Most visitors who spend less than 3 days in Sedona regret that they failed to allow more time there. By comparison, 1-2 nights at the GCNP is usually enough for a first time visit. If you get hooked, then you'll go home and make plans to return for a more 'in depth' exploration.

7. Re: Grand Canyon Railway

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