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Grand Tour of the West by Amtrak

new york
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Grand Tour of the West by Amtrak

Planning a Grand Tour of the American West for summer 2015. Will have three adults and two boys age 6 and 7. As NYC dwellers the boys are not used to cars so we would like to use Amtrak as much as possible. Thinking of starting in Vancouver and spending a day or two each in Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Crater Lake National Park... One puzzle piece that is a must is three days in the Grand Canyon where I will hike down and stay at Phantom Ranch (kids will stay on the rim with a grand parent). Any itineraries or suggestions welcome! This is a trip to celebrate my 40th birthday so we will normally frugal travels will be splashing out a bit to make the experience special.

Thanks!

Caitlin

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Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Seattle
Seattle
Washington
Eugene
Eugene
Oregon
Phantom Ranch
Phantom Ranch
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Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
new york
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1. Re: Grand Tour of the West by Amtrak

Or.. if there is another forum better suited to my question, please suggest. Thanks!

Los Angeles
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2. Re: Grand Tour of the West by Amtrak

You can use Amtrak's Cascades train to start in Vancouver and get down as far south as Oregon. Another thought would be to fly to Vancouver and then take the ferry to Seattle.

You can take Amtrak's Coast Starlight from Seattle all the way down to LA and I think it stops in or near most of the places that you mentioned - I think this train overlaps the Cascade train quite a bit but it doesn't go as far north as Vancouver.

Once in LA, you can use Amtrak's Southwest Chief train from LA to Williams or Flagstaff AZ, then rent a car in one of those places and drive the rest of the way. The Grand Canyon is not far from either.

In any case for a trip like this it may come out more economical to use one of Amtrak's special passes - they offer rail passes for a set number of days, and multi-ride tickets that allow a set number of boardings within a certain time period.

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Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Oregon
Oregon
United States
Seattle
Seattle
Washington
Williams
Williams
California
Flagstaff
Flagstaff
Arizona
San Francisco
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3. Re: Grand Tour of the West by Amtrak

They don't make it easy to find but TA does have a Train Travel forum and this trip may be a good one to ask about there: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12483-Train_Tr…

Los Angeles
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4. Re: Grand Tour of the West by Amtrak

By the way, one of the best travel experiences I ever had was my dad and I taking a sea plane between Vancouver and Seattle - I'm not sure if its still possible (the small airline we used I know no longer exists) but if it is possible and if it at all interests you, I'd highly recommend it.

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Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Seattle
Seattle
Washington
haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
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5. Re: Grand Tour of the West by Amtrak

We have friends and family who have taken Amtrak many times over the years, and yes, it sounds lovely on their website......but you must know in advance that the schedules are not even remotely reliable......they are often 3 or 4 hours late......I know from experience of waiting at the train stations in the wee hours of the morning to pick them up.......

6. Re: Grand Tour of the West by Amtrak

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