The grand finale of our 2011 Northern Arizona visit! Paul and the Long Suffering Wife took a bus tour (about three miles) to the west from the Grand Canyon Village with stops at Hopi Point, Mohave Point, and Trail View Point, took a walk along the rim in the Grand Canyon Village, saw a fantastic sunset before dinner with mule deer visitors after, then a second bus tour (almost twenty-five miles) to the east from the village, stopping at Yaki Point, Moran Point, Lipan Point, and finally, at the Desert View Watchtower.
When we went we took a travel package that included:
- a night in Williams, Arizona at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
- morning train ride from Williams to the Grand Canyon
- an overnight stay at a lodge in the Grand Canyon Village
- afternoon train ride back to Williams from the Grand Canyon
- a final night in Williams at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
I have rarely bought travel packages in the past (I prefer to wander where and when I want) but this was a great combination. If you can swing the time, I highly recommend it!
Having said that, there are also numerous other lodging choices in Williams. You can also just get tickets for the train, and it’s possible to do a one-day round trip with a couple of hours at the South Rim. There are also “Polar Express” train trips in the winter that don’t go all the way to the Canyon, but stop at a “Santa’s Village” site along the way.
The views from the train are great in general, but if you book your tickets far enough in advance there’s an option for a limited number of observation car seats. Obviously, that’s what we got and it was worth it!
On the way north from Williams to the South Rim, there are musicians strolling through the car. Some of what we were treated to was some excellent bluegrass pickin’ and grinnin’. Other selections were singalongs of songs you probably learned in second or third grade. (“Oh, Susanna”, “This Land Is Our Land”, and so on.)
So there you have it! Granted, I take spectacular pictures (*pause for choking and coughing to die down*), but no pictures can do justice to the Grand Canyon. If you’ve got a “bucket list” or a “life list”, make sure that a visit here is high on it!