There are plenty of ways to experience the natural beauty of the Southwest, though none will be as memorable (or as delightfully old-fashioned) as a two-night rail trip through northern central Arizona. There’s a little place there called the Grand Canyon. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
For most of the year, Canyon-bound travelers can choose from five other classes (Coach, First, Observation Dome, Luxury, and Luxury Parlor) aboard the Grand Canyon Railway, but it’s the Pullman class that offers something extra special: a fully-refurbished 1923 Harriman-style coach car with its original flip-seats, working windows, and even live musicians to provide a soundtrack to all the scenery. The only catch is that the Pullman is only available seasonally, from March through October 1.
This spring and summer, individual tickets for Pullman class start at just $62 round-trip for adults, and $29 for children – nearly 20 percent off the regular Economy class rates. Departing at 9:30 a.m. in Williams, Arizona (about 30 miles west of Flagstaff), the 2.5-hour ride traverses the Colorado Plateau, whose prairie and pine landscapes are elevated at around 5,000 feet above sea level. The ride culminates at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. In all, travelers get a 3.5-hour window to explore the Grand Canyon, before meeting back at the train depot for a 3:30 p.m. departure back to Williams.
However, if it’s your first time exploring the Grand Canyon (or you simply can’t bear the idea of such a short visit), Grand Canyon Railway is also offering a package providing round-trip Pullman class tickets, two nights at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, meals, and a guided motor coach tour of the South Rim. The “2-Night Canyon Discovery” package starts at $252 per person (adults) and $81 per person (children), and can be booked here.