Grand Canyon Excursion
After the Verde Valley and all the red rock of Sedona, we were ready for more trees, you see a theme here right?? Destination, Grand Canyon area. We have been looking forward to this stop for quite awhile as neither of us have ever been to the Grand Canyon before.
We booked our stay here back in February, knowing we would be coming at the start of the tourist season and wanted to make sure we had a site at Grand Canyon Railway RV Park because we were going to be taking their train up to the canyon. We checked into the park around noon on a Monday and they had a steady stream of people coming in. The RV Park is right in downtown WIlliams, AZ and is part of the Grand Canyon Railway complex, including the train, depot, Wild West shootout area, restaurant. pub, gift shop, playground, pet resort and hotel. We were amazed how nice the entire complex was! With all of this, it was still very quiet. I suspect in a couple weeks it will be very busy.
The RV park was all paved, FHU sites, including cable TV and screaming fast WIFI, even with a full RV park. Most sites were pull thru with a couple back in sites along the perimeter. The perimeter of the park also had a nice walking trail. With having the train to the Grand Canyon, this means that you are near the tracks. I would probably not want to be in a back up site by the tracks, since other trains come through, but otherwise it was fine. We met some really nice people at the RV Park and spent some time with a couple from FL, who were great travel partners to the train.
While we were in the Williams/Flagstaff area, we had some wild weather. Lots of rain, thunderstorm, hail and even snow!
We had reserved dome car seats on the train for the way up and then regular first class coach for the return trip from the Grand Canyon. This was certainly a splurge for us as the tickets were expensive, even though we got a Sr. discount. How could we get a sr discount you ask if we're not 65?? Well, it is an AARP discount and as long as you have the card, you are in like flint! This was a once in a lifetime sort of trip. so that is how we justified it. Bread and water for us for awhile! If I had it to do over again, I would probably have booked an overnight stay at one of the hotels in the park and then brought the train back the following day. This would have given us more time there, including catching a sunset and sunrise.
The train departs the Williams depot at 9:30am, but before boarding, they have a Wild West show for the travelers, which, in my opinion was a bit cheesy, but hey, some folks got into it.
Then it was off to board the train. Quite the herd of people, but there were about 10 cars and everyone had assigned cars and seats, so it wasn't a mass rush to try and get the best seat. We lucked out with a front row seat in the dome car on the way to the canyon, which was really cool to be able to see out all around you above the train. The cowboys followed us on to the train and entertained each car along the 1 1/2 hr ride to the Grand Canyon. We really were closer than what that seems to the canyon, but the train only goes 35mph. It was a peaceful ride through the countryside and it was fun to watch how the landscape changed as we got closer to the canyon. With the tickets we purchased, we also got a continental breakfast buffet on the way to the canyon and a snack bar on the way back from the canyon.
Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate very well on this visit to the canyon. We were able to check out some of the eastern part of the southern rim on a motorcoach tour, but half way through, the dark skies let loose and the rain continued for a good part of our time there. With that being said, we decided to go back to the Grand Canyon on Mothers Day since we had our America the Beautiful National Park pass. That got us in and the parking was free. We decided to get there early in the morning before the crowds arrived. We parked around 8am and had such a nice time with very little people, in fact, some times we had a lookout point all to ourselves. We also saw some elk enjoying the sunny morning as well. The views were breathtaking and as the sun rose, the views looked different from every angle. As I am sure folks who have been to the Grand Canyon can attest to, pictures just can't do it justice!
We'll leave you with some of our favorite memories of the Grand Canyon.
Up next, checking out all the other great things to do in the Williams/Flagstaff area...
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5/23/2022 03:04:07 pm
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