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Ride the historic Grand Canyon Railway from Williams AZ to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Your trip starts in Williams, Arizona at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel.

“Known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon” and for being the home of the famous Bill Williams Mountain Men,

Williams, Ariz. is at an elevation of 6,770 feet, providing a moderate climate within Kaibab National Forest.

Founded in 1874, the town’s current population is approximately 2,900. The downtown business district of Williams is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and many of the downtown buildings were constructed around 1900.”

Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel was designed to resemble the historic Fray Marcos Hotel.

“Quality lodging for its passengers was an important part of the Santa Fe Railway system during the late 19th century and early 20th century. A string of hotels and restaurants run by the Fred Harvey Company opened up along Santa Fe rail lines during this time. The hotels and restaurants were known as Harvey Houses, and they became famous for their quality food and service.

The Fray Marcos Hotel in Williams was one such Harvey House and was named after Spanish missionary Marcos de Niza, who explored the Southwest in the early 16th century. The Fred Harvey Company often named its hotels after early explorers.”

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel has 297 rooms and is located close to the Williams Depot which has a gift ship, coffee stand, café and ticket counter.

Return trip includes a glass of bubbly.

The Grand Canyon Railway overs 65 miles from Williams to the Grand Canyon. There are six classes of service – Coach Class, First Class, Observation Done, Luxury Dome Class and Luxury Parlor Class. Entertainment on board includes western singers and a hold up by the Cataract Creek Gang.

Grand Canyon Depot

“Constructed in 1909-1910, Grand Canyon Depot is part of the Grand Canyon National Park Historic District and is a National Historic Landmark. Designed by architect Francis W. Wilson of Santa Barbara, Calif., the log and wood-frame structure is two stories high. Originally, the downstairs was designated for station facilities and the upstairs was inhabited by the station agent’s family. Today, the first floor is used for railway passenger services. The building is one of approximately 14 log depots known to have been constructed in the United States, and one of only three remaining. Of the three, the Grand Canyon Depot is the only one in which logs were used as the primary structural material and which still serves an operating railroad. The Depot’s logs are squared on three sides creating bearing surfaces, flat interior surfaces and a rustic exterior appearance.”

Maswik Lodge

With comfortable, spacious rooms—and stunning location just a 1/4 mile from the canyon’s edge — Maswik Lodge is the perfect choice for your journey into the heart of Grand Canyon Country. The lodge is spread over several acres of beautiful ponderosa pine forest, and just a few minutes away from the iconic Grand Canyon Depot.

“Maswik Lodge building and adjacent hotel rooms are contemporary in style. The area, however, is rich cultural in history. The original “Motor Lodge” was constructed in 1927 by the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad. Traveling by automobile to the parks was quickly becoming fashionable. Rather than having to travel by train or carriage, guests could journey to the Grand Canyon in their own automobiles. In the 1940s, 36 cabins were added and 22 cabins were moved from Bright Angel. Many of the 120 cabins were demolished in the 1960s and replaced by more contemporary two-story hotel rooms in 1972 and 1981. The only architectural component remaining from historic lodge buildings are the original stone pillars.

Maswik is named for a Hopi Kachina who is said to guard the Grand Canyon.

Maswik Lodge is a 280-room lodging complex nestled within several acres of Ponderosa pine forest. It is located just a short quarter-mile walk or bus ride from the canyon’s edge. The complex consists of the main lodge building that houses the Registration Desk, Gift Shop, Maswik Food Court, and Pizza Pub.”

Ranger Talks

Buckey's Cabin

Free shuttles at the south rim

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter (April 4, 1869 – January 8, 1958) was an American architect and designer.

During her 46 year association for the Fred Harvey Company Mary Colter designed landmark hotels, lodges, and public spaces, many of which are now located at the Grand Canyon National Park South Rim.

Social Media for the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel


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