PRE 07 —Grand Canyon Railway, Williams and Grand Canyon National Park
From Las Vegas we’ll head to funky Williams, Arizona, on historic Route 66 and settle into Grand Canyon Railway Inn. The following morning, we’ll board the Grand Canyon Railway to the national park, looking out on the Colorado Plateau ready to spot elk, pronghorn and bald eagles. Our conductor will share history and stories of the region. On arrival at Grand Canyon, we’ll picnic, take a short hike and check out the visitor center. Then we’ll explore the Trail of Time, a three-mile educational walk that skirts the canyon’s rim. Our lodging for two nights is the Grand Hotel, one mile from the park entrance.
Day three we watch sunrise at Yaki Point and then do what few visitors do: hike down into the inspiring beauty of the mile-deep Grand Canyon. We’ll follow the South Kaibab Trail 1,140 feet down to Cedar Ridge to view nature’s spectacular work of art from within. After a break, we’ll begin the climb up and out. We’ll have a well-deserved lunch then visit historic Kolb Studio, perched on the edge of the canyon, to hear the story of the Kolb brothers who created a lasting legacy with their Grand Canyon photography.
On day four we say good-bye to the park and journey back to Las Vegas via Williams, where we’ll stop to visit Bearizona. It may sound cheesy, but we’ll experience this drive-thru, walk-around wildlife park on a guided behind-the-scenes tour of exhibits and the animals who call this place home—bears, bighorn sheep, bison, wolves and others that once roamed wild across the American west. After lunch we’ll continue on, arriving in Las Vegas around 5 p.m.
Activity level: Moderate-plus. The walk down to Cedar Ridge is moderate but the hike back up is definitely more strenuous. In total, the hike is about three miles round trip and takes three to four hours, with significant elevation loss and gain.
Cost: $585 Actives; $715 Associates; $780 Alumni, Spouses (maximum: 12)