Amtrak to Northern Arizona

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Palmland, Jun 16, 2019.

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  1. Jun 16, 2019 #1

    Palmland

    Palmland

    Palmland

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    This fall we will be arriving Flagstaff from Las Vegas, NM on the SWC. My questions are not really Amtrak related so feel free to move this to another forum.

    With a 8:32pm scheduled arrival and the train often late, I’d be interested in any hotel recommendations. The Monte Vista looks interesting and might be walkable but maybe a bit sketchy? Otherwise I guess a chain hotel would be ok for a quick overnight. We like Drury inn and could use points for a Marriott but both are a bit pricey or require lots of points.

    We’re then getting a rental for a visit to LaPosada (our favorite in the country) then Monument Valley and Grand Canyon. For Monument Valley we might be interested in a tour (staying at Goulding’s). Anyone have recommendations, our last visit was many years ago.

    Then we’ll have a brief visit to the Grand Canyon (one night in Williams, one night at GC). We have lodging lined up with plans to take the GC Ry. I’m undecided as to regular coach, always fun but only if windows open, but the open platform observation sounds great, if pricey. Is it worth it? Not interested in the dome as the scenery around there is interesting but not breathtaking! Maybe coach one way and observation the other?

    From there we head to Scottsdale to see relatives.
     
  2. Jun 16, 2019 #2

    Rasputin

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    Rasputin

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    The only place we have stayed at in Flagstaff in recent years has been the Highland Country Inn, a small family run motel around the corner on South Milton Road (Historic Route 66) from the station. It is quite basic but is very clean and adequate. On our last trip we walked from the motel to the station at about 4 A.M. to catch No. 4 and had no problems. I don't think we met anyone on the street at that time.

    I believe there is a taxi service in Flagstaff which meets the train and I assume they have Uber and Lyft.

    There used to be a car rental agency at the station which was very convenient but that service is no longer offered. I believe to rent a car you now have to go to the airport (and I am told by a friend that the car rental companies will reimburse you for your taxi fare). Hopefully someone has an update on this.

    Flagstaff as you probably know is a college town and the bars on the street across from the train station and places south of the tracks (such as Lumberyard Brewing Co. - a good place to eat) may be doing a very good business when No. 3 arrives but we have not had any problems.

    I have visited the Weatherford Hotel in the past and that may be a good place to stay.

    Hope you have a great trip.
     
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  3. Jun 17, 2019 #3

    dogbert617

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    dogbert617

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    Speaking of the Grand Canyon, does the company that operate the Grand Canyon Railroad do any sort of shuttle from Flagstaff, up to where you catch the Grand Canyon Railroad north to that park? I know that company for whatever reason(I'm forgetting why), stopped running a shuttle between the south station in Flagstaff, and also to that Amtrak platform. :( And that Amtrak ceased SW Chief service, to that station. :( Thought supposedly the talk was that they'd institute some sort of shuttle, between Flagstaff and the south station(in Williams?) for Grand Canyon Railroad. Just wonder how things have been like for them, since I read the news Amtrak stopped making their former regular stop in Williams.

    Who knows, maybe for all I know nowadays as much as I hate to say it, that it might be easier to rent a car? Who knows....
     
  4. Jun 17, 2019 #4

    Rasputin

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    Rasputin

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    The 3rd page of the Southwest Chief schedule (dated July 31, 2018) on the Amtrak website shows the thruway buses and shuttles between Flagstaff and Williams. Some are operated by Arizona Shuttles so a call to them or to Grand Canyon Railway should provide you with current information.
     
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  5. Jun 17, 2019 #5

    PVD

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    PVD

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    Arizona Shuttle was sold (now part of Groome) and there are a couple of others also. I used AZ Shuttle a few years ago from Flag to Phoenix, they were pretty good bavk then.
     
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  6. Jun 19, 2019 #6

    me_little_me

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    me_little_me

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    If you are staying in the Grand Canyon at one of the government hotels (we're doing the El Tovar in December), I heard somewhere that on Jul 14 and one day in October, rooms go on sale for all the places. With the generous cancellation policy, you can book now and check then for a lower price. I have the date marked on my calendar.
     
  7. Jun 19, 2019 #7

    Palmland

    Palmland

    Palmland

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    Rasputin, thanks for the recommendation. That sounds like a good motel for a quick overnight although we are still intrigued with the Monte Vista. And, MLM, we are currently staying at Bright Angel lodge with dinner plans at El Tovar, but will check out that great hotel on July 14, thanks for the tip.
     
  8. Jun 19, 2019 #8

    swc34

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    swc34

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    For Williams, I suggest the Downtowner Motel. Been there 5 times and will do it again.
     
  9. Jun 19, 2019 #9

    Rasputin

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    Rasputin

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    I am not familiar with the Monte Vista. There are of course a number of chain hotels in Flagstaff, some of which are not far from the station.

    As I mentioned the Highland Country Inn is a family run motel. The front desk is not staffed all night but there is a bell to ring for assistance. We had to use it to check in a couple years ago when we arrived on a late No. 3. There is a slot by the office where you leave your key if the office is not open when you leave as was the case when we left for the station at 4 a.m. to take No. 4.

    One caveat is that the Highland has one or two rooms over the office where the windows are high up on the wall and there were no windows at floor level. I stayed in that room once when traveling solo. the room was spacious and very adequate but it was a bit strange not to have a window to look out. Our other rooms at the place have been pretty normal.
     

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