Maricopa to Williams, AZ

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by margo, Apr 26, 2019.

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  1. Apr 26, 2019 #1

    margo

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    margo

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    If I get off the Sunset Limited West at Maricopa, how can I get to Williams to see the Grand Canyon?
    Thank you.
     
  2. Apr 26, 2019 #2

    Rasputin

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    You would need to get to Phoenix and then get a bus to Flagstaff. The schedules may not be real convenient and are probably not timed to coincide with the Sunset Limted. From Flagstaff you can get a bus to Williams and the Grand Canyon. I believe some of those schedules from Flagstaff do coincide with the Southwest Chief schedule.

    It probably would be easier to go to Chicago and take the Southwest Chief to Flagstaff or to take the Sunset all the way to LA and then take the Southwest Chief east to Flagstaff.
     
  3. Apr 26, 2019 #3

    niemi24s

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    Google Maps tells me your choices are: hitchhike; rental car; fly.
     
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  4. Apr 26, 2019 #4

    zephyr17

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    You're on the wrong train. If you want to see the Grand Canyon, take the Southwest Chief. Arizona is a pretty big state and Maricopa is on the wrong end of it for the Grand Canyon, with poor transportation options. Flagstaff on the Southwest Chief is the place to connect to the Grand Canyon.
     
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  5. Apr 27, 2019 #5

    niemi24s

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    However, if you get off the Westbound Sunset Limited at Tucson (instead of the next stop, Maricopa) there are lots of buses between Tucson and Flagstaff - about every hour or so. And I'd recommend a rental car to get from Flagstaff to the Canyon and enter the Park at the East entrance by taking US 89 and then AZ 64 for some spectacular scenery. Unless you specifically want to take that little train from Williams to the Canyon.

    If you do elect to rent a car and as long as you're in that area, I wouldn't pass up the opportunity take the very scenic drive passing through Sedona - more great scenery.
     
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  6. Apr 27, 2019 #6

    Devil's Advocate

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    How is that easier? I’ve made similar trips countless times and they never once involved a detour to/near Chicago (or LA). Unless riding the train trumps all other potential considerations I would recommend renting a car like any other sensible person. Arizona is a beautiful state but a surprising number of the people who actually live there are proudly retrograde and the public transportation options have been severely lacking for as long as I can remember.
     
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  7. Apr 27, 2019 #7

    PVD

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    Contact Groome Transportation (used to be Arizona Shuttle) They might be able to plan connecting service since they serve the locations potentially involved. It's relatively simple from the Chief, the SL makes this quite a bit lengthier and trickier to plan out.
     
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  8. Apr 27, 2019 #8

    Rasputin

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    I got the impression, perhaps mistakenly, that the original poster was looking for public transportation options and had no plans to rent a car (otherwise why would they have asked the question in the first place.) Going to Chicago on the City and then to Flagstaff on the Southwest Chief is a long but reasonable option if flying and bus connections are not workable.
     
  9. Apr 27, 2019 #9

    PRR 60

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    Amtrak has Thruway service (operated by Stagecoach Express) meeting the Sunset Limited at Maricopa serving Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (Amtrak code PHA). Groome Transportation (800-888-2749) operates shuttles from the airport to Williams.
     
  10. Apr 27, 2019 #10

    niemi24s

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    Sounds to me like the main purpose of Margo's trip is to see the Grand Canyon. That little train from Williams to the Grand Canyon Village will deposit you at the Western entrance to the park. But there are things to see all along the 22 mile stretch of road to the Eastern park entrance. And as a Yooper, I found a 6 to 8 mile stretch of AZ 64 East of the parks East entrance also had breathtaking views of the rims of the Little Colorado River Gorge. Oh - there's also a 7-8 mile paved dead end road out to the Western extremity of the park which makes the total distance driven to see just the really scenic things about 57 miles - 20 of it outside the Eastern park entrance.

    None of that can be seen from any train. Some of it might be seen from a tour bus. All of it can be seen from a rental car. And all of it can be seen by those up to a 57 mile walk.

    I drove the loop from Flagstaff into the East entrance and out the West entrance in 2014. The drive South out of the West entrance was anticlimatic. The only high point of that leg of the trip was the McDonald's restaurant in Tusayan where classical music was on the PA system to (as the manager back then said) "Keep the kids out". Seemed to do the job quite well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  11. Apr 27, 2019 #11

    anumberone

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    I think hitchhiking May be the only way to get outta Maricopa Az. We're talking the Wild West.
     
  12. Apr 27, 2019 #12

    Dan O

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    With a good amount of time and a rental car, one could also drive to the North Rim and see the spectacular views from Point Imperial and Cape Royal. Point Imperial is the highest point on the rim at 8800 feet and one can see the Painted Desert, Vermilion cliffs, the Grand Canyon of course, the Colorado River and more. Cape Royal is at the point where the river changes directions from N-S to E-W. One can see quite a ways down (west) the canyon and also see Desert Tower, the Painted Desert, the Little Colorado river canyon and more. BUT, the N rim is about a 4 hour drive from the S rim. It's a very beautiful drive through the Painted Desert, over river at or near Marble canyon and through the forests on the N rim plateau.
     
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  13. Apr 27, 2019 #13

    MikefromCrete

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    The Grand Canyon Railroad is not exactly a "little train." It's a full size operation with coaches, domes, parlor cars and even the occasional steam locomotive.
    And why would a McDonald's manager want to "keep the kids out?" Seems like that would be a mainstay of his business.
     
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