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  1. Default 5-7 day western trip centralized from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, Sequoia.

    We are planning 5-7 day trip to visit Grand Canyon, Sequoia National Park around June 13-20, 2010. I will be traveling with my parents, both senior citizens so there will be minimal hiking or walking. We will by flying into Las Vegas area and renting a car. Our main goal of this trip is to visit the Grand Canyon, which we will visit first. Is there a train ride available at the Grand Canyon without taking the train from Williams, AZ. The 2 day trian packages from Williams appear to offer very little time at the Grand Canyon, but appears to be the only option for train travel in the area or at the Grand Canyon. After returning to the Las Vegas area from the Grand Canyon we would like to spend the remaining few days traveling up to see the Giant Sequoia's and whatever we can fit in along this route. This is the portion of the trip I am having the most problem with planning. We have not purchased air fare yet and would like some feedback. I will include my rough travel plans and please include any suggestions
    Day 1 - Ky to Las Vegas travel
    Day 2 - Travel to Grand Canyon area? Hotel?
    Day 3 - Visit Grand Canyon area? Hotel?
    Day 4 - Travel back to Las Vegas? Hotel?
    Day 5 - Travel towards Sequoia? Hotel?
    Day 6 - Visit Sequoia? and arrive back in Las Vegas
    Day 7 - Las Vegas to Ky

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default trains

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The Williams-based train is the only train to the Grand Canyon, so if train travel is part of your goal, then that really is you only option. I haven't looked at the packages, but if you took the train over 2 days, you'd get to the Canyon around 11am, and would be leaving the next day about 3, so you'd get more than 24 hours there. That would be enough time to see quite a bit, including a sunrise/sunset, and do some hiking if you'd like.

    For Sequoia, you would save some time by driving straight there (via I-40) rather than backtracking all the way to Vegas. You might be able to work in a full loop, driving from Grand Canyon straight to Sequoia (a full days drive), then do a loop through Yosemite, over Tioga Pass, and back to Vegas via Death Valley. That might be too much for your available time, but depending upon your pace preferences, you might be able to make that work for a quick trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Train ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Whereas the train is an option I think you would be better off taking your car into the Grand canyon. From the village centre and East [Desert view drive] there are many view points within an easy walking distance of the car and a very easy rim trail walk. To the West is Hermits rest and you can use the free shuttle bus system that will stop at all the various view points on route in a hop on hop off mode and they are very frequent. This could also work with the train ride if that's what you wanted to do.

    For lodgings, Williams and Flagstaff offer the best value with Tusayan being closest and most expensive, your other option would be to stay in one of the Grand canyon lodges [see the NPS site] but it isn't so budget friendly and could be booked up already.

    I would also consider heading direct to Sequoia from GC as it will save you time and miles by not detouring back to Vegas for a night. Barstow to Bakersfield would be a good area to aim for the first night and continue from there

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Trains at the Grand Canyon and Trees from Las Vegas

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I had a thorough look at the website for the train(s) out of Williams, and unfortunately, as near as I can determine, they only sell tickets departing from/arriving in Williams. There is, oddly in my opinion, no option to take the train from the Canyon back to the Canyon or one way in either direction. If, however, you have your heart set on a train ride in the area, they do offer a short (8 mile) excursion train pulled by an old steam locomotive that leaves and returns to Williams on an hourly schedule, which you could do on the morning of the day you plan to drive back to Las Vegas.

    Also unfortunately, there is no way into Sequoia National Park from the west so the drive from Las Vegas is some 400 miles one-way around the southern end of the Sierra Nevada through Barstow and Bakersfield. That would make your plans to drive there and back in two days possible but perhaps not worth the effort for the time you'd have to put in.

    Perhaps a shorter drive would be to go to Lone Pine, CA on US-395 and take Whitney Portal Rd into the John Muir Wilderness. However, this route is the access for bikers and hikers out to climb Mt Whitney and requires permits even for day hikers. You should check with the USFS office in Lone Pine if you want to look into this further. But this would let you get into the mountains and forests with a drive of 'only' about 250 miles (one-way) and such a drive would be through Death Valley, an added plus.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Some more to ponder.

    Having noticed you haven't booked your flights yet another option would be to fly into San Fran and out of Vegas, [not sure how costs compare] as that would actually save around 180 miles of travelling compared to LV to LV.

    The Sequoia National Monument would also be an option if you really wanted to see some giant trees. Although not quite as big, there is a grove of Sequoia near Johnsondale which is just North of Lake Isabella and Kernville. It is the "Trail of 100 giants" and has an easy to walk guided pathway twisting it's way through the trees. Doing this option and back across Death valley is of a similar distance to starting in San Fran, approx 1180 miles.

    If the tree's are just a "maybe" at the moment then one other thing I would consider is doing a LV loop and from the Grand canyon head up through Page to the wonderful park of Zion where you can stroll around this scenic wonder, it would also be of a much more relaxed pace

  6. Default Thanks for the information

    Thanks for all the good information and quick response.

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