About Grand Canyon Village
In 1901 The Santa Fe Railroad extended a line right to the edge of the Grand Canyon to provide easier access for tourists than the 12-hour stage coach ride from Flagstaff. Previously Grandview Point had been the main tourist destination at the Grand Canyon, but at the terminus of the new railroad, Grand Canyon Village suddenly sprouted up with hotels, photography studios, restaurants and gift shops.
Just a few hundred feet from the railroad tracks, cliffs drop hundreds of feet followed by escarpments and ledges and more cliffs ending thousands of feet below at the base of Garden Creek Canyon. About three miles away, the Granite Gorge can be seen, at the bottom of which flows the Colorado River, nearly a mile lower in elevation. To the horizon in every direction, the cliffs line the canyon like ribbon candy, looping in and out around side canyons.
Trains still roll into Grand Canyon Village under the name of the Grand Canyon Railroad. However, most visitors to the canyon arrive via Arizona Highway 64 which approaches from Interstate 40 to the south or from U.S. Highway 89 on the east.
A walk along the rim trail at Grand Canyon Village offers spectacular views of the canyon. A descent into the canyon is also right at hand, via the Bright Angel Trail.