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El Portal Sedona Helps You Plan a Family Trip ~ Part One

Want to get out of the heat, or cold, or rain for that matter? But you want to bring the kids and dog too? El Portal Sedona Luxury Hacienda is the place for you! The staff at El Portal, led by owner Steve Segner, will personally plan and arrange your itinerary, at the same time providing a luxurious and relaxing home away from home.  El Portal welcomes the family dog (pet) too, we are Sedona’s original pet friendly bed and breakfast.

Now, where to start? Breakfast of course - it is the most important meal of the day! From a stack of lemon pancakes or freshly made cinnamon French toast topped with fresh fruit to a selection of hearty egg dishes and omelets, El Portal’s breakfasts are the perfect family fare.  Special requests for finicky eaters are no problem either. We will pack you a picnic lunch for your day, and don’t worry about the dog – we’ve got you covered!

 Now you’re ready to go, but where?

How about a train ride? You have two options:  the Verde Canyon Railroad or the Grand Canyon Railway. The Verde Canyon Railroad is a scenic 40 minutes from Sedona; running from Clarkdale to Perkinsville, the Verde Canyon Railroad is a stress-free wilderness adventure…at 12 mph. It is a fully restored vintage train. FP7 locomotives, two of only 12 remaining in North America, are the muscle that pulls the renovated consortium of cars. Indoor cars are climate-controlled, have restrooms which may be utilized throughout the trip. All coaches are designed with comfort in mind and there are outdoor viewing platforms with shaded canopies that let you enjoy the sights and sound of the canyon. This four hour round trip is a wonderful way to see the Verde River Canyon and all its wildlife – from bald eagles to ancient Sinagua Indian dwellings to early pioneer homesteads.

Your second option is the Grand Canyon Railway, which runs from Williams (a leisurely 45 minutes drive from Sedona) to Grand Canyon National Park. This trip provides you the opportunity to take in the incredible vistas of the Grand Canyon and all it has to offer. The train departs from Williams at 9:30am and departs from Grand Canyon Depot at 3:30pm daily. You arrive at Williams Depot at 5:45pm. You’ll pass through different landscapes, from Ponderosa pine forests down to the open and dry high desert, and then the train rises back into the forest as it gets close to the canyon. There is even a 1,500 foot vertical drop along the way! Keep your eyes out for elk, mountain lions, mule-deer, squirrels and even skunks while in the forests. You’ll notice a variety of birds, from bald eagles to horned owls to ravens to California condors. As you change in elevation plant life changes too, from ponderosa pines, spruce and fir trees to sagebrush and mountain ash.

At the end of your day on the rails, come “home” to El Portal, where you can relax in the courtyard and reminisce about the days events.

Call us at 1-800-313-0017 for your family vacation on the rails!

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