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A Grand Canyon Original

Destination: Southwest

By train, searching for the legacy of Mary Colter, an unsung architect who designed many of the hotels and unique buildings that dot the South Rim and introduced travelers to the Southwest

November 07, 1999|SUSAN SPANO / TIMES TRAVEL WRITER

Getting there: The Southwest Chief leaves L.A.'s Union Station daily at 7:15 p.m., arriving in Lamy, N.M., at 2:35 p.m. the following day. Shuttle service from the Lamy depot to Santa Fe is available for $14 one way. Round-trip fares: $62 to $112 coach, $157 to $232 for a sleeper. Amtrak information: telephone (800) 872-7245, Internet http://www.amtrak.com.

The Grand Canyon Railroad excursion train, tel. (800) THE TRAIN (843-8724), Internet http://www.thetrain.com, runs between Williams, Ariz., and the Grand Canyon once a day, departing 9:30 a.m., arriving at the South Rim at 11:45 a.m. It returns to Williams at 3:15 p.m., arriving at 5:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $49.95 to $119.95, and packages are available that include the train ride, accommodations at the Fray Marcos Hotel in Williams, canyon tours and meals.

Where to stay: Amfac Parks and Resorts operates five hotels inside Grand Canyon National Park on the South Rim, including Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins (rates $60 to $116, single or double occupancy), and El Tovar Hotel ($114 to $171). Tel. (303) 297-2757, fax (303) 297- 3175, Internet http://www.amfac.com.

Amfac can also supply information on mule trips to Phantom Ranch and bus tours of the South Rim.

If you plan to spend the night in Williams before or after taking the Grand Canyon train, the Fray Marcos, operated by the railroad and right by the depot, is an obvious choice. Another option is the Red Garter Bed and Bakery, just across the tracks from the depot, in an 1897 building that was once a saloon; tel. (800) 328-1484, Internet http://thegrandcanyon.com/redgarter. Rates: $65 to $105 double, including breakfast.

In Winslow, La Posada has 20 rooms, all decorated differently. 303 E. 2nd St., Winslow, AZ 86047; tel. (520) 289-4366, fax (520) 289-3873, Internet http://www.laposada.org. Rates: $65 to $95, single or double occupancy, including breakfast.

In Santa Fe, La Fonda, on the city's main square, has 159 rooms and suites. 100 E. San Francisco, Santa Fe, NM 87501; tel. (800) 523- 5002, fax (505) 988-2952, Internet http://www.travelbase.com/destinations/santa-fe/la-fonda. Rates: $189 to $500.

For more information: Grand Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023; tel. (520) 638-7888, Internet http://www.thecanyon.com/nps.

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