Located on the famous Route 66, the town of Williams, Arizona has a history that is steeped in the traditions of the old West, and still maintains its rustic charm. Williams, Arizona, is located in the heart of the Kaibab National Forest at an elevation of 6,770 feet and is part of Coconino County.
Founded in 1881, Williams was named for the famous trapper, scout and mountain man, “Old Bill Williams.” A statue of “Old Bill” stands in Monument Park, located on the west side of the city. The large mountain directly south of town is named Bill Williams Mountain and the Town was incorporated July 9, 1901.
Also known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon,” Williams was the last town on Historic Route 66 to be bypassed by Interstate 40. The community, bypassed on Oct. 13, 1984, continues to thrive on tourism and has lots to offer!
Boasting seven area fishing lakes, hiking trails up Bill Williams Mountain and into Sycamore Canyon, an alpine ski area and cross country ski trails, four seasons weather and an abundance of wildlife, Williams offers unlimited recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Dogtown Lake, White Horse Lake and Cataract Lake are favorites for fishing and camping.
One of the most famous attractions in Williams is the Grand Canyon Railway, which provides memorable train rides to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is a favorite place to stay with its refurbished rooms, salt water pool and spa, buffet and shops. A special treat for the kids, which takes place each winter, is the Polar Express Train Ride to the “North Pole”, which ends with a visit from Santa Claus and his reindeer offering gifts to each child.
Some of the other attractions that define the northern Arizona town of Williams are: Bearizona Wildlife Park, a wild life park you can drive through and see up-close black bears, wolves and many other animal species. Route 66 zipline soars right along the famous Route 66 above the nostalgic town of Williams and OVER Grand Canyon Boulevard. Also, be sure to take in a rodeo during the summer months at the Williams Rodeo Grounds.
The town of Williams itself is charming and unique and offers many shops and art galleries to engage the visitor. Whether stopping through on the way to the Grand Canyon, or as your vacation destination, Williams has lots to offer!