facts & history in brief
Williams is a small historic town
nestled at the base of
the Bill Williams Mountain
near the world's largest stand
of ponderosa pine trees.
Williams is a place where cowboys
and pickup trucks are as much a
part of the picturesque landscape
as the blue sky, sparkling
sunshine, and clean air.
Mountain lakes, enchanting back
roads, and forested trails afford
abundant natural beauty and
recreation year round, combined with
the spectacular vistas of
nearby Grand Canyon.
The town of 2900 residents
maintains the charm of an early 19th
century western town, and
its personality reflects such rich
diversity of cultural influence
including mountain men traders,
American Indians, cattle ranchers,
railroad labourers, and tourists
from around the world on their
way to the Grand Canyon.
Originally a mountain town and logging centre, and once
a home to gambling, opium dens and brothels.
Williams is now a quaint mountain settlement where shoppers
pore over the 19th century shop fronts and listen for
the nostalgic sound of the train whistle from the historic
depot at the center of town.
Route 66 ran right through Williams - it was the last
Route 66 town to be bypassed by the interstate highway.
Today spring flowers and fall colours decorate the roadsides
of the famous Route 66, known as America's Main Street,
which in its heyday served as a national thoroughfare
from Chicago to Los Angeles for 'Dust Bowl' migrants,
World War II troops, and millions of travelers seeking
adventure in the West.
Visitors today enjoy the ambiance of those days in soda
fountains, restaurants, shops and motels from the glory
days and excursions along the old road.
Seven high-country lakes are within minutes of downtown
They attract fishermen, hikers, campers, and outdoor
lovers every day of the year.
Meanwhile, nearby pine and juniper forests and grassy
meadows attract elk, deer, antelope, wild turkey, hawks,
squirrels, and an occasional mountain lion or black
The "South Road" (County Road 73) meanders through tall
aspen, oak, and pine trees on its way to the spectacular
Sycamore Canyon Wilderness area.
Situated at an elevation of about 6800 feet, Williams
enjoys a four-season climate which cultivates wild blue
iris in spring, sunflower-filled fields summer, orange
oaks and golden aspens in fall, and fluffy white blankets
of snow in Winter.
Elephant Rocks Golf Course, rated the "most picturesque
course in Arizona".
The well-groomed course and driving range are open to
the public from April through early November.
Rental clubs are available in the fully stocked pro
shop and the lounge features rustic stone architecture,
beautiful views, and a complete bar.
Williams hosts nearly a million visitors each year in
its hotels, campground, RV Parks, and bed and breakfasts,
as "The Gateway to the Grand Canyon".
The Grand Canyon is the experience of a lifetime.
From town you are only about an hour away by car.
Or for a trip back in time, you can travel to the Grand
Canyon on the historic Grand Canyon Railway.
Once you get there, you'll find that Grand Canyon National
Park is a combination of scenic thrills and quiet places.
Your visit will fill you with memories. Located on Interstate
40, Williams is within an easy drive of Arizona's most
Grand Canyon National Park, Deer Farm, Petting Zoo,
Williams Ski Area, Lowell Observatory, Museum of Northern
Arizona, Walnut Canyon are only about an hour drive
Only slightly further are the beautiful Red Rocks of
Sedona & Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona Snow Bowl and Skyride,
Verde River Valley, Navajo, Hopi and Hualapai Indian
reservations, Wupatki Indian ruins, Sunset Crater Volcano,
and Meteor Crater.
In century-old tradition, buckskinners and mountain
men converge on the town for a weekend of fun that celebrates
the western heritage of Williams.
Activities include a big parade, black powder shoot,
arts, crafts and food fair, carnival, entertainment
and games at the Memorial day weekend.
An old fashioned parade, outdoor entertainment and lots
of traditional small town activities are held on the
4th of July.
Then, Northern Arizona's best fireworks are set against
Bill Williams Mountain and the star-filled skyscape
The Labour Day Weekend are celebrated with a professional
rodeo entertainment including bull riding and all the
It's a big time rodeo in a small town atmosphere, the
way rodeos used to be.
The fun doesn't end at the arena.
There's a Western celebration, a big rodeo parade and
barn dances for plenty of stompin' and gallivantin'.
A million Christmas lights brighten the mountain town
of Williams during Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.
You can enjoy holiday activities, shop in quaint arts,
crafts, and antique shops of historic old town.
Parade of lights takes place the second Saturday in
Historic Old town Williams is full of interesting shops
My grateful thanks to the Tourist Office brochure.
Our tour stopped at Williams on the way to
the Grand Canyon for some refreshments and for a 'comfort
As usual, I rushed around to admire the railway paraphernalia,
streets and the shops and snap a few photos.
Also admired the interesting exhibitions at the tourist
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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