""Gateway to the Grand Canyon", plus trails" Top 5 Page for this destination Williams by glabah
Williams Travel Guide: 41 reviews and 156 photos
At one time known as the gateway to the Grand Canyon, there are not a huge number of people that come to Williams these days. While the Grand Canyon, of course, remains a very popular tourist attraction, most people simply drive north from the interstate. However, the fact remains that the junction so many people take is close to Williams.
The city remains a gateway to the Grand Canyon in the sense that this is where the former Santa Fe branch line to the Grand Canyon divided from the main line. The main line through town was relegated to branch line status in the 1960s when an entirely new main line passing through the north of town was constructed. There are still one or two freight trains per day going to Phoenix that go through downtown Williams, but today even most freight bypasses the city.
Today, the branch line from Williams to the Grand Canyon operates as a tourist railroad, carrying at least one (and during peak season two) trains a day from Williams to the Grand Canyon.
Naturally, traces of the railroad are all over Williams. For example, the gateway to Williams shown here is made from old railroad signal masts.
On the south and west, Williams has very close access to the Kaibob National Forest, and there is a one mile trail that links downtown Williams sidewalks pretty much directly to the National Forest trail system. This link trail is called City of Williams Link Trail #124.
This deer was photographed on the trail, about 200 feet (62 meters) after leaving the city sidewalk on the local residential road that leads to the trail.
There are a few surviving old buildings in downtown Williams, and you will find that most of the town is fairly easily to access just by walking from place to place.
There are a number of hotels and motels between the Interstate and downtown, and there are several recreational vehicle campgrounds available as well. The hotel I stayed at was the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, and of course that is the hotel closest to the train station. Train traffic through downtown is fairly rare now that the main line has been relocated to north of the interstate, but there are a few trains a day.
A visitor's center and museum is available for those wanting to become more familiar with the area.
- Pros:Preserved (somewhat) historic small town, many different hotels.
- Cons:Over an hour from the Grand Canyon, or 2.5 hours by train. Small town with not a huge variety.
- In a nutshell:Has some good things, but is too far from the Grand Canyon to be a viable overnight option for that attraction except on way there.
If you are passing through Williams on your way somewhere in the morning and need some breakfast, this is probably one... more travel advice
It isn't much of a spring at all, but it is at least a trail, and the exercise will do you good. After taking City of... more travel advice
glabah's Related Pages
Williams Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- ""Gateway to the Grand Canyon", plus trails"
- "Back to the Past"
- "Williams - A Very Pleasant Surprise"
- "Basaic Williams Page"
- "A taste of Far West"
- "Good Stopping Place"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Williams
- Hotels in Williams
- Transportation in Williams
- Restaurants in Williams
- Warnings and Dangers in Williams
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Williams
- 12 Reviews
- 77 Photos
- 3 Forum posts
- 3 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (274)
Have you been to Williams?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Williams
- Posted in Miscellaneous Forum "Re: Alternative to Shopping"
- updated a Williams Travel Page ""Gateway to the Grand Canyon", plus trails"
- Uploaded a Photo to "Williams Railway Museum: Not Operating Now"
- Wrote a Review All You Can Eat for $10 (after tax $11.12) in Williams Restaurants
- Uploaded a Video to Williams
Photos in WilliamsSee All Photos (77)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Seattle Intro, 177 reviews, 907 photos, 24 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Portland Intro, 161 reviews, 751 photos, 17 travelogues
- Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Intro, 29 reviews, 597 photos, 60 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Tacoma Intro, 88 reviews, 386 photos, 2 travelogues
- Victoria Intro, 73 reviews, 237 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Port Townsend Intro, 59 reviews, 229 photos, 3 travelogues
- Washougal Intro, 20 reviews, 257 photos, 22 travelogues
- Friday Harbor Intro, 56 reviews, 204 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Salem Intro, 46 reviews, 207 photos, 5 travelogues
- William Finley National Wildlife Refuge Intro, 26 reviews, 222 photos, 13 travelogues