Traveling from Williams to the Grand Canyon
The quaint town of Williams Arizona lies along historic Rt. 66 and still holds much on its old west charm. Williams was the original gateway city to the Grand Canyon, which is still its largest tourist attraction. Williams is only a 45-minute drive to the Grand Canyon South Entrance and aside from Tusayan (right outside the South Entrance), it’s the closest town to the park for travelers coming from Las Vegas. Williams has great recreational activities outside the National Park. There are several lakes to fish right outside of town and trophy elk hunting. Elk Ridge Ski area is a short drive up Perkinsville Road, which is an amazing scenic drive that goes all the way to Jerome, AZ along an old dirt road. This route also offers great hikes and camping, including a few spots right along the Verde River. Just east of town, rock climbing enthusiasts will enjoy Paradise Forks, which offer great crack climbing, hiking, and a seasonal waterfall.
Both the town and mountain backdrop are namesakes of Bill Williams, who among other things was a legendary trapper. At nearly 7,000 feet in elevation Williams enjoys 4-seasons and has a climate similar to nearby Flagstaff and the South Rim. After the construction of interstate 40, Williams like many other Rt. 66 destinations nearly turned into a ghost town, but nearby Grand Canyon National Park keep things alive. With the Rebirth of Rt. 66, happy days were here again, and a new type of tourist began to flood into this dusty town. Historic Rt. 66 enthusiasts will find several dinners, bars and shops reminiscent of the good old days in this modern piece of Americana. Read the guide below to learn more.