5/26/2012 10:26:00 AM Check out local sights around Williams
Don't forget to bring your camera!
Before exploring Williams' most scenic areas, check your vehicle to assure you are properly outfitted for your adventure. Remember to bring your camera along with plenty of film. Don't forget the sunscreen. Always bring plenty of water!
Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. Cell phones don't always work in our remote areas.
Remember that if a road looks too rough for your vehicle, it probably is. See the folks at the Williams-Forest Service Visitor Center, 200 W. Railroad, for detailed maps and directions before heading out into the great outdoors.
Historic Downtown: Numerous restaurants, motels, souvenir and Indian jewelry shops located in turn-of-the-century buildings. The Historic Walking Tour Brochure is available at the city of Williams-Forest Service Visitor Center as well as most businesses.
Bill Williams Monument Park: Located on the west end of town. Picnic tables and indoor restrooms available.
Grand Canyon Railway Depot and Museum: Located west of Grand Canyon Boulevard, north of the railroad tracks. Authentic "old west" entertainment held daily at 9:30 a.m. at the station prior to the train's departure. The museum is filled with memorabilia on history of the train and depot which was originally the Fray Marcos Hotel, one of the Harvey Houses at the turn-of-the century.
Visitor Center: Located at 200 West Railroad Ave. The city of Williams-Forest Service Visitor Center is open yearround daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cataract Lake: From Railroad Avenue, turn north on Seventh Street; turn left after the railroad tracks onto Cataract Lake Road; follow road for two miles. Camping, fishing and restrooms available.
Elephant Rocks Golf Course: Follow directions as above, but continue on Cataract Lake Road past turnoff, until stop sign; turn right on Golf Course Road and go about 1.5 miles; entrance is on right. Elephant Rocks is a city-owned, public golf course.
Buckskinner Park: Located one mile south of Williams. Take Sixth Street and follow signs. Picnic tables, campfire grills, volleyball/basketball courts available. The scenic lake offers fishing and hiking trails nearby.
Kaibab Lake: Located four miles east and north of Williams. Take Highway 64 North to the Kaibab Lake turnoff (left). Camping, fishing, picnic tables, drinking water, restrooms and outdoor fireplaces. Interpretive programs are held at the amphitheater weekly during summer months. A fully handicap accessible fishing pier is available.
Elk Ridge Ski Resort: From downtown Williams, head south on South Fourth Street, which turns into the Perkinsville Road. Travel approximately 2.5 miles to Ski Run Road (also known as Forest Road 106), take a right and drive 1.5 miles.
Grand Canyon Deer Farm: Head east on I-40 to Exit 171. Turn left and go over highway. At stop sign, make a sharp left and follow for one half mile. The Deer Farm is on the right.
Historic Route 66: Follow the road that carried millions west, to the land of dreams. On the National Register of Historic Places, this highway led from Chicago to Los Angeles. Begin tour in downtown Williams on Route 66, go east to I-40 and take Pittman Valley exit (171). Go left over highway and turn right to follow historic highway.
Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail: Built in 1857 as an interstate road through the heart of new lands on to California, the Beale Road was no more than a 10-foot track, which allowed wagons to pass. From Ft. Smith, Ark., to the Colorado River, the road spanned 1,240 miles.
The trail can be followed today and is clearly marked. Take I-40 east to the Parks exit, turn left, and left again at the "T." Follow to FR 141 and turn right to Government Prairie (FR 97).
One place to visit is Laws Spring, a major water stop used by men of the original expedition. Contact the visitor center for more information.
Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Area: Located 14 miles southeast of Williams, the area offers breath-taking views, deep canyons and streams.
Visit Sycamore Canyon Vista, an overlook of a deep gorge which twists for 21 miles along the course of Sycamore Creek. To get there, travel south on FR 141 from Interstate 40 at the Garland Prairie Road Exit No. 167, about four miles east of Williams. Follow FR 141 to its junction with FR 56 and turn south on FR 56. The road dead ends after about 3.5 miles at a parking loop. From here, you must walk south for approximately .25 mile until you come to the Sycamore Rim Trail. Follow the Sycamore Rim Trail in the direction indicated for about 100 yards to the Sycamore Canyon Vista.
Bull Basin Road: This route provides outstanding views of Kendrick Mountain, the highest peak in Kaibab National Forest. Kendrick Wilderness Area offers a variety of recreational opportunities for hiking, horseback riding or viewing wildlife. Take I-40 east to the Parks exit (178), cross the overpass and turn left at the "T" intersection. At the Parks General store turn right on FDR 141. The sightseeing route starts at FDR 141 and FDR 144.
White Horse Lake: Take Fourth Street (CR73) south for approximately eight miles. Turn left (east) at the sign and follow signs to the lake. The road to the lake is a well-maintained cindered road. Campsites, drinking water, fishing facilities.
Dogtown Reservoir: Take Fourth Street (CR73) south and turn left (east) on Forest Service cindered road 140; follow signs to lake. Campsites, restrooms, drinking water and fishing available.
Bill Williams Mountain: The mountain offers a panoramic view from the top. Visible are the Grand Canyon, the Verde Valley and the majestic San Francisco Peaks. There is plenty of wildlife and each summer, a phenomenon occurs - the hatching of lady bugs. Their numbers are so extraordinary that many of the trees turn an orange hue. Take County Road 73 to FDR 111 and turn right. This road is not suitable for motor homes.
Museum of Northern Arizona: Located in Flagstaff, 32 miles east of of Williams. In Flagstaff; go north on Hwy. 180 about three miles to sign. Has international reputation with many Indian artifacts.
Northern Arizona University: In Flagstaff, the north campus of NAU is an historic landmark. Also on the campus is an Olympic-sized indoor pool, an observatory, and the J.L. Walkup Skydome, which is where most athletic events are held.
Lowell Observatory: World famous observatory located in Flagstaff.
Walnut Canyon: Take I-40 east to exit 204; follow signs.
San Francisco Peaks & Snow Bowl: Tallest mountains in Arizona at 12,670 feet. Scenic sky ride to 11,500 feet in summer, with skiing in the winter. From Flagstaff, take Hwy. 180 north, and follow to Snow Bowl
Slide Rock State Park, & Oak Creek Canyon: From Flagstaff, take Hwy. 89A South. Colorful red rock and sandstone formation, craggy cliffs and trout streams. Campsites are available, along with picnic tables, restrooms and grills.
Sedona: Go through Oak Creek Canyon (see above) to Sedona. A haven for artists and craftsmen that is filled with art galleries and antique shops.
Verde Valley: The Perkinsville Highway connects Williams to the Verde Valley, winding through pine forest to high desert lands. Jerome, a once booming mining town, sits on the side of Mingus Mountain. Various antique shops and places of interest fill the streets of this historic town. Red Rock country lies below the mountain, where the city of Sedona is situated. Take County Road 73 (Fourth Street) out of Williams and continue south. Winter access on this road is limited.
Grand Canyon: Follow Route 66 east which will turn into Highway 64. Continue north on Hwy. 64 for approximately 57 miles.
Sunset Crater & Wupatki National Monument: In Flagstaff, take Hwy. 89 North for 10 miles. Colorful crater formed by volcanic eruptions 900 years ago. Campsites available. To get to monument, (and various other Indian ruins) stay on the loop road. Picnic tables are available at monument.
Grand Canyon IMAX Theatre: Follow signs for Grand Canyon. Take Hwy. 64 for 52 miles to Tusayan. Theatre is on the left.
90 minute drive
Grand Canyon Caverns: Take I-40 west to Seligman (42 miles). In Seligman, take Historic Route 66 northwest for 25 miles to Caverns, an underground tour of beautiful caves.
Montezuma Castle: Take I-40 east to I-17 south (30 miles). Stay on I-17 until you see signs for the castle, and take that exit. The castle is a large group of Indian ruins built into cliffs.
Meteor Crater: Follow I-40 east for about 70 miles. Take exit 233 south, and follow signs to Meteor Crater. It is the best preserved crater on earth, and is used to train U.S. astronauts.
Jerome: Take the Perkinsville Highway (CR73) all the way to Jerome. Twenty-three of the 45 miles are paved, with the remainder being a graded, cindered road suitable for high clearance vehicles only in warm weather. This road is not recommended by the Prescott National Forest as it can be pretty rough for the casual visitor. For a smoother route, go through Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona and Cottonwood to Jerome. Jerome is an historic "ghost town" with various antique and tourist shops.
Prescott: Take I-40 west for 17 miles. Take Hwy. 89 south 53 miles to Prescott. This city was the state's first capitol. While there, visit such historical sites as the Sharlot Hall Museum.
Williams Loop Road (FDR 108): This route offers good wildlife watching and good views of Bill Williams Mountain. Coleman Lake is a waterfowl nesting area and a good area for bird watching.
The Loop Road takes you there by way of a route that passes through scenic forests and wide prairies. Head south on County Road 73 from Williams seven miles, turn right on FDR 108 and follow the signs.