This trail starts in ponderosa pine and oak thickets. As it crosses West Cataract Creek, it goes through stands of aspen and fir carpeted by a dense ground cover of ferns, Oregon grape and Arizona wild rose. At several places on the trail, the hiker has a good view of the valley below and the peaks in the distance. There is no water available along the trail, but cool summer temperatures make this an enjoyable hike.
Bill Williams Mountain marks the traditional boundary of lands inhabited by the early ancestors of the Hopi people. For that reason, they view the area as sacred. Your respectful use of this area, while you are visiting here, will be appreciated. This trail was originally built as a "toll road" in 1902. Builder Esan Lamb charged hikers and horseback riders a fee to ride to the top.
Trail Layout: This is a short (day) hike, with moderately difficult slopes going up the mountain and easy down-grades coming back down. If arrangements can be made for someone to drive to the top of the mountain on FR 111 and meet the hikers, a one-way trip is possible. The trail ends near the end of the road at 9256 feet. By leaving a vehicle at Williams District and also at the start of Benham Trail, day-hikers can go up one trail and down the other for a total hike of about 8.5 miles. It is also possible to connect with the Bixler Saddle Trail #72 to make a longer hike.
Length: 4.0 miles
Hiking Time: About 5 to 6 hours round trip.
Trailhead Location: Trailhead at 7000 feet. Trail starts at Williams Ranger Station (Camp Clover).
Recommended Season: Late spring to early fall.
Use Restrictions: No motorized vehicles.
Access: Go west from downtown Williams on Bill Williams Avenue about one mile; turn left at Clover Hill and proceed along the frontage road to the turnoff to Williams Ranger District office. Follow the signs to the trailhead.
Travel Time: About 10 minutes from Williams to the Ranger Station.
Road Condition: Paved roads.
USGS Map(s): Bill Williams Mountain. (Forest map may also be useful; may be purchased at the Visitors Center.)