Williams is in the valleys and meadows at the base of

Bill Williams Mountain, in the beautiful Kaibab National Forest

of north-central Arizona. Known as the Gateway to the Grand

Canyon, it offers the shortest route from Interstate 40 to the

splendors of the Canyon.

 

Founded in 1880 and incorporated in 1901, Williams, the city

and the mountain, were named for William S. “Bill” Williams, a

famous master trapper and scout on the Santa Fe Trail.

Williams, at an elevation of 6,780 feet, maintains its attractive

small-town atmosphere, while large-town conveniences and

entertainment are only 30 minutes away in Flagstaff via I-40.

The Grand Canyon Railroad offers historic steam-engine train

rides between Williams and the Grand Canyon.

 

Williams' location, just west of state Highway 64 on I-40, 59

miles south of the Grand Canyon, makes tourist-oriented retail

and service firms a major segment of its economy. Williams'

proximity to ski runs and cross-country skiing, coupled with the

more than five million tourists at the Grand Canyon annually,

create an average traffic flow of more than 15,000 vehicles a

day. The resulting business is reflected in the fact that nearly

53 percent of the city's total employment is in trade and ser-vices.

The Forest Service, cattle and sheep ranching, dry farming,

small industries, and rock quarrying also contribute to the over-all

Williams economy, although agricultural and mining

employment is not reflected in city figures. The city is encouraging

diversification for the future.

 

In addition to the Grand Canyon, attractions in the Williams area

include Bill Williams Mountain, elevation 9,264 feet, and White

Horse Lake and Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Area to the south.

Within an hour's drive are Walnut Canyon and Wupatki National

Monuments, sites of several 12th-century Indian ruins; Sunset

Crater, the remains of a once-active volcano; and the San

Francisco Peaks, the highest elevation in Arizona. Air and ground

scenic tours are available in Williams.

 

The surrounding Kaibab National Forest provides hunting for

deer, turkey, antelope, elk, lion and bear in season. Small game

includes rabbit, squirrel, quail, dove, duck and geese. For the

fishing enthusiast, six well-stocked lakes surround Williams.

Camping is available with 200 National Forest campsites and

300 private sites serving the surrounding region. The Williams

Ski Area provides downhill skiing and sledding during the winter

months and there are cross-country ski trails nearby.