Gateway to the Grand Canyon

Williams, Arizona calls itself the ‘Gateway to the Grand Canyon’. The town was named for a mountain man and trapper called Old Bill Williams. There is not a lot of documented information about Bill Williams, but when the railroads managed to put the town on the map, it was named for him.

There are a number of good full hook-up RV parks in and around the Williams area. It is a popular spot for RV owners to use as a home base while visiting the Grand Canyon. The historic Grand Canyon Railway takes visitors from the Williams Depot to the Grand Canyon, traveling on tracks that were first laid in 1901 as part of the Santa Fe Railroad. The Grand Canyon Railway includes vintage diesel engines and several Vista Dome cars and drops visitors just a few feet away from the rim of the canyon.

For days not spent exploring the Grand Canyon, Williams has other options for visitors. Peruse the shops for some local flavor. Shoppers will find jewelry and pottery crafted by local artisans including Navajo, Hopi and Zuni craftsmen. There are also great restaurants including Cruiser’s Café 66 or Rod’s Steak House.

For a rather unique attraction check out Bearizona, a wildlife park traveled in your own car complete with bison, bighorn sheep, wolves, black bears and more. There is also a petting zoo for those with smaller children.

Many folks travel through Williams with their focus set on the Grand Canyon. Those who take the time to explore Williams itself will be pleasantly surprised.

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