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Williams, Arizona
Fast Facts
ACTIVITIES
Train Tours
Historic Interest
Wildlife Park
 
 
Tourist Attractions

BEST

  for

KIDS

BEST

  for

KIDS

 
Kid-Friendly Hotels
 
 

Grand Canyon Railway

 

Photo by National Park Service

Williams may lack the lure of the South Rim and bustle of Flagstaff yet this picturesque community is well worth a stopover. Named after Old Bill Williams, a famous trapper, trader and mountain man, this once railroad and lumber town is still very much Western. It's home to the Grand Canyon Railway, which runs a scenic train trip to the South Rim and winter journey to the North Pole aboard the Polar Express. An overnight in the self-billed Gateway to the Grand Canyon is significantly cheaper than a sleep in the park. Williams is surrounded by the sagebrush meadows and pine covered hills of the Kaibab National Forest.
Getting There
 
Williams, Arizona is located 60 miles (97 km) south of the Grand Canyon South Rim and 30 miles (48 km) west of Flagstaff, Arizona. This small town in northwest Arizona is located on Historic Route 66 and is easily accessed from I-40. The nearest full service airports are in Phoenix and Las Vegas, a 2.5-hour and 3.5-hour drive respectively. The small Flagstaff airport has limited commercial service. Amtrak connects Williams with points east and west making train travel an option for families. The Grand Canyon Railway makes its way daily between Williams and the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The train trip is 2.5 hours each way. Bus service is available between Phoenix, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon and Williams as well as destinations farther afield.
When to Travel
 
While there is no right or wring time of year to visit Williams, Arizona there are few things to consider. The nighttime low is significantly cooler than the daytime high, even in summer. Snow is likely December through March and possible in November and April. The South Rim is less crowded on weekdays than weekends from May through September. The Polar Express sells out quickly.
Things to Keep in Mind
 
Williams is a valid alternative for budget travelers to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
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