Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Thu, Oct. 29

Off the beaten path
Whether you're looking to embark on an interesting walk or a drive in the woods, Williams is the perfect jumping off point for an afternoon adventure

Within Williams

• Historic Downtown: Numerous restaurants, motels, souvenir and Native American 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.

• 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 year-round daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

5-minute drive

• 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 are 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.

10-minute drive

• 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.

Half-hour drive

• 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.

One-hour drive

• 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.

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