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Gateway to the Grand Canyon

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Williams is the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon" and also has the best preserved section of Route 66 as town's Main Street which gives you a clear idea of what it was like back in its heyday during the 1950s.

Classic Route 66 attractions in Williams

Williams AZ

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About Williams, Arizona

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation 6,766 ft (2.062 m). Population 3,023 (2010).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) no DST⁄ PDT (UTC-7).

Williams is a city in northwestern Arizona, in Coconino County is best known as the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon". See a Map of Williams.

Williams' Main Street, Route 66: then and now

Downtown Williams, Route 66 is the Main Street.

Downtown, Route 66 is the Main Street, as it looks today, Williams AZ
Route 66 is Williams' Main Street. Google
Click image for street view

Downtown Williams in the 1930s-40s

vintage postcard showing downtown Williams, Route 66, Arizona in the 1930s -40s
The same view in a 1930s - 40s postcard, Williams, Arizona

The forested region around Williams has been inhabited since the end of the last Ice Age some 10,000 years ago. Later it was peopled by the "Sinagua" people, farmers who would migrate east c. 1400 AD forced by a long dry spell. To the east were the Patayan natives who lived closer to the Colorado River Valley and the Grand Canyon region between 700 and 1550 AD, the Havasupai and the Hualapai people who nowadays live to the north and west of Williams are their descendants.

The area was part of the Spanish Colonies in America and passed on to Mexico after its independence in 1821. The U.S. seized the territories after defeating Mexico in a War (1848). Arizona became a separate territory in 1863.

The Name: Williams

The town is named after the mountain just south of it, which took its name from William Sherley "Old Bill" Williams (1787-1849). Explorer, scout, trapper, mountain man and guide. He led many expeditions in the Western USA. He spoke several native languages and married a woma of the Osage tribe.

The U.S. Army commissioned Lt. Edward "Ned" Fitzgerald Beale to open a wagon trail to California, and his men passed through this area in 1857, and the trail can still be visited (Beale Wagon Road at nearby Parks).

After the pacification of the Navajo in the 1870s, the area opened up the area to settlement and Charles Thomas Rogers bought a ranch in what is now Williams in 1879, becoming its first settler. A post office opened there in 1881 and in 1883, the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad (later the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad) reached Williams in 1883. A community soon grew up around the station. Saw mills producing lumber from the local forests and sheep ranches shipped out their produce by rail.

After the rail link to the Grand Canyon was built, tourism grew and by the end of the 1910s decade it was the largest source of income for the town.

During that same period, the National Old Trails (N.O.T.) highway was completed through Arizona and linked it with New Mexico and California.

Route 66 was aligned along the N.O.T. in 1926 and paved by 1935. Tourism faltered during the 1930s due to the Great Depression and during World War II. Growing steadily during the post-war period.

The last town to have Route 66 bypassed

Williams was the last town to have its section of Route 66 bypassed.

It fought in court to keep Interstate 40 from being built around the town. Dropping the suits when the state to built three Williams exits.

I-40 was completed on October 13, 1984, marking the end of US 66, which was decommissioned the following year.

Where to Stay in Williams

There is lodging on Route 66 in Williams:

>> Book your Hotel in Williams

Lodging Near Williams along Route 66

Heading East.... In Arizona

Heading West...


>> There are several RV campgrounds in Williams

Weather in Williams

Latest Williams, Arizona weather
Route 66: Williams, Arizona location map
Location of Williams on Route 66

Williams has a cool-summer Mediterranean type of climate. December is the coldest month and July is the warmest one. August is the rainiest.

The summer average high is (Jul) 83.3°F (28.5°C) and the average low is 55.1°F (128°C). During winter, the average high (Jan) is a cool 46.5°F (8.1°C) and the average low is a freezing 23.3°F (-4.8°C).

Rainfall is 22.1 inches per year (562 mm). May and June are the driest months with around 0.5 in. (12 mm) each. The rest of the year sees about 2 in. monthly (50 mm). There are 72 rainy days each year.

Snowfall is 71 inches (180 cm) starting in late October and ending in early May. On average there are 19 snowy days per year.

Tornado risk

All the area that is located to the west of Rocky Mountains hardly has any tornados.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.

Getting to Williams

You can reach Williams very easily via Interstate 40 and Old Route 66. NM-64 links it to the Grand Canyon (north) and NM-89 to Prescott (south).

Map of Route 66 in Williams, AZ

Check out Williams on our Route 66 Map of Arizona, with the complete alignment and all the towns along it.

Williams Map

Map with the alignment of Route 66 through Williams

Click on this link > > US 66 alignment in Williams

Route 66's alignment in Arizona: the Historic Route 66 through Williams

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across Arizona

Historic U.S. highway 66, "Route 66" has been designated as an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway in the state of Arizona.

Click on the following link for a Full description of Route 66 across the state of Arizona.

Below is more information on the different Route 66's alignments through Williams (they are shown in the Map above)

Williams, Arizona, its Sights and Attractions

Things to Do and Places to See

Gateway to the Grand Canyon

Williams' downtown area preserves Route 66 along its Main Street and has many US 66 landmarks and icons: motels, hotels and gas stations.

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Williams

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse rode along US 66 in 1946 and described it in his "A Guide Book to Highway 66", which is full of references to motels and filling stations (most of them now closed or demolished) along Route 66.

In Williams he mentions the following hotels: Fray Marcos, Grand Canyon, El Pinado.

The "Tourist Courts" (Motels): Sal's, West End, Bethel's, Williams Motel, Sun Dial, Mt. Williams, Del Sue, Hull's Motel Inn, and Sutton.

Historic Business District & Urban Route 66

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Below we describe some of the hotels mentioned by Rittenhouse and other historic buildings mostly located in the Williams Historic Business District and Urban Route 66, Williams which have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Fray Marcos Hotel

235 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams, AZ.

It is at the old railway station in central Williams (See Map).

Built in 1908 it was named after Friar Marcos de Niza, a Franciscan priest who explored New Mexico in 1539 and later with Coronado's expedition to Zuni and the Rio Grande.

It was a "Harvey House" (a Santa Fe Railway hotel) lodging passengers on the main railroad and the Grand Canyon line. It is built in Renaissance Revival style.

Cross the tracks and head along N. Grand Canyon Blvd. to Railroad Ave. head west along it half a block. In front of the Visitor Information Center is the classic Red Cross Garage:

Red Cross Garage

221 W. Railroad Ave.

Built in 1913, it was a repair shop for both wagons and cars. It had entrances on Bill Williams (now gone) and Railroad Avenues. It also housed a bowling alley.

The Red Cross Garage in a 1917 map

Vintage 1917 photograph from Harry Locke's Good Road Maps
(See the vintage map)

view of the Red Cross Garage today

A view of the Red Cross Garage today. Google
Click to see Google Street View

Head west algong Railroad Ave. for 0.6 miles just past the point where it meets Bill Williams Ave. and on the south side of the road is the former Norris Motel:

Norris Motel

1001 W Historic Rte 66.

This hotel is now the Americas Best Value Inn, and dates back to 1953. As you can see below it has kept its original looks:

You can Book a Room in this motel.

A 1960s postcard of the Norris Motel

vintage 1960s postcard of the Bel Aire Motel in Williams, Route 66, Arizona
The Norris Motel in a 1960s postcard, Williams, Arizona.

The Norris is now the Americas Best Value Inn

The Norris Motel today,Williams AZ
The former Norris (now Americas Best Value Inn). Google
Click image for Street View

Turn back towards town along Bill Williams Ave. and after passing 9th St., on the right side is an iconic filling station:

Wagoner's Gas

811 W Bill Williams Ave.

Built in 1960, it is a classic service station of those days witha a small canopy and its service garage with "tires", "lube" and "tune up" bays. It is a Union 76 service station and sells gas. See its Street View.

Head along Route 66 towards downtown, and two blocks ahead, to the left is the old Bel Aire Motel now Budget Host Inn.

The Bel Aire Motel

620 W Bill Williams Ave.

Now it is the Budget Host Inn and the steep roofed office and the motel's rooms have the same appearance they had over forty years ago but the sign has lost some of its sixtyish charm.

You can Book a Room in this motel.

A 1960s postcard of the Bel Aire Motel

vintage 1960s postcard of the Bel Aire Motel in Williams, Route 66, Arizona
The Bel Aire Motel in a postcard from the 1960s, Williams, Arizona.

The Bel Aire is now the Budget Host Inn

The Bel Aire Motel today,Williams AZ
The former Bel Aire (now Budget Host Inn). Google
Click image for Street View

Keep east along Route 66 and on the right side of the road you will spot the Highlander Motel

Highlander Motel

533 W Bill Williams Ave.

Built in 1953, it is still operated under the same name. It has the same sign and the peculiar round window in the office. The postcard announced that the motel had "Ceramic Tiled Baths... Wall to Wall Carpeting Electric and Vented Wall Heat, Individually controlled... Separate Dressing Rooms... 12 Units. Air Conditioned by nature. Gateway to Grand Canyon. Marshall and Ruth Ann Duncan, Owners.".

You can Book a Room in this motel.

A 1950s postcard of the Highlander Motel

vintage 1950s postcard of the Highlander Motel in Williams, Route 66, Arizona
A 1950s postcard of the Highlander Motel, Williams, Arizona.

The Highlander as it looks today

The Highlander Motel today,Williams AZ
The Highlander Motel today. Google
Click image for Street View

Now cross the road to the Westerner Motel

Westerner Motel

530 E Bill Williams Ave.

You can Book a Room in this motel.

A vintage postcard of the Westerner Motel

vintage postcard of the Westerner Motel in Williams, Route 66, Arizona
The Westerner Motel in a classic postcard, Williams, Arizona.

Below is how it looks today: the "L" shaped layout is the same (but now there is another eastern wing in the complex not shown in the postcard).

The Westerner Motel is still open

The Westerner Motel today,Williams AZ
The Westerner Motel today. Google
Click image for Street View

On the next block, at 424 W Bill Williams Ave (to your left) is the brick building "Custom Designs Autobody" dating back to 1915. And on the southeast corner of Old Route 66 and S 4th Street is a Route 66 icon:

Sutton's Hotel Cottages - later Whiting Brothers

315 W Bill Williams Ave.

The place was originally known as Sutton's Hotel Cottages, and renamed Sutton's Courts. In those days Bill Williams Avenue was a two way highway. The place was purchased in 1965 by Whiting Brothers who converted it into a motel and added the service station that is located on the corner (now closed).

In the early 1990s they sold it and it changed its name again since then it has been the "Arizona 9 Motor Hotel".

You can Book a Room in this motel.

Late 1960s postcard of the Whiting Brothers Motel in Williams, Route 66, Arizona

The Whiting Bros. Motel in a late 1960s postcard.

The Arizona 9 Motel,Williams AZ

The sign of the Arizona 9 Motel. Austin Whittall

Across the road at 326 W. Route 66 is the Rock Building built in 1936, followed by a landmark:

Bennett’s Auto Williams

Bennett's auto. Austin Whittall

Babbitt-Polson Building

314 W. Route 66

It is the only Art Deco style building in Williams' Historic District. Originally built in 1901 as five separate buildings, they were combined in 1930 into the current one which housed a grocery, bakery, hardware and department stores; Street View.

Keep eastbound and on the southeast corner is a restored gas station:

Bennett's Auto - old Gas Station

239 W. Route 66

Built in the 1930s it was a filling station during Route 66's heyday.

Keep east and notice the classical buildings that line Route 66. On the southeastern corner of 2nd St. and Route 66 is a historic hotel:

Grand Canyon Hotel

145 W. Route 66

Classic Grand Canyon Hotel in Williams AZ

The Old Grand Canyon Hotel nowadays. Google

Originally built in 1891, it survived a few fires and was remodelled in 1929. It is still operating as a hotel; you can even Book a Room in the hotel.

Pinado Hotel

Head up 2nd St. for a block and before reaching Grant Ave. on the right side you will see what once was the Pinado Hotel, mentioned by Rittenhouse. Built in 1905 it is undergoing a face lift (See its Street View).

Go back to Route 66 and head eastwards. One and a half blocks away you will see another classic Hotel:

Hull's Hotel Cottages

128 E Bill Williams Ave.

Mentioned by Jack DeVere Rittenhouse in his guidebook, it was built in 1915 and refurbished in 1940 and again in 1960. Nowadays it is the M star Hotel Route 66, its curved windows and structure are almost the same as they were then.

You can Book a Room in this hotel.

A vintage postcard of Hull's Hotel

Vintage postcard of Hulls hotel in Williams, Route 66,Arizona
Vintage postcard of Hull's Hotel, Williams, Arizona.

The current appearance is the following:

The Hulls Hotel today,Williams AZ
The former Hull's Hotel today. Google
Click image for Street View

Next to the former Hull's is what once was the Bethel's:

Bethel's Tourist Court

134 E Bill Williams Ave.

Built in the 1940s, and mentioned by Rittenhouse it was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Mike Starkovich and offered "moderate rates" in "units of varying sizes, each with a shower and adjoining garage". It was later Starkey's Motel and is now the Royal American Inn which although modified, resembles the original layout.

A postcard from the 1940s showing Bethel's Tourist Court

1940s postcard of Bethel's Tourist Court in Williams AZ, Route 66
1940s postcard of Bethel's, Williams, Arizona

The current appearance of the property, now the Royal American Inn

The Bethel's Motel today, Williams AZ
The Bethel's as it looks today. Google
Click image for Street View

Across the road, on the northeast corner is another icon:

Mount Williams Court

201 E Bill Williams Ave.

Mentioned by Rittenhouse, it was built in 1940-41 and has changed names several times (now it is the Downtowner Motel and Roadway Inn). The two story building to the west at one time had only one story.

You can Book a Room in this motel.

A vintage 1950s postcard of the Downtowner

Vintage 1950s postcard of the Downtowner motel in Williams, Route 66, Arizona
1950s postcard of the Downtowner, Williams, Arizona.

It still sports the same "sixties style" sign and a very similar appearance, but now opens onto both avenues, Railroad and Bill Williams.

The current appearance of the Downtowner is the following:

The Downtowner Motel today,Williams AZ
The Downtowner Motel today. Google
Click image for Street View

Next door is the Gateway Court:

1950 postcard of the Gateway Motel

Gateway Court in a 1950s postcard

Gateway Court

217 E Bill Williams Ave.

Built in 1943, the building with its classic signage is still there. It was until recently the JD Plaza Espresso now closed.

See its Google Street View.

Across the road is The Lodge, formerly Sundial Court, also mentioned in Rittenhouse's 1946 guidebook:

Sundial Court - now The Lodge

200 E Bill Williams Ave.

Built in 1938, it is now The Lodge, which has the same layout.

You can Book a Room in this motel.

Sundial Court in an old postcard

Postcard of the Sundial

The Lodge, former Sundial Court in an old postcard

View of the Sundial today. Google
Click image for Street View

Next door is the classic Del Sue Motor Inn, also mentioned by Rittenhouse:

Del Sue Motor Inn (now Grand Motel)

217 E Bill Williams Ave.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Built circa 1936, and named after an anagram of its owner's name (Sue Delaney). It can be seen in the 1950s postcard below which informed that "...Delsue Motel U.S. Highways 66 & 89 ... In Center of WILLIAMS, ARIZONA Reservations Telephone 161 Tiled Baths, Tubs & Showers ... Hot Water Heat Wall to Wall Carpets . . . New Furnishings Sue Delaney, Owner and Operator".

You can Book a Room in this motel.

Del Sue Motor Inn, a 1950s postcard

1950 postcard of the Del Sue motel, Williams, Route 66, Arizona
The Del Sue Motel in a 1950s postcard, Williams, Arizona.

A street view of the motel today shows that despite loosing some of its greenery and the office in the central part of the court, the building is basically the same as it was half a century ago.

The same spot today is the Grand Motel.

The Del Sue site today (Grand Motel), Williams AZ
View of the former Del Sue Motel today. Google
Click image for Street View

On the next block is El Coronado Motel:

El Coronado Motel (Econo Lodge)

302 E Bill Williams Ave

Built in 1947 - 48 to cash in on the post-World War II travel boom. See Street View

The Clock

334 E Bill Williams Ave.

Built in 1953, it has had different names over the years: The Clock, Red Bluff Motel, Rodeway Inn and now it is the "Grand Canyon".

It has lost its sign but the building is virtually intact.

The Clock Motel in a vintage postcard

Postcard of The Clock

The Grand Canyon, formerly the Clock Motel

View of The Clock motel today. Google
Click image for Street View

Don't miss the stone building (Indian Trading Post) across the road, on the corner of Route 66 and N. Lewis St. (See it here); it was built in 1938.

Thunderbird Motel

642 E. Bill Williams Ave.

The Thunderbird Motel was built in 1957 and is now the Mountain Side Inn.

You can Book a Room in this motel.

The Thunderbird in a late 1950s postcard

late 1950s postcard of the Thunderbird Motel in Williams, Route 66, Arizona
A late 1950s postcard of the Thunderbird Motel, Williams, Arizona.

It has the same layout and the green patch in the middle of the parking area, but the sign with the thunderbird has changed.

The same spot today is the Mountain Side Inn:

The Thundirbird today is the Mountainside Inn,Williams AZ
View of the Thundirbird Motel today (Mountainside Inn). Google
Click image for Street View

Across the road is another classic motel:

El Rancho Motel

617 E Bill Williams Ave.

It was built in 1953 and is still operating under the same name. Below is a vintage postcard. The name, means "Ranch" in Spanish. The card proclaims it had "Tubs and showers".

You can Book a Room in this motel.

El Rancho Motel in a vintage postcard

vintage postcard of the El Rancho Motel in Williams, Route 66, Arizona
The El Rancho Motel in a vintage 1950s postcard, Williams, Arizona.

Below is how it looks today: the sign is now pale blue instead of red, but the letters are the same. The western wing of the motel has added a second floor and the trees have grown. There are more stairways.

The same spot today:

The El Rancho today,Williams AZ
View of El Rancho Motel today. Google
Click image for Street View

And this ends your tour along the main motels and buildings of the bygone Route 66 in Williams.

Tours & Itineraries Near Williams

Nearby Route 66 Towns

Head east and visit Parks, Bellemont and Flagstaff. Go west and visit Ash Fork, Seligman and Kingman.

The Grand Canyon Railway

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

In 1901 the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway finished the branch line that linked the main line at Williams with Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

It is a 64 mile (103 km) lon line built in standard gauge of 4ft 1⁄2 in. (143.5 cm).

In 1905 the railway built the El Tovar Hotel a few feet from the Grand Canyon rim.

If you visit the Grand Canyon

Some tours and sightseeing


The use of automobiles caused a drop in passengers and it stopped carrying them in 1968. The line closed down in 1974.

It was recovered in 1988 and reopened in 1989 using climate-controlled coaches built in the 1950s.

There are dailly "Williams Flyer services to and from the Grand Canyon plus other services (like the winter Polar Express), which use the restored Santa Fe Railway Station in downtown Williams. There is also Amtrak's Southwest Chief trains (from Los Angeles to Chicago) at Williams Junction station 3 miles east of Williams, and a motorcoach linking both stations.

Read more at the Grand Canyon Railway website.

You can Book a Room at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, beside the downtown station.

The Alignment of Old Route 66 from Flagstaff to Williams

route 66 shield Arizona

The National Old Trails Highway built in the early 1910s was originally planned through Phoenix, but the local authorities managed to have it routed from Needles through Williams and then onwards to Flagstaff. It finally linked up with the Ozark Trail in Romeroville, New Mexico.

The National Old Trails highway was improved in the early 1920s with Federal funds and eventually Route 66 was aligned along it in 1926.

West from Flagstaff at I-40 Exit 191

In our Flagstaff page, we describe Route 66 through that town and west until Exit 191 of I-40. Below we will describe Route 66 westwards through Bellemont and Parks all the way to Williams.

Westwards from Exit 191, the original US 66 roadbed lies under the Interstate which was built over it in 1979. You have to drive to Bellemont, to Exit 185 to be able to access the older alignments.

The original National Old Trails 1926 - 1931 segment at Bellemont

A 1.4 mile segment on the north side of the road, (See Map), also shown in Blue in the map above (at Bellemont).

Now it is cut by I-40, but formerly it continued (on what is now the south side of I-40) and then swung back to the north side, running on a roughly parallel course to what now is Brannigan Road (See a street view of where it crosses Brannigan Road), it cannot be driven nowadays.

The 1931 to 1963 alignment in Bellemont

Shown in Green in the map above (in Bellemont).

From 1931 until 1963, the road shifted southwards and passed through Bellemont, on what is now the south side of I-40.

This is a 4.9 mile segment is this and can be seen in Map of Route 66 through Bellemont. It has dead ends at both tips and you access it roughly in its midpoint at Exit 185.

The famous Pine Breeze Inn is located on this segment.

Actually, from 1931 to 1941 the road turned off northwards just before reaching the current western dead end; it did so at this point (See map), and is now cut by I-40, but it can be driven on the north side of the Interstate: along the Brannigan Park Road.

There are three separate sections of Route 66 at Parks that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. We will describe them below along the itinerary between Bellemont and Parks:

1931-1941 Brannigan Park Road

First section of the Historic Landmark

Leave I-40 at Exit 185 and head north along the Frontage Rd. it soon heads north towards Brannigan Park in the Kaibab National Forest.

This is a 6.2 mile segment that you can drive all the way into Parks. This is the Map of the Brannigan Road segment.

This was also the highest point of the whole Route 66, at 7,405 feet above seal level, it was not easy for the early drivers to climb Brannigan Park pass.

The historic section starts where the pavement ends and the road surface becomes gravel.

The older 1926 to 1931 alignment at Brannigan Park

The original 1926 meets this alignment at its northern tip, turning back south again with it. It then splits with a more western course, of which only a part can be driven today, (See map).

The 1926 alignment took a now abandoned course between Old Route 66 and Brannigan Rd., and finally swung to the north of the later alignments. And it can be still seen close to the General Store:

Historic abandoned Section East of Parks

Second section listed in the National Register of Historic Places

This section, just east of the General Store was the 1926-41 alignment (Shown in this map. Now it is a trail that can be walked. Along it are the remains of a springhouse where tourists would camp and get fresh water.

It is marked inBlue in the map above, just east of the Parks General store.

The road continued west, passing on the north side of the iconic Parks General Store, heading westwards from there.

Historic abandoned Section West of Parks

Third section listed in the National Register of Historic Places

A 0.35 mile section of road was built in 1921 as the National Old Trails road and incorporated into Route 66's alignment in 1926. It is a narrow road with a "paved" surface formed by tarred gravel. And it can still be seen and walked along as it lies just a few feet north of modern Old Route 66:

view of the original route 66 roadbed west of Parks

A view of the original Route 66 roadbed west of Parks. Google
Click on the image for a Google Street View

Dead Man's Curve

The western tip of this segment ended in a sharp curve which the local newspaper called the "Dead Man's Curve" after the accidents it caused.

The 1931 realignment improved the road and straightened the road west of Parks.

The old section and the deadly curve are shown in Blue in the map above, west of the Parks General store.

The 1926 alignment then turned to the SW and met current I-40 at the N. Spitz Spring Rd. overpass.

The alignment after 1941

Shown in Green in the map above at Parks.

The road was moved south to a lower altitude alignment, and it continued west after the dead end in Bellemont, along the course now followed by I-40, which was built over it.

You can drive the part that lies closest to Parks by taking I-40 exit 178, and heading north to Old Route 66. It is 1.4 miles long. This is the map of the extant 1941-1963 road into Parks

Westwards from Parks to Williams

This map shows the alignment all the way to I-40's Exit 171; it is 5.5 miles long.

After exit 171, the roadbed is now under the Interstate but there are three places were the original alignment can still be driven along:

  1. On the south side of I-40 for about 0.4 miles as can be seen in this Map of this section
  2. Then it can be seen for another 0.5 mi on the north side of I-40 at Exit 167 (See the map).
  3. It then goies into the town of Williams, a through it; see the map of Route 66 in Williams.

The interstate I-40 began construction in 1964 and finished in 1979, replacing the older alignements, and in 1984 it finally bypassed Williams.

Williams the last town to be bypassed along Route 66

Williams was the last town to have its section of Route 66 bypassed, due to lawsuits that kept the last section of Interstate 40 in Arizona from being built around the town. After settlements called for the state to build three Williams exits, the suits were dropped and I-40 was completed.[6] On October 13, 1984, Interstate 40 was opened around the town and newspapers the next day reported the essential end of US 66.[7] The following year, Route 66 was decommissioned.


> > See the previous segment Winona to Williams

> > See the full Williams to Kingman segment

Accommodation Search box:


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Outdoors, National and State Parks

There are many outdoor options to enjoy nature in the area close to Williams:

waterfall at Keyhole sink

Waterfall at Keyhole Sink

Keyhole Sink

This canyon near Williams is named after its keyhole shape. There are petroglyphs carved 1,000 years ago by the local natives and waterfalls that flow during snowmelt and the rainy season.

Read about the trail here.

Grand Canyon National Park


World Heritage site of UNESCO

59 miles north of Williams along NM 64 and US 180). See a Map with directions.

The incredible Grand Canyon is a short drive away from Williams; plan a full day trip to visit it.

More information Official website for more information.

View of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon and Colorado River
Grand Canyon and Colorado River, Arizona. By


Special thanks to

Historic Route 66 in Arizona All-American Road, National Scenic Byway,

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.

Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.