Bed and Breakfasts
For a real sense of history, it's hard to beat the Red Garter Bed and Bakery (137 W. Railroad Ave., 928/635-1484 or 800/328-1484, www.redgarter.com, closed mid-Dec.-mid-Feb.), a restored 1897 Victorian Romanesque building. The upstairs rooms of the former brothel all have private bath and include the Parlor ($120 d), Madam's Room ($120 d), Big Bertha's Room ($145 d), and Best Gal's Room ($145 d). Guests awaken to fresh-baked pastries for breakfast in the downstairs bakery, whose walls once echoed to the sounds of rowdy saloon customers. A Chinese chop house and opium den stood out back in the old days. Innkeeper John Holst has historic photos of the building, saloonkeeper, madam, and customers.
Sheridan House Inn (460 E. Sheridan Ave., 928/635-9441 or 888/635-9345, www.grandcanyonbedandbreakfast.com, $160-220 d) offers suites with private bath; rates include a gourmet breakfast, casual dinner, and many extras.
Legacies Bed & Breakfast (450 S. 11th St., 928/653-4880 or 866/370-2288, www.legaciesbb.com, $145-210) offers luxury accommodations; each of four rooms has a different theme, two rooms off a Great Room, two upstairs. All have private baths, two with a two-person whirlpool tub and a fireplace.
Buffalo Pointe Lodge (437 W. Route 66, 928/635-4341 or 800/973-6210, www.buffalopointe.com, $60-90 d room, $129 suite) has nine themed rooms, all with private entrance and bath. The suite accommodates up to six people.
Canyon Country Inn (442 W. Route 66, 928/635-2349 or 877/405-3280, $39-59 d) offers homey rooms with private bath and continental breakfast downtown.
Grand Living Bed & Breakfast (701 Quarterhorse off Rodeo Drive, 928/635-4171 or 800/210-5908, www.grandlivingbnb.com, $150-170 d) is a Country Victorian log house with a veranda and rocking chairs. All rooms have private bath and a fireplace; one room features a whirlpool tub for two.
The new Grand Canyon Bed & Breakfast (1129 Stockmens Rd., 888/635-2488, www.grandcanyonbandb.com) is run by the former owners of Terry Ranch Bed & Breakfast.
Grand Canyon Red Lake Campground and Hostel (10 miles north on AZ 64 from I-40 Exit 165, near Milepost 194, 928/635-4753) is open all year with shared ($11/person) and private ($33 d) rooms, coin-operated showers, limited cooking facilities, a store, and tour booking. You can also camp here, $10 tents, $14 RVs w/hookups.
Motels and Hotels
Business Route I-40, between Exits 161 and 165, divides downtown into one-way streets—Route 66 eastbound and Railroad Avenue westbound. Grand Canyon Boulevard goes south from I-40 Exit 163 and meets these streets in the center of downtown. Most of the town's motels and restaurants lie along Route 66, formerly known as Bill Williams Avenue. Downtown offers the most atmosphere and the convenience of being able to walk to dining and shopping. Don't believe the old sign that still advertises rooms "from $3.50" on the 1892 Grand Canyon Hotel on Route 66—the hotel has been closed a while! The newest motels cluster near the three I-40 exits, with the exception of the top lodging in town, the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel that's downtown at the Williams Depot. The following summer rates will fluctuate depending on how busy the town is; expect to pay more if there's a major event going on. Most rates drop quite a bit in winter. Listings run west to east because that's the way you take on one-way Route 66.
Under $50: Typical of the many no-frills independent motels along this street are the Westerner Motel (530 W. Route 66, 928/635-4312 or 800/385-8608, $40-52 d), 9 Arizona (315 W. Route 66, 928/635-4552, $25-35 d), Route 66 Inn (128 E. Route 66, 928/635-4791 or 888/786-6956, $30-48 d), and Royal American Inn (134 E. Route 66, 928/635-9395, $35-45 d). If you'd like to stay in a restored 1936 motor court, the oldest in town, turn into Grand Motel (234 E. Route 66, 928/635-4601, $37-42 s, $40-49 d); the cozy rooms have a lot of charm. Gateway Motel (219 E. Route 66), managed by the Grand Motel, is a conventional motel across the street in the same price range.
$50-100: This category will get you newer accommodations with attractive Southwestern decor. Many offer swimming pools, a big attraction for families. Days Inn (2488 W. Route 66 near I-40 Exit 161, 928/635-4051 or 800/329-7466, $63 d room, $110-120 Jacuzzi suite) includes an indoor pool and hot tub just outside town; Denny's is next door. Norris Best Value Inn (1001 W. Route 66, 928/635-2202 or 800/496-2202, $55 s, $55-59 d) offers an outdoor pool and hot tub. Grand Canyon Country Inn (911 W. Route 66, 928/635-4045 or 866/635-4862, $40-90 d room, $130 suite) provides an indoor pool and hot tub. Motel 6 (831 W. Route 66, 928/635-9000 or 800/466-8356, $46 s, $52 d weekdays, $56 s, $62 d Fri.-Sat.) has an indoor pool and hot tub. Across the street and a block closer to the town center, Motel 6 (710 W. Route 66, 928/635-4464 or 800/466-8356, $42 s, $48 d, $52 s, $58 d Fri.-Sat.) is a better deal if you don't need a pool or hot tub. Turn north from downtown or south from I-40 Exit 163 for chain motels such as the Howard Johnson Express Inn (511 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., 928/635-9561 or 800/720-6614, $35-59 s, $49-89 d) with an indoor pool and hot tub and the Holiday Inn (950 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., 928/635-4114 or 800/465-4329, $89-119 d or $119-159 d for a suite) with an indoor pool, hot tub, and Doc Holliday's Steakhouse & Saloon (breakfast and dinner daily). Back downtown, The Lodge on Route 66 (200 E. Route 66, 928/635-4534 or 877/563-4366, $89-179 d room, $229 suite) has brand-new interiors in a pueblo-style motor court; the rooms, some with fireplaces or kitchenettes, take their names from towns along Route 66. If the country air is for you, then it's worth the drive out to Quality Inn Mountain Ranch Resort (seven miles east, just south of I-40 Exit 171, 928/635-2693 or 800/228-5151, $89-109 d) with a restaurant, an outdoor pool, hot tub, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and summer horseback riding in a beautiful forest and meadow setting. To really get away from it all, you can rent the Spring Valley Cabin ($50 up to 8 people) in the forest northeast of town from the Williams Ranger District office (928/635-2633); guests must bring their own bedding, then clean the cabin before departure.
$100-150: Best Western Inn of Williams (2600 W. Route 66 near I-40 Exit 161, 928/635-4400 or 800/635-4445, $99-129 d room, $139 suite) offers spacious Southwestern-style rooms and an outdoor pool and hot tub on a hillside just west of town. Grand Canyon Railway Hotel (235 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., 928/635-4010 or 800/843-8724, $129 d room, $179 suite) puts you close to the train, shopping, and other attractions of downtown. The distinctive architecture mirrors that of the nearby Williams Depot. Amenities include an indoor pool, hot tub, exercise room, pub, restaurant, and train/hotel packages. Up to eight guests can stay in the suites.
Railside RV Ranch (877 Rodeo Rd., 928/635-4077 or 888/635-4077) offers showers and a store but lacks shade trees. As a bonus, you can watch the Grand Canyon Railway trains pass nearby. Rates run $19 tents (just a few sites available) and $24-26 RVs w/hookups. It's on the northeast edge of town, yet convenient to both downtown and the highway to the Grand Canyon. From I-40 Exit 165, take the business route west toward town, then turn right on Rodeo Road; or from downtown, go north on Grand Canyon Boulevard, right on Edison Avenue, curve left on Airport Road, then right on Rodeo Road.
Canyon Gateway RV Park (Grand Canyon Blvd., just north of I-40 Exit 163, 928/635-2718 or 888/635-0329, www.grandcanyonrvparks.com, $10 tent or RV dry, $28 w/hookups) also has a location convenient to downtown and I-40. There's not much shade from the trees yet, but campers have showers and laundry.
Circle Pines KOA (three miles east to I-40 Exit 167, then 0.5 mile east on the north frontage road, 928/635-2626 or 800/562-9379, $20-22 tents, $33-38 RVs w/hookups, $45-50 cabins) nestles in a ponderosa pine forest and has the prettiest setting of all the commercial campgrounds near Williams. Sites stay open all year; amenities include a store, showers, and laundry. A summertime cafe serves breakfast and lunch daily. You can amuse yourself with volleyball, badminton, basketball, mini-golf, fun bikes, the game room, and an indoor pool and hot tub. In summer, the campground arranges evening movies, van tours to the Grand Canyon, and horseback riding.
In a juniper-pinyon pine woodland on the way to the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon KOA (928/635-2307 or 800/562-5771, closed Nov.-Feb., $19 tents, $27-35 RVs w/hookups, $40-46 cabins) lies five miles north of Williams between Mileposts 190 and 191 on AZ 64. Guests enjoy an indoor pool and hot tub, store, game room, laundry, and showers. In summer, the campground offers breakfast and an evening barbecue cookout daily.
Grand Canyon Red Lake Campground and Hostel (9 miles north on AZ 64, 928/635-4753, $10 tents, $14 RVs w/water and electric) is open all year with coin-operated showers, dump station, some cooking facilities, a store, and tour booking. A few large trees provide shade. You can also stay in the hostel's shared ($11/person) and private ($33 d) rooms.
Ponderosa Forest RV Park & Campground (928/635-0456 or 888/635-0456) has year-round sites in the ponderosa pines for tents ($13) and RVs ($20 w/hookups) with showers, laundry, and a nearby store. It's north of I-40 Parks Exit 178, 14 miles east of Williams and about halfway to Flagstaff.
Forest Service Campgrounds
The Williams Ranger District maintains four campgrounds, each beside a small fishing lake stocked with trout. Ponderosa pines shade the sites, which range in elevation from 6,600 to 7,100 feet. During the early May to September or mid-October season, all have camp hosts, interpretive programs, drinking water, and dump stations (extra fee), but no showers. Kaibab and White Horse Lake offer paved roads. Cataract has an $8 fee and the others are $12; these fees are per site—you can have more than one vehicle. Kaibab, Dogtown, and White Horse Lake may stay open off-season without drinking water, fee, or camp host. Individuals and groups can reserve sites at Dogtown, and groups can reserve areas at Kaibab and White Horse Lake through 877/444-6777 or www.recreation.gov. Boaters can use motors up to eight hp on Cataract and Kaibab lakes, but only electric motors are allowed on the other lakes. Each lake has a boat ramp. Birds also know the trout are here—you'll likely see great blue herons perched motionless atop a stump or rock awaiting a meal. Osprey dive down from the heights to snatch their prey.
Dispersed camping is allowed throughout most of the forest except within half a mile of developed campgrounds, within one-quarter mile of surface water, or where signed "No Camping." Always be careful with fire, and heed posted restrictions.
Cataract Campground lies two miles northwest of town; head west on Railroad Avenue across I-40 to Country Club Drive (or take I-40 Exit 161 and go north), turn right one mile immediately after going under railroad tracks, turn left at the sign, then left into the entrance.
Kaibab Campground is 3.5 miles northeast of town; drive east on Route 66 across I-40 (or turn north from I-40 Exit 165), go north 0.8 miles on AZ 64, then turn left one mile at the sign.
Dogtown Campground and several trails lie 7.5 miles southeast of town; drive 3.5 miles south on Fourth Street, turn left three miles on Forest Road 140, then left 1.2 miles at the sign.
White Horse Lake Campground lies 19 miles southeast near Sycamore Canyon; go eight miles south on Fourth Street, turn left on Forest Road 110, and follow signs. White Horse Lake Trail #33 goes around the east end of the lake, one mile one way; you can branch off on Canyon Overlook Trail #70 to Sycamore Canyon in 2.5 miles roundtrip. Winter visitors to the White Horse Lake area enjoy ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
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