Bill Williams Mountain

Williams, Arizona 86046

Bill Williams Mountain

Bill Williams Mountain Professional Review and Guide

"This car-shuttle hike winds up and down Bill Williams Mountain, named for the mountain man who also lent his name to the nearby town. The hike starts up the Benham Trail to the peak, which has a working fire watchtower, and then down the Bill Williams Mountain Trail to end near the ranger station at the edge of town."

More Bill Williams Mountain Professional Reviews and Guides

"This well-graded road makes a wide loop around Bill Williams Mountain, which like the town of Williams was named after the infamous and reclusive mountain man. The cinder-surfaced road is suitable for passenger vehicles in dry weather and is a popular drive from spring through fall. The road may be open past the dates listed if there is little or no snow. It is not gated shut—just allowed to close naturally when it snows.

There are some very good campsites along the first part of the road under the pine trees on the edge of the meadows. Special Attractions: Views of Bill Williams Mountain; Fall colors and views of wildlife along an easy loop road; Waterfowl watching at Coleman Lake. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any)."

"This trail takes you through cool alpine forest to the summit of Bill Williams Mountain. It’s a fine choice for a hot summer day. The trail is not shown on the topographic map, but it’s a good trail and easy to follow.

The trail soon begins to climb moderately in a series of switchbacks. The forest is especially fine in this area, with an interesting mixture of the ever-present ponderosa pine, Gambel oak, alligator juniper, and even a few white fir."

"The singletrack is a fairly tame climb at first, but it gets progressively steeper the higher you go. Feel free to bail out at any of the crossings over the forest road that goes to the top of the mountain, and just take the road to the top. The road is surprisingly busy during summer weekends. Atop Bill Williams Mountain, there’s a fire watchtower you can climb most times of the year. The folks managing the tower often let people enter to take in the views—just climb to the top and knock on the door.

From within the tower, you can see Mingus Mountain and the Bradshaw Mountains to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the southeast, the Painted Desert to the north, and even the Grand Canyon (faintly—it’s nearly 70 miles away). This tower is used to look for forest fires throughout the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests. Trail Surface: This loop includes gravel and paved roads, and lots of singletrack once you begin the ascent-and-descent of Bill Williams Mountain."

"This trail takes you through cool, alpine forest to the summit of Bill Williams Mountain.

From the Clover Spring Trail junction, the Bill Williams Trail continues south, climbing gradually. As it nears the steep north slopes of the mountain, it heads into a north-facing canyon and starts to climb more steeply.

The forest changes from open ponderosa pine stands to denser Douglas-fir with a scattering of aspen. A series of switchbacks leads up to the trail’s end at the Bill Williams Road.To reach the summit, turn left and walk 0.5 mile to the end of the road."

"Arizona’s share of the Colorado Plateau, highlighted by one of America’s premier national parks (Grand Canyon National Park), is a wonderland of colorful canyons, plateaus, and mesas. The Grand Canyon is not to be missed, for its depths promise hidden corridors, waterfalls, and impressive vistas to all who venture within.

A smaller version of Kendrick Mountain to the northeast, Bill Williams Mountain is a wonderful summit to hike, partly for the view from the top, and partly because of the lush forest encountered along the way. Closing in on this trail are towering aspen and fir, along with a riotous growth of underbrush."

Bill Williams Mountain Reviews

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Second time I've done this trail. This time entirely in the rain. Quite a work out, took me 7 hours first time around, 5 hours the second. Trail is easy to follow. Finally reaching the top is kind of a bummer with all the loud generators and radio towers and such, but it's an accomplishment nonetheless. I'm using this trail as one of several conditioning trails for Humphreys. 9500 feet doesn't sound like alot, but depending on where you're coming from it can make a big difference. Also expect temps 10-20 degrees cooler at the top.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
5 hours
Kaibab National Forest
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018