RV Parks in Williams Arizona: Where to Hook Up

Grand Canyon Railway RV Park Williams AZ

Williams, Arizona is a lively town near the Grand Canyon, also known as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon®; it is one of the most sought-after places for RV travelers looking to make a night’s stop on their way to the Canyon itself. But don’t think of Williams as just any town; it is filled with all sorts of recreational, dining, and outdoor activities. In fact, there’s so much to do in Williams, that it should be a holiday spot of its own. So much so that you will want to stay in one of the many fantastic RV Parks in Williams as your home base for a while, all of which are just an easy drive to all that Williams Arizona has to offer.

From shopping options galore to restaurants that serve every type of food for your fancy: Steaks, burgers, pizza, Chinese, and Italian – whether you’d like to dine in or just grab and go – Williams offers it all. 

For the RV travelers to the Grand Canyon National Park itself, Williams has several RV parks where you can station your RV and drive up to the South Rim, Grand Canyon – or just take the scenic train route to the Canyon.

For information on Grand Canyon distance from Williams, please read our How Far Is the Grand Canyon from Williams Arizona guide here.

There are a number of lakes located near Williams where visitors can readily go for picnics, fishing or hikes through pristine forests and open grounds.

Nearby Lakes in Williams

Kaibab Lake

Kaibab Lake, located at 6800 feet elevation is an ideal spot for fishing, picnics, and recreation; it is located a 5-mile drive north of Williams, 

The lake and the area around it are good for a lot of activities. If you’re in the mood for fishing, just go down to the fishing pier, book a boat and set off to the deeper lake. Fish species include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, rainbow trout, and northern pike. Do note that swimming is not allowed in the lake.

Kaibab also has over 300 miles of hiking trails so travelers can put their time to good use before traversing the Grand Canyon; you’ll be climbing through the pine trees and open ground to have a fun time hiking in Kaibab. 

Camp facilities include campsites and tables for individuals and groups; you can also pitch your own tents or park your trailers and motorhomes (up to 40 feet only).

Cataract Lake

If you are looking for a beautiful spot to enjoy the calming effects of nature, Cataract Lake is the perfect place.

The lake itself is located in a beautiful wooded area of the Kaibab National Forest; it has a small campground complete with picnic tables and fire pits and a toilet.

There is a boat launch on the north side of the lake which is open year-round. However, the road to this launch is not plowed during the winter months.

Cataract Lake is great for a variety of activities but especially popular with boaters and anglers. The lake has several species of fish, including rainbow trout, catfish, and bass. The calm waters of the lake are great for boating, kayaking, or canoeing.

Dogtown Lake

Travelers venture out to Dogtown lake mainly for picnics and fishing – for trout and crappies. You can also enjoy a guided nature and hiking trail; the campground is located about 6.5 miles south of Williams and has dazzling views of Bill Williams mountain.

White Horse Lake

Lying 19 miles southeast of Williams, the White Horse Lake is the perfect place for hiking, riding mountain bikes or simply watching wildlife. There are a couple of hiking trails located near the lake.

Visitors can choose to set up camp for picnics or a barbecue (you can reserve either single-unit sites or group sites before coming). A number of campsites are also wheelchair accessible.

RV Parks in Williams Arizona

The most urgent question for any RV traveler is access to an all-facilities provided RV park and campground. There are several such RV parks either in Williams or nearby, all of which boast countless facilities for your comfortable stay.

Canyon Gateway RV Park

Located at 1060 N, Grand Canyon Blvd – atop a hill near Williams, the Canyon Gateway RV Park offers unparalleled views of the scenic valley below; it has a long list of facilities available for use for RV travelers who park their RVs here:

  • 24 RV Spaces
  • 24-Hour Internet Availability And Access
  • Daily OR Weekly Rates
  • Picnic Tables and Picnic Area
  • Showers and Restrooms
  • Chevron Station
  • Gift Shop
  • Restaurants on site

Contact: 928-635-2718 OR 1-888-635-0329

Website: http://www.grandcanyonrvparks.com/

Canyon Motel & RV Park

Located at 1900 E Rodeo Road adjoining the Kaibab National Forest, the Canyon Motel & RV Park offers various types of lodging facilities, a picnic area, and a hidden garden patio for smaller gatherings. 

Lodging Facilities (Rooms):

  • Historic Motel Rooms
  • Caboose Suites
  • Railway Car Suites
  • Nomad RV for Rent

Other Facilities:

  • Dry Storage Park: Perfect for leaving your RV parked safely while you are exploring out and about.
  • Hidden Garden Patio
  • The RV Park can accommodate fairly big rigs.

Contact: 928-635-9371 OR 1-800-482-3955

Website: http://www.thecanyonmotel.com/

Grand Canyon Railway RV Park

Located at 601 W. Franklin Avenue, the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park is right next to the train depot. This is where the Grand Canyon Railway departs for the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, meandering through the lush forests and valley and providing you with an unforgettable rail journey in its classic diesel-powered wagons.

Facilities at the Grand Canyon Railway Park include:

  • Three types of RV spaces (pull-throughs, buddy spaces, and back-ins).
  • Suitable for bigger rigs. All spaces are 50-amp.
  • Digital TV (with each space)
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Indoor Swimming Pool
  • Hot Tub
  • Coin-operated laundry machines
  • General picnic area
  • Pet Resort (28 spaces for dogs, 16 for cats)
  • Convenience Store
  • Basketball and volleyball courts
  • All-paved RV park (only one such in Williams)
  • The Fred Harvey Restaurant opposite the RV park.

Contact: 928-635-4224 OR 1-800-843-8724

Website: http://www.thetrain.com/

Railside RV Ranch

Located at 877 E Rodeo Road, adjacent to the Grand Canyon Railway, the Rail RV Ranch offers the following facilities (apart from RV parking):

  • Free 24/7 Wifi and Digital TV
  • Fresh and clean restrooms.
  • 24/7 laundry room
  • Playground
  • Dog Wash Station
  • Tent sites

Contact: (928) 635-4077

Website: http://railsiderv.com/

Williams/Circle Pines KOA

Located at 1000 Circle Pines Road, 4 miles west of downtown Williams, the Williams KOA offers easy access, spacious RV parking facilities. Other amenities include:

  • Spacious RV sites  (90’ max length)
  • All spaces are 50 amp
  • 24/7 Wifi
  • Cable Tv
  • Snack Bar
  • Miniature Golf Rental
  • Swimming Pool
  • Hot Tubs/Sauna
  • Spa
  • BBQ Rentals
  • 1-Room OR 2-Room rentals
  • Gift Shop
  • RV Supplies
  • Bike Rentals
  • Laundry facility
  • Bear Trax Cafe

Note: Open March 15 – November 1

Contact: 928-635-2626

Website: http://www.williamskoa.com/

Grand Canyon KOA

Located at 5333 State Highway 64, the Grand Canyon KOA RV park is the closest RV park in Williams to the Grand Canyon (a meaningful grand canyon connection). Boasting modern facilities, the Grand Canyon KOA prides itself as being ‘the’ base camp for all your Arizona adventures. 

Facilities include:

  • 24/7 wifi and free cable TV
  • Snack bar
  • 50 amp RV spaces
  • Spaces suitable for bigger rigs
  • Swimming pool
  • Gift Shop
  • Fire Pit Rentals
  • Laundry facilities

Contact: 928-635-2307

Website: http://www.grandcanyonkoa.com/

Note: Open All Year

Day Trips To Other Towns In Arizona While Staying At Williams

If you plan on making one of the RV parks in Williams home for a while, then here are some nearby towns you can visit during your stay:


Nestled between high-jutting, multi-hued desert rocks, Sedona is located 60 miles south of Williams. There are a ton of things to do in Sedona; from dining out in its vast selection of restaurants to hiking or biking along gorgeous tracks – while taking in the hourly changing ‘colors’ of the desert rocks – to visiting the dozens of art galleries lining the streets. 

Some special things to do in Sedona are:

  • Bike a part of the 400+ miles of trails.
  • Oak Creek Canyon fishing
  • Go for golf at one of the four golf courses in Sedona
  • Visit the Jordan historical park
  • Birdwatch at the Sedona Wetlands Preserve
  • Enjoy a trolley tour aboard the Sedona Trolley
  • Take a hot air balloon ride to the skies!
  • … Or take a helicopter ride
  • Enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee at Java Cafe (or other coffee places)
  • Venture into the Verde Valley


Known as the ‘City of 7 wonders’, Flagstaff is located 33 miles east of Williams – about a 40-minute drive. Flagstaff has a unique natural beauty of its own and its red stone buildings are a historical sight to behold.

There are a number of accommodation and dining options in Flagstaff for all budgets and tastes. 

Other activities to do in Flagstaff, while on a day trip from Williams, are:

  • Visit the national monuments: Walnut Canyon and Sunset Crater Volcano
  • Ride the Arizona Gondola at Arizona Snowbowl
  • Enjoy the award-winning delicacies at Sweet Shoppe
  • Visit the Northern Arizona Museum
  • Get a free Lunar Landmarks Passport over at the Flagstaff Visitor Center and mind-blowing info on the training of moon-landing astronauts training (all of whom trained in Flagstaff)
  • Zipline through the pristine Ponderosa pine forest at the Extreme Adventure Course.


Prescott lies about 70 miles south of Williams, a 1 hour 15-minute drive. It is known for its mild season all year round and thus perfect for visiting anytime; and nestled between the pine forests of Arizona, it boasts a refreshing and clean atmosphere for its visitors. 

Prescott is famous for hosting four of Arizona’s most known museums; and there are a lot of art galleries, restaurants, and golfing opportunities to keep you busy on your day trip from Williams or while just passing through.

For fishing, boating and kayaking, head down to Watson lake and enjoy the crystal clear water of the lake. Or shoe up and head to the Granite Mountain wilderness – you will encounter a lot of wildlife here (elk, deer, and wild boars) – and this area provides the perfect background for all of your nature photos.

Insider’s Guide to Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway Williams AZ - Train Steam

All Aboard the Grand Canyon Railway!

More than a century after its creation, the Grand Canyon Railway is delivering passengers to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim on a ride that blends adventure, history and culture. In addition to the historic train, the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel features 298 refurbished rooms, a saline pool and spa, the Fred Harvey Restaurant, Spenser’s Pub, and two gift shops with unique train-themed merchandise. Vacation packages including hotel, train, meals and tours are available, and represent the best value for a one, two or three night visit to Williams and Grand Canyon.

Insider Video to the Grand Canyon Railway

Insider Tips for Riding the Train:

  • Book Early for the most flexible dates
  • Everyone has an assigned seat, so no need to get there extra early, but of course be on time so you don’t miss the train! (They won’t wait!)
  • Arizona is on Mountain Standard time and doesn’t have daylight savings. If you are traveling that morning to Williams, be sure to note the potential time difference so you don’t miss the train!
  • Depending on where you are coming from, it might be easier to arrive the night before your scheduled date, especially as traffic can be unpredictable! The train departs daily at 9:30 am (January – October) and 8:30 am (November – December).
  • Need a place to stay? They have a hotel with restaurants on the property. See our tips below.
  • You only have 3 hours at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, so be sure to plan ahead on what to see and do.
  • If you are bringing small children, we recommend taking the stroller with you.
  • Traveling with your pet? Please know that only service animals are permitted on the train and in the Grand Canyon National Park. However, there is a Pet Resort adjacent to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel for your convenience.

The Polar Express Train Ride

Insider Tip: Book Early for Best Dates

Every winter the Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express comes to life on a journey from the nighttime wilderness of Williams, Arizona, to the enchanted beauty of “the North Pole”—where Santa Claus and his reindeer are waiting with a keepsake present for every good boy and girl. You’ll be smiling from ear to ear, as you watch children’s faces light up when the train arrives, and enjoy hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies while listening to this timeless story.

Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

Insider Video to Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

Experience the luxury of a bygone era at the newly refurbished Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The 298-room hotel is right next door to the train depot and just a block away from downtown Williams and historic Route 66. With a variety of amenities such as complimentary wi-fi, an indoor pool and hot tub, delicious dining options at Fred Harvey Restaurant and Spenser’s Pub, and ideal location in The Gateway to the Grand Canyon®, the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is the perfect place to stay before embarking on your grandest of journeys!

Insider Tips for Staying at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel:

  • Book early for the most flexible dates
  • If you plan on riding the train, be sure to check out their Vacation Packages
  • The kids will love the indoor pool
  • Adults will love the hot tub
  • No need to search for food, there are great restaurants on the property
  • Easy walk to the Train Depot from the Hotel
  • Complimentary WiFi is always a nice touch

The History

The path this one-of-a-kind railway took to today’s popular service is an interesting one. It was established in the late 1800s as a means of hauling mined ore from Buckey O’Neill’s Anita Mines. But its owner quickly realized that hauling tourists could be lucrative, too, and probably more so. Unfortunately, Buckey was killed in the Spanish American War serving with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and never saw the railway’s completion to the Grand Canyon. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway completed the line to the South Rim in 1901. In 1905 the Santa Fe Railway opened El Tovar on the South Rim, which would become one of the great national park lodges. With a deluxe hotel perched on the edge of the spectacular gorge, and a comfortable way to get there, Grand Canyon tourism took off in earnest. Automobile travel had long usurped rail travel by 1968, when the GCR passenger train made its final run. But the service was resurrected in 1989 as an excursion train ferrying visitors along 65 miles of track from Williams, Ariz., to the South Rim. The renewed service pulled out of the Williams depot on Sept. 17, 1989, exactly 88 years after its maiden run.

Xanterra Travel Collection purchased the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel in 2007 and continues to expand the property and refine the experience. All of the recent property upgrades and renovations have been accomplished with Xanterra’s softer footprint in mind. Two solar projects have been completed to supply hot water and electricity to the property, low flow showers and toilets have been installed, and reclaimed water is used for irrigation to name a few. All of the efforts to improve the products and services would be ineffective without a trained and committed service team. It is the staff of Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, from the Front Desk staff and the Passenger Service Attendants to the cooks and the mechanics, that really makes the journey special.

How did Williams Get its Name?

Williams Arizona July 4th Parade

Williams, Arizona may be known for Route 66 and the Gateway to the Grand Canyon, but where did its name come from? Founded in 1882, Williams was named for Bill Williams Mountain, the volcanic peak that rises above it. The mountain has long been important to native peoples of the region including the Havasupai, Hualapai, Yavapai and Hopi. It marks the boundary of traditional Hopi lands, and is known to them as Tusaq’tsomo, “The Grassy Hill.”

The mountain was named in 1851 by members of the Sitgraves Expedition to commemorate the legendary mountain man and scout Williams Sherley Williams, who died in 1849. Historians argue over whether Ol’ Bill ever saw the mountain named for him.

Bill Williams lives on in frontier history because of his ability to survive in the wilderness alone, and because of his unusual talents and behavior. When he was a fur trapper and pathfinder in the 1820’s and 30’s, he had a desire to be by himself months on end in land where no white Americans had explored. He had the ability to speak many different native languages and told his friends that after he died, he hoped to be reincarnated as a bull elk, complete with antlers.

Learn more about how Williams got its name at the Visitor Center

Williams Visitor Center - Models Route 66

Historic Williams Walking Tours

History buffs can explore the Historic District with the help of brass plaques along what has been described as “the best preserved stretch of Route 66 from Santa Monica to Chicago.” Guests are encouraged to stop by the official Visitor Center located at 200 W. Railroad Avenue in Williams for a historic walking tour map, available for a small fee, view the Williams Historic Photo Project, and learn more about the rich history of this unique destination.