Skip to main content

2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 23; former US Route 66 and US Route 89 in Williams

After leaving the Grand Canyon I headed south on Arizona State Route 64 towards Williams for the night.  While Williams is famous is being part of US Route 66 it also has significance as part of US Route 89 and the south terminus of the Grand Canyon Railroad.


This article serves the 23rd entry in the 2016 Fall Mountain Trip Series.  Part 22 on Arizona State Route 64, Grand Canyon National Park, and the western terminus of US Route 180 can be found here:

2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 22; Arizona State Route 64, Grand Canyon National Park, and the weird west terminus of US Route 180

Williams was plotted out in 1879 as a rail siding of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.  Williams was named after Bill Williams who was a well known traveler of what would become the American Southwest in the early 19th century.


Williams can be seen on the Third Operating Map of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad in 1882.


Williams is famously the last town in Arizona along the alignment of US 66 to be bypassed by I-40 which occurred on October 13, 1984.  US 66 traversed Williams on Grand Canyon Avenue eastbound and Railroad Avenue westbound through downtown.  Downtown Williams is filled with all sorts of Route 66 oriented businesses and displays a huge number of trinkets from a bygone era.


Amusingly most people tend to forget regarding Williams is that during the entire service life of US 66 it was multiplexed with US 89.   US 89 northbound followed Grand Canyon Avenue whereas US 89 southbound followed Railroad Avenue.  US 89 actually outlived US 66 by almost a decade in Williams as it wasn't truncated to Flagstaff until 1992.  US 89 even multiplexed I-40 for a time when the freeway bypass of Williams opened in 1984.

Williams is also famous for the Grand Canyon Railroad which was built in 1901 by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad 1901.  The ATSF operated the Grand Canyon Railroad for passengers until 1968 and for freight until 1974.  The Grand Canyon Railroad changed ownership various times in the ensuing decades but reopened in 1989.  The line still operates from downtown Williams north to Grand Canyon Village in Grand Canyon National Park.





Today former US 66/US 89 in Williams is signed as Historic US 66 and the I-40 Business Loop.



Upon entering Williams I followed Railroad Avenue westbound into downtown.  Even by 2016 standards using a Crown Victoria as a scarecrow Police Car was outdated.



Williams has a small park along Railroad Avenue which has a couple vintage rail cars and even a US Route 66 shield.


Railroad Avenue westbound has Historic US 66 shields and is signed as an Arizona Scenic Highway.


Turning around onto Grand Canyon Avenue eastbound the US Route 66 motif is immediately apparent on almost every business facade.  As much as I like US 66 it would be nice to see US 89 promoted as least a little by the City of Williams. 







After I arrived at my hotel I made sure to check to see if my car was leaking fluids after hitting a deer on UT 95 during the morning hours.  Thankfully the damage to my car was "mostly" cosmetic.  Nonetheless, I ended up picking an extra bottle of coolant since the radiator was slightly pushed in from the body damage.  Regardless, I made my final push for Phoenix taking the indirect way via former US Route 89A on current Arizona State Route 89A the next morning.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ghost Town Tuesday; Vineland, Florida; the town killed by Disney

Vineland is a small ghost town located in southwest Orange County, Florida near the junction of Florida State Road 535 and Interstate 4.  Vineland is somewhat unique due to it largely being squeezed out of existence by Lake Buena Vista which is the company town where Disney World is located. Vineland was founded in the late 1800s as Englewood.  The town name of Englewood changed to Orange Center in 1911 before finally assuming the name Vineland in 1924.  Much like the rest of Orange County the community of Vineland was centered around Citrus Grove.  In the case of Vineland said orange groves were centered around Ruby Lake. The end of Vineland came as the Disney Corporation began purchasing parcels of citrus grove land to build Lake Buena Vista.  Vineland fell into a sharp decline in the 1960s but the community managed to continue to exist to modern times.  Much of the street grid of Vineland still exists east of FL 535 but most of the original structures are either gone or falle

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del