Local Secrets of Northern Arizona!

Work camping jobs are normally around six months long.  One of the things we love about being able to stay in an area for a while is the fact that eventually, we get to check out some of the things that the locals know about, but the average tourist never gets to experience.


Here are three of our favorite “local secrets” that we have enjoyed over the past few months…

Bill Williams Mountain

The tiny town of Williams is surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks.  These are part of the San Francisco volcanic field.  Now dormant, these beautiful peaks used to be active volcanos!

Bill Williams Mountain is the tallest of those peaks surrounding Williams and is named after Old Bill Williams, a scout, guide and mountain man who lived in the 1800s.

We heard that there was a dirt road available to get to the top.  At 9,256 feet above sea level at the peak, it was sure to be an amazing view.  So we set out to find it!

local secrets of williams arizona

Instructions to get to this local secret are as follows:

Take 4th street out of town toward Dogtown lake.  Go 4.7 miles from downtown and turn at the first dirt road on the right, just after the speed limit drops to 35 miles per hour.

Yep, it isn’t marked very well.  Hence the local secret, right?

local secrets of williams arizona

Warning- do not try to take this road in inclement weather, right after a rain, or in a vehicle that sits very low to the ground.

It is a total of 6.9 miles from the main road to the top of the mountain.  The road is in relatively good shape, but is steep and full of many switch backs and hairpin turns.

Oh, and there is no guard rail.

local secrets of williams arizona

The view is well worth it.  Our little KIA “I-think-I-canned” the whole way up.  We were glad we traded the VW bug in.  It sat so low to the ground that it never would have made it.

local secrets of williams arizona

At the very top of the mountain you will find a large antenna farm.  We were careful to respect any no trespassing signs as we took in the view from the top.


Here we were at 9,256 feet above sea level and we could literally see for miles!

local secrets of williams arizona

Want to go a little higher?  Well, there is a fire tower on the top of the mountain too!

Dave refused to climb it, but I decided to brave it and climbed about half way up.

local secrets of williams arizona

From there I had an amazing, unblocked view of all directions.  Down below I was able to make out the campground.

local secrets of williams arizona

Fall is in the air this time of year and the journey to the top of Bill Williams Mountain was full of beautiful photo opportunities.

local secrets of williams arizona

The ride to the top and back down is full of beautiful scenery and definitely worth the effort.  For those that enjoy a good strenuous hike, there are some great trails that also go to the top of this mountain.  Just be aware of changing weather, and local wildlife.

And true to most local secrets, we didn’t run into a single person the entire trip.  I love these kind of secrets!

Click here for secret #2!

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11 thoughts on “Local Secrets of Northern Arizona!”

  1. All 3 “secrets” seem like very fun things to do …. and like you said, who doesn’t love an all you can eat seafood buffet ? 🙂 I visited Jerome by motorcycle in the 60s and in my VW camper in the 70s.

    1. Hi Neil and Yoly!
      I imagine that Jerome hasn’t changed a whole lot. The town itself seemed to consist of original buildings. Many are uninhabited. All of them are beautiful in their own way.

      We are going to miss this area of the country. We will be leaving in early November and heading to Tucson for the winter. It will be sad to leave. But adventure awaits!

  2. You should try to get to Young, AZ if you get a chance. Young is located East of Pason on Highway 288. It about 20 miles in on a gravel road and about the same coming out. Really pretty place in the middle of nowhere. I have enjoyed your travels and live vicariously through you, as my husband does not want a camper. I would love to do you are doing. My two sons live in Phoenix and Arizona is a beautiful state. We live in North Carolina so Arizona is a very different experience. Love the posts.

    1. Hi Nancy!

      We will definitely put Young on our list of things to see! We love this part of the country and will be a bit sad when we have to leave in early November. It has been a fast six months! Our next stop is Tucson for the winter. We will get a taste of the desert parts of Arizona.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! Hope you are having a wonderful week!


  3. I LOVE seafood – and a seafood buffet sounds so nice. We are currently on holiday in Australia, so tasting some new flavours not found home in New Zealand. Such as camel, kangaroo, buffalo and crocodile!

    1. Hi Jenny!

      Wow! Camel, kangaroo, buffalo and crocodile…. not so sure I’m that adventurous. LOL! Actually, I’ve had buffalo and alligator. Buffalo burgers are popular in Montana. And fried alligator is a Florida thing. But a seafood buffet is total awesomeness!

      Hope you are doing well! Enjoy your travels and stay safe!

  4. Suzy…i enjoyed this so much! I have never been interested in what i consider desert states..but this looks very nice, adn interesting. Yes, Tuna did not sound good even as i was reading it, then winding roads and 120 degrees….ack! We have 122 degrees here ALSO..YOU ARE SO BRAVE! When we go out in the heat, the air hits me like a very frigid cold day does, takes my breath away. I cant imaging riding in it. But what nice pictures you have shared! Thank You!

    1. Hi Bernice!

      Actually, that was the first time I had ever experienced that kind of temperatures. Next time, I will do it differently! LOL! We figured the breeze while riding would keep us cool. Didn’t think it would be an oven breeze. ?

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  5. Wow Suzy that was an amazing trip. I could never be out in that kind of heat. The shots were beautiful. Well you be camp/working in Tucson? Enjoy the upcoming holidays. Big hug from Grambo ( great-grandma to Scarlett and Clara)

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