October 19, 2013 · 10:00 AM
This will be an all-afternoon hike of about 7 miles. Bill Williams mountain is known for having fantastic views and not being terribly difficult to climb. Like Elden, it is crowned by radio towers.
Bring: at least two bottles of water, lunch, sturdy shoes, a hiking stick, camera, and be prepared for whatever weather is predicted that day.
This trail leads you to the 9,256-foot summit of Bill Williams Mountain. Originally built in 1902 as a toll trail for hikers and horses and later used as by the Forest Service to access the lookout tower on the summit. The trail starts at Bixler Saddle, at an elevation of 7,700 feet. The first stretch of the trail is fairly level and meanders through oak and Ponderosa pine. The rest of the trail becomes a moderate up hill climb. There are wooden markers along the trail indicating miles traveled. At around mile two you will be in thickets of aspens, fir, and a thick carpeting of ferns. A half a mile form the summit, the trail emerges from the thick forest and intersects a dirt road that leads to the summit. From the summit, Mingus and Woodchute mountains are visible to the south, Humphreys Peak is clearly visible to the east, and on a clear day, you can see the white line of the Kaibab limestone far off to the north.