Address: 877 E. Rodeo Rd. Williams, AZ 86046
Phone: (928) 635-4077
# of sites: 96
Full hookup price: From $49 per night
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Railside RV Ranch is so named because it sits along the railroad tracks of the Grand Canyon Railroad (GCRR), about a mile from the boarding center. Like Williams, the park is known for being the Gateway to the Grand Canyon, which is the main reason people stay here. Unfortunately the National Park was closed due to COVID-19 while we were there, so we could only explore Flagstaff and the surrounding areas while here and none of the resort's amenities were open.
The biggest advantage to this park, besides its proximity to the Grand Canyon, is the relatively low pricing for its sites. We saw significantly higher rates in nearby campgrounds, a few over double what we paid. Amenities include a pet spa, covered pavilion, showers, spa and sauna, and free cable TV.
The GCRR visitor and boarding center is almost walking distance from the park, about a mile away right in Williams. Several friends and acquaintances had recommended the railroad, and we were eagerly looking forward to it, but it was closed for our stay. My guess is that the scenic RR trip probably would have been the highlight of our stay.
Williams is a quaint town on Historic Route 66 that now has more modern fast food and stores than ever before, helpful for anyone staying in the area. Flagstaff, the closest populated city, is about 35 miles away and worth the drive. Within proximity to the park are Bearizona, three miles of Ponderosa Pine Forest for viewing of North American animals in natural habitats, Sedona at the foot of Oak Creek Canyon, Jerome, the old mining town, Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff and multiple locations of the south rim Grand Canyon. Fishing and boating is available in nearby Dogtown Reservoir, only about 6 miles away.
Railside is relatively pet-friendly, though they don't have an off-leash area. However, there is a large, mostly-fenced field next door in which I was able to walk the dogs to the far end and let them off-leash.
Railside is a small, somewhat dreary park that is clean but not very green, with dirt and gravel aisles and sites, though there are small trees scattered throughout the campground. It is adjacent to a couple of large apartment complexes and near an interstate highway that each take away from the ambiance of a rustic campground.
Since the park is rather small and the rates are really due to the proximity to the Grand Canyon, it's not a surprise that the amenities don't include much in the way of entertainment, such as pool, spa, tennis, shuffleboard, etc.
An off-leash dog park would be a big improvement, should they choose to add one, and the closest large box stores are in Flagstaff, 30+ miles away.
The bottom line is that if you are heading to the Grand Canyon or don't mind a lack of landscaping and amenities, this park is a clean option that is one of the least expensive in the Williams area. Since it is otherwise nothing to write home about, I rated it 3 out of five stars.
Be sure to add your comment below if you have a different opinion or is you share our views of this RV park.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 7 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.