Visiting Williams Ranch isn’t for sissy’s! Or those who get motion sickness, or for those who hate bumpy rides. In order to visit Williams Ranch you will have to check out a gate key from the visitor’s center. They only allow 2 vehicles at a time.
Speaking of vehicles you MUST have a HIGH CLEARANCE 4×4 in order to make the drive. No, a regular 4×4 truck or SUV will not suffice! The road is a one lane, dirt road; at least that is what the National Park Service (NPS) calls it. I call it a one lane, huge rocky road with what could be classified as small boulders you must drive over. Hey, but who am I to argue with the NPS?
The picture above, DOES NOT do these roads justice. My boobs hurt for days after this trip! The road is a little over 7 miles long and it will take you about an hour and half hours, yes folks 1.5 hours to drive 7 miles, to reach Williams Ranch!
The road passes through several washes (another reason you need a high clearance 4×4 off-road vehicle) and crosses over the old Butterfield Stage line.
After 7.3 miles, the road will end and you will be at Williams Ranch, which sits at the base of a 3,000 foot rick cliff. I should also let you know that you make a couple of turns along a cliff before arriving at the ranch.
To add to the fun the turns are as you are climbing a very steep, rocky, huge ruts, and pea gravel hill. Even with 4×4 and a running start, this spells disaster! But the view is worth it; even if your husband did manage the dent your truck & bumper, break the tail light, and create scratches all the way down your truck!
From the ranch you can make out the salt flats in the distance. It is an incredible site! You can also hike the El Capitain Trail from here, just keep in mind this is a day use area only.
I cannot stress this enough, if your vehicle is a stock 4×4 (or even one with a small lift), this road is NOT for you. If you have a lifted vehicle but it is not 4×4, this road is NOT for you. You MUST have a lifted, high clearance vehicle. There is NO help out here and if you get stranded, stuck, or wreck, you are SOL!!!
Take plenty of water and food (just in case the worst happens and so you can take a break and eat lunch). Williams Ranch is a great spot for a picnic!
If you are a woman wear a heavy-duty sports bra. Heck go ahead and double up! Your boobs will thank you!
If you’re a man, I suggest wearing spandex under those pants. You want something to keep your boys from bouncing around. Trust my husband, your manhood will thank you!
Bring a camera! The view to the ranch and at the ranch is amazing!
Bring a jack and good spare. The likely hood of you getting a flat out here is HIGH!
Bring tools in case something happens to your vehicle. No one will be there to help you and it is all up to you to get your vehicle out of there!
Make sure your vehicle is in mechanically good shape. Again it will be up to you and you alone to get your vehicle out of there if it breaks down. There is no Calvary!
Once you start getting closer, drive cautiously! The road gets steep and narrow and at times if you are not hugging the cliff wall to one side, you will end up going off the cliff on the other.
Bring a first aid kit. If something goes wrong, it could take a while for help to arrive.
You will first need to check out the key from the visitors center.
From the vistors center turn right onto highway 62/180 and drive for 8.3 miles to a brown metal gate off to your right. The gate has a National Park Service arrowhead logo and an AT&T warning sign on it. Keep a watch out for it because it is easy to miss!
After you are done, return the key to the visitor’s center.