Route 66 can trace its history back to the late 1920s when it was first proposed and presented. However, it wasn’t until 1938 that the road was completely paved from the eastern start in Chicago, Illinois to the western end in Santa Monica, California, some 2,450 miles later. Of course, the route can be traveled east or west, although most Route 66 passengers prefer to travel from east to west, just as the Joad family did in John Steinbeck’s famous literary work, The Grapes of Wrath.
Unfortunately, Route 66 began in the 1960s to replace new interstate highways that bypassed many small towns and were completely removed from the interstate highway system in 1985. However, in part, many Route 66 organizations, small chambers of commerce, enthusiasts and historians have been rejected let him die. Over the last 25 years, there has been a resurgence of heritage tourism that has aroused interest in preserving this great part of American history and the nostalgia that Route 66.
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The route is often referred to as the “Mother Road,” “Main American Street,” or “Will Rogers Highway” route passing through eight different states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Let’s take a closer look at the situation in Arizona.
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Moving west, Arizona is 7th out of 8 states on Route 66 and has 401 miles from border to border. It adorns some of the most beautiful landscapes, several of the most essential buildings to be seen, the highest elevation and the longest uninterrupted Route 66 route on the entire trip.
Geographically, Arizona has a Meteor branch, a petrified forest, and a painted desert. These locations provide amazing photo opportunities, but also the opportunity to explore and hike these natural sights.
About 75 miles in Arizona, next to a petrified forest and a painted desert, lies the town of Holbrook. At the home of the Wigwam Village Bridge, most Route 66 passengers look forward to sleeping in the tepee and many cite this landmark as the highlight of their journey. Further west is Joseph City, a Mormon company founded in the late 1870s. In the city of Joseph City is the famous Jackrabbit Trading Post. One of the most famous places with Route 66’s signatures is the famous “HERE IS” billboard located on the Jackrabbit Trading Post.
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Further west next to the Meteor crater and the cities “standing on the corner” of Winslow, the extinct two rifles, the abandoned arrows Gemini and Winona “do not forget” lies the city of Flagstaff. Flagstaff is home to the famous Lowell Observatory, and is also the entrance to the Grand Canyon which is an hour’s drive north. The canyon is worth a side trip with Route 66 to see one of the eight natural wonders of the world. If you want, you can also access the spectacular Grand Canyon via the Grand Canyon Railway outside Williams, just 30 miles west of Flagstaff. Between Flagstaff and Williams is Brannigan Peak. At an altitude of 3320 feet above sea level, it is the highest point of altitude along the entire Rt route. 66th
15 miles west of Williams is Ash Fork, the world’s capital. Only next to Ash Fork can you say goodbye to I-40 as you begin the longest uninterrupted Route 66 route on the entire trip. Be sure to stop at the legendary Snow Cap Drive in Seligman and the fascinating general store in Hackberry before arriving in Kingman. Here you will find many still preserved business facilities dealing with the Route 66 traveler, including a very well done museum.
Be sure to leave Kingman while it’s still daylight, as you won’t miss the amazing scenery in front of you as you travel with black flaps and hairpins. Oatman is waiting, as are numerous wild ravines that the old mining town calls home. Be sure to check out the historic Oatman Hotel where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon.
Leaving the Oatman, you can head to Laughlin Nevada casinos and try your luck or you can continue through Golden Shores, Topock and return to I-40 to cross the mighty Colorado River to California.