Route 66 can trace its history to the late 1920s & 39; when it was first proposed and paved. However, it was not until 1938 that the road was completely paved by it and eastward to Chicago, Illinois to the western terminus in Santa Monica, CA about 2,450 miles later. Of course the route can be traveled either east or west, though most Route 66 travelers prefer to head east to west just as the Joad family did in John Steinbeck's famous literary work & # 39; s, grapes of wrath.
Sadly, Route 66 began to be replaced in the 1960s & 39s; from the new Interstate highways that bypassed many small towns along the way and were completely removed from the interstate highway system in 1985. However, in part for many Route 66 organizations, small town chambers of commerce, enthusiasts and historians refused to let it die. Over the past 25 years there has been a new revival of heritage tourism that has revived interest in preserving this great part of America's history and nostalgia that is Route 66.
Often referred to as "Mother Road," "America's Main Road," or "Will Rogers Highway," the road passes through eight different states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Let's take a look at the state of Arizona in more detail.
Heading west, Arizona is 7th out of 8 states on Route 66 and has 401 miles from border to border. It boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes, some of the most unique viewing facilities, the highest altitude and the longest uninterrupted stretch of Route 66 throughout the journey.
Geographically, Arizona is home to Materor Crater, Forest Petrified and Paint Desert. These places create some fantastic photography opportunities but also an opportunity to explore and walk in these natural attractions.
About 75 miles to Arizona, past both the Petitioned Forest and Paint Forest is the city of Holbrook. Home to the Wigwam Village Motel, most Route 66 travelers expect to sleep in a cab and many cite this landmark as a highlight of their journey. Further west is Joseph City, a Mormon foundation set in the late 1870s & # 39; s. Located in Joseph City is the famous Jackrabbit Trading post. One of Route 66’s most popular signature locations is the popular signboard that calls out “HERE N IS IS” located at Jackrabbit Trading Post.
Further west, over Crater Mater and the towns of "standin & # 39; on the corner" Winslow, Two Missing Guns, The Abandoned Gemini Twins and "Don & # 39; t forget" Winona lies the town of Flagstaff. Flagstaff is home to the famous Lowell Observatory and is also the entrance to the Grand Canyon located an hour's drive north. The canyon is worth a side trip from Route 66 to see one of the eight natural wonders of the world. If you can better access the spectacular Grand Canyon via the Grand Canyon Railway off Williams just 30 or so miles west of Flagstaff. Between Flagstaff and Williams lies Brannigan Peak. At 7,320 meters above sea level it is the highest elevation point along the entire Rt route. 66.
15 miles west of Williams is Ash Fork, the cornerstone capital of the world. Once Ash Fork passes, you can say goodbye to I-40 as you begin the longest unbroken stretch of Route 66 throughout the journey. Be sure to stop by the legendary Snow Cap Drive in Seligman and the Hackberry General Enchantment Store before arriving in Kingman. Here you will find many business ventures still preserved for the 66th Street Hotel including a very good museum.
Be sure to leave Kingman while still having the sunshine because you will not miss the incredible scenery that lies ahead as you travel the Black Curves & Strips ahead. Oatman hosts, as do many wild burroes who call the mining town's old town. Be sure to check out the historic Oatman Hotel where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon.
Leaving Oatman you can take a quick side trip to Laughlin Nevada casinos and try your luck or you can continue further through Golden Shores, Topock and return to I-40 to cross the mighty Colorado River in California.