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Arizona Flag - Legends of the High Desert IconARIZONA LEGENDS

The Path To California From Kingman

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Just outside Kingman, Arizona on Route 66There are two Route 66 alignments from Kingman southwest to the California border. The pre-1952 alignment along the Oatman Highway is by far the most beautiful, providing numerous photographic opportunities, legendary Route 66 icons, and a peek at the wild old west in historic Oatman, Arizona.

 

However, this old route travels through notorious Sitgreaves Pass, the most intimidating portion of Route 66, with its steep grades, narrow road, and sharp hairpin curves. In addition, the highway does not allow vehicles over 40 feet, so, if this is you, think about coming into Oatman from the south through Topock, an easier route. Another consideration for big rig RVís or vehicles pulling trailers, is that parking is extremely limited in Oatman. Get there early or you will never find a place to accommodate your parking needs.

On occasion, Oatman Road will close just south of Kingman due to heavy rains and melting snow coming off the mountains. During periods of heavy participation, it might be wise to check road conditions prior to travel.

 

In any case, if you can take the Oatman Road, itís well worth the trip. However, if bypassing Oatman is the better choice for you, the post 1952 alignment through Yucca, Arizona provides a small peek at a few 66 era signs and dusty tourist accommodations.

 

 

Flooded Oatman Highway

There's no traveling the Oatman Highway on this day due to

flooding, December, 2004, Kathy Weiser.

 

Yucca Bypass

 

Even when Route 66 was first built in the 1920s, several supporters worked to have the highway parallel the railroad through Yucca, where its supporters lived. However, Oatman was at its peak as a mining community and had more clout. So, even though it made the drive more difficult on those old Model-Tís, the original route took the hazardous journey up Sitgreaves Pass, bypassing Yucca.

 

In the end it all came back around, when in 1952, Route 66 was straightened out and headed through Yucca, this time bypassing Oatman.

 

 

 

As you travel this newer alignment to Yucca, elevations begin to drop as you get your first glimpses of the dreaded Mojave Desert.

 

Yucca thrived through the 1950s as tourist courts and cafes sprouted up. When I-40 replaced Route 66 through here, Yucca exits remained, but it wasnít enough to keep the old services open. Soon, one more of the many Whiting Brothers Complexes "bit the dust." All that remains today are its famous signs. Other businesses followed suit, leaving Yucca with little more than abandoned businesses, mobile homes, and an odd golf-ball looking house.

 

Beyond Yucca, there is little to see along the steaming desert highway other than dozens of large billboards enticing you to visit Lake Havasu to the South. Settle in for the next 25 mile stretch until you reach the wide Colorado River at Topock.

 

 

Continued Next Page

 

Cool Springs

 

Old Whiting Bros Complex, Yucca, Arizona

At this old Whiting Brothers complex, there's no more  gas, no more groceries,

and no more beds. December, 2004, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!

 

Abandoned cafes and a motel in Yucca, Arizona

Cafes and Motel in Yucca, Arizona, December, 2004, Kathy Weiser.

 

 

Trails Arch Bridge across the Colorado River

The Trails Arch Bridge across the Colorado River,once carried road travelers

along  Route 66 in the early days. Now it carries utility lines across the mighty

Colorado River, April, 2008, Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

 

 

  Return to Route 66 

 

To Goldroad

 

Return to Route 66

 

To Kingman

 

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