About Arizona Route 66 – Info & History

Lupton Trading Post, by Jim Hinckley

Lupton, Arizona Trading Post, photo by Jim Hinkley.

Arizona’s ribbon of the Mother Road is one of the most picturesque along the entire route. From volcanoes to painted deserts to lush green forests, your journey provides numerous scenic photograph opportunities as well as a wealth of history, great side trips, and a volume of Route 66 era icons.

Passing through this beautiful state provides you the opportunity to follow the trail of early pioneers and outlaws, see historic Indian ruins, visit ghost towns, and fill your bags with treasures from hundreds of historic trading posts along the way.

From the eastern border until you reach Seligman, Route 66 closely follows Interstate 40. From here, the old route veers away from I-40 on the longest unbroken original stretch of the Mother Road, taking you to the California border and providing numerous vintage photo opportunities, ghost towns, and haunting views of the Arizona landscape.

On your way to Holbrook, you will begin to spy dinosaurs of every size, shape, and form, enticing you to stop at The International Petrified Forest Museum and Dinosaur Park.

Holbrook had a wild and bawdy Old West history before Route 66 came through when vintage icons such as the Pow-Wow Trading Post and the Wigwam Village Motel appeared.

Heading on to Joseph City, you will pass the Geronimo Trading Post. Joseph City is home to the famous Jack Rabbit Trading Post that you have probably already seen advertised on numerous billboards. Nearby Winslow provides a peek at several Route 66 era buildings, as well as the famous La Posada Hotel, the only historic Harvey House Hotel that still caters to travelers in need of a rest.

Meteor City Trading Post

Meteor City Trading Post, January 2015. 

Continuing to mosey on down the trail, you will soon spy the now abandoned Meteor City Trading Post, and just beyond is the actual meteor crater itself. Next, you’ll run into the ghost towns of Two Guns and Canyon Diablo.

Don’t miss the Twin Arrows Trading Post on your way through Winona to Flagstaff. Called the City of Seven Wonders, Flagstaff provides numerous opportunities for recreation and sight-seeing, not to mention its many Route 66 era buildings. Be sure to stop in at the Museum Club, at the east end of Route 66, before heading to the vintage downtown district that provides a peek at the historic Hotel Monte Vista, built in 1926, and the old Santa Fe Railroad Depot.

Continuing your westward journey, you will pass several small towns on your way to Williams, the very last town on all of Route 66 to be bypassed by the interstate. Here in Williams, you have the wonderful opportunity to take a side trip to the magnificent Grand Canyon, just some 60 miles north.

Seligman Arizona

Seligman, Arizona, is a very colorful town, photo by Dave Alexander.

The next road segment may find your ears popping as you drop down from the mountains to the Arizona plains. At Seligman, the town displays its pride in the Mother Road with several vintage businesses, including Juan Delgadillo’s famous Snow Cap Drive-In and his brother Angel’s barber shop. Though the barber shop is closed, it still stands intact, complete with equipment, and now serves as a Visitor Center run by the family.

At this point, Route 66 veers north away from I-40, where you will pass through several small towns, including Grand Canyon CavernsPeach Springs, and Valentine, before dropping south again towards Kingman. Kingman is home to the historic Hotel Brunswick and the Arizona Route 66 Association in Kingman’s Powerhouse Building. A short side-trip off Route 66 from Kingman will take you northwest some 20 miles to the well-preserved ghost town of Chloride.

Oatman Gunfight

Gunfight recreation in Oatman.

Continuing south for a short period, Route 66 turns west again at McConnico, as you travel along the Oatman Highway. Oatman is a ghost town with a long mining history. Here, you will see vintage icons of the Old West before heading south to Topock, where you will cross the Colorado River to enter the Golden State of California.

And, as always, Kick some asphalt and enjoy the ride!

© Kathy Weiser-Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2021.

Also See:

Arizona Route 66 Main Page

Arizona Route 66 Photo Gallery

History Beyond the Mother Road

Route 66 Main Page