- Type: Drives
NileGuide Expert Says:
Check out restaurant Karma and trading posts selling Native crafts and art. Don't mind the train; it's a Flagstaff wonder!
- Follow the road that carried the legendary Grapes of Wrath's Joad family, songwriter Bobby Troup, and millions of others west to the land of dreams, opportunity and open spaces. In 1989, the Kaibab National Forest listed several segments of Route 66 on the National Register of Historic Places. This historic highway, which linked Chicago with Los Angeles, was completely paved in 1938. Perhaps more than any other highway in America, Route 66 symbolizes the adventure and romance of the open road, and is an inseparable part of American popular culture.
Begin your tour to the past on Bill Williams Avenue. Here, Route 66 is plainly "America's Main Street." Its gas stations, restaurants, curio shops, and motels have served generations of travelers. From here, proceed east on "Old 66" to the Interstate 40 interchange and continue east on I-40 for six miles. This historic alignment of Route 66 has been covered by the interstate on this stretch, but it resumes at the Pittman Valley exit. Exit here, turn left, pass over I-40, and turn right onto historic Route 66. This concrete pavement dates to 1939 and bore Route 66 traffic until the Interstate arrived in 1964. It passes Oak Hill Snowplay Area (the original Williams Ski Area, circa 1940), where you can park and take a short hike to the Keyhole Sink petroglyph site. Garland Prairie Vista, a short distance east, offers a spectacular view of the San Francisco Peaks; it is also a good picnic spot. As you continue along, you soon arrive at the roadside community of Parks. Here, there is a country store which has been in operation since about 1910. It's well worth a visit. At this point, you may choose to return to Interstate 40 or continue on for 8 more miles of historic highway. Be advised that the 8 miles are on a graveled road.
To continue east, follow the road as it merges onto an earlier alignment of Route 66. From the time it was first built in the early 1930s, Route 66 was constantly improved and realigned. At this point, you can park and walk on a 3/4 mile long section of abandoned Route 66. Let your imagination take you back in time on this stretch of "ghost road." East of here, the graveled road, which was once paved, served highway travelers from 1931 until it was bypassed in 1941. Here you will drive over the highest point along Route 66 at 7,300 feet above sea level. The road then descends into beautiful Brannigan Park. The historic residences on each side of the road are on private property, so please drive slowly and respect the landowner's privacy. Soon after leaving Brannigan Park, you will pass out of the Kaibab National Forest, and the officially designated portion of Route 66 ends near the I-40 frontage road.
Ask a local about Route 66
Ask Williams Locals about Route 66
- tel: 520-635-4707
- 724 South Clover Road
- Williams, AZ 86046
- No Sweat
- User Rating