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Truxton

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Almost a Ghost Town

Truxton is a small village with several Route 66 classic sites: Old Texaco Service Station, Chevron Station, the Frontier Motel and Café, the Barker Apartments, the Truxton Service Station, the The Orlando Motel and the famous The Cowgill's signpost.

Truxton AZ

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About Truxton, Arizona

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation 4,347 ft (1.326 m). Population 134 (2010).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) no DST⁄ PDT (UTC-7).

Truxton is a very small village in western-central Mohave County, in the northwestern part of Arizona. (Map of Truxton).

The Frontier Motel and Café

classic sign of the Frontier Motel and Cafe in Truxton, Route 66,  Arizona
Sign of the Frontier Motel and Café in, Truxton, Arizona, by
Truxtun Beale photo

For the older history of this area, check our Peach Springs page, which tells about the Hualapai natives and the Spanish-Mexican period.

After Mexico ceded the territory to the U.S., the government sent Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves (1810 - 1888) in 1851 to lead an expedition through New Mexico and Arizona to survey the Zuni and Colorado Rivers. He went through what is now Truxton and camped there, writing in his diary: "This rivulet which I have called the Yampai has its source in three small springs...".

In 1857 the U.S. government commissioned Lt. Edward "Ned" Fitzgerald Beale (1822-1893) to survey and open a wagon trail from Ft. Smith (Arkansas) to California.

He used camels, imported from Tunis as pack animals in his expedition. Though hardier than mules, the camels scared both horses and mules. The Army decided not to use camels in the future.

Beale followed Sitgreaves trail, passing through the same springs which he named "Truxtun", after his son.

After the Hualapai were placed in their reservation, the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad (which later became the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad) built their railroad through the area. They set up a stop at Truxton, but moved their tracks to higher ground after the floods of 1904.

In the 1910s, the National Old Trails highway was built from California westwards through Truxton and became Route 66's alignment in 1926.

Truxton is set in the place where the wide valley next to Peach Springs merges into a granite gorge (Crozier Canyon); granite which extends northward to the foot of Music Mountain, a high peak which very prominent, some 7 miles to the northwest, the southwestern corner of the Grand Wash Cliffs.

The Name: Truxton

Truxtun Beale (1856 – 1936), son of Edward Fitzgerald Beale and Mary Engle Edwards and an American diplomat. Named after his grandfather, Commodore Thomas Truxtun.

Meaning unknwon. The suffix "trux" is probably some Anglo Saxon family name. The prefix "ton" is Old English "ton", which was a "farm", "settlement", "village".

The name was later deformed -changing the "u" into an "o", and became "Truxton".

Clyde McCune and Donald Dilts opened a service station and garage in Truxton in 1951, and chose a spot close to the head of Crozier Canyon beyond the Hualapai Reservation. He had heard that a dam would be built onthe Colorado River at Bridge Canyon and expected the road that would lead to it to start off from Route 66 at Truxton (See it in the map below).

He named the place Truxton after the railroad siding closest to his establishment.

Others followed him and even though the dam was never built, the place boomed until I-40 bypassed this section of U.S. 66 in 1979. Now only a few businesses cater to the traffic.

Where to Stay near Truxton

Spend a night in Peach Springs, next to Truxton, at its Hotel:

>> Book your Hotel in neighboring Peach Springs

More Lodging Near Truxton along Route 66

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>> RV campgrounds close to Truxton

Weather in Truxton

Truxton's weather is dry and sunny. Hot in summer and cold in winter. There are some 280 sunny days every year.

Average temperatures in summer: Highs (Jul) 97° (36.1°C) and lows 58°F (14.4°C). Average temperature in winter: Low (Jan) of 27.8°F (-2.3°C) and high 53°F (11.7°C).

Not much snow falls in Truxton: some 3 in. (7.5 cm). Rainfall is about 11 inches (280 mm) yearly with summer being the rainy season.

Route 66 and Truxton, AZ
Location of Truxton on Route 66

Tornado risk

No tornados in Truxton because there are hardly any tornados west of the Rocky Mountains.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Getting to Truxton

You can reach Truxton along Historic Route 66 in Arizona from Seligman (east) or Kingman (west).

Map of Route 66 in Truxton

, Arizona.

The map below shows the different alignments of Route 66 near Truxton; the color key is for Truxton only, and is the following:
(for the other parts of the map, check the color key of the map of the corresponding city)

Pale Blue: the original alignment of Route 66 through Truxton
Red: I-40, where it covers the old roadbed of Route 66.
Blue: The old alignment of Route 66 that can be seen but not driven close to Truxton.

See Route 66's alignment in Arizona Map

  Click to See the "Lupton to Williams" alignment (Eastern Part of US 66 in Arizona)

Remove or restore State shading
 

Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

Route 66's alignment in Arizona: the Historic Route 66 through Truxton

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across Arizona

Route 66 was been designated an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway in the state of Arizona.

The Route 66 that starts to the east of Seligman, passes through Truxton and ends at Topock on the Colorado River is the longest remaining section of Route 66 in the entire U.S.A.

Click on the following link for a Full description of Route 66 across the state of Arizona.

Below you will find plenty of information on the alignments of Route 66 near Truxton.

Sights and Attractions in Truxton, Arizona

What to Do, Places to See

Almost a Ghost Town

In Truxton there are several service stations: Bell, Texaco, Chevron and Truxton; a café and three former Route 66 motels: the Frontier, the Barker and the Orlando. As well as the old Cowgill's signpost.

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Truxton

When Jack DeVere Rittenhouse drove down Route 66 in 1946, before writing his classic "A Guide Book to Highway 66" he did not mention Truxton because at that time it had had not yet been established. The oldest service stations and motels in town are from the early 1950s.

City Tour in Truxton

Actually there is not much of a "city" to tour in Truxton. You can drive along Route 66 and take in all the sights stopping along the way. Our itinerary starts at the eastern tip of town, at the bridge over the dry creek:

Old Texaco Service Station

To the right is a service station with a high steel canopy held by four steel posts. By the highway is the signpost lacking the sign, which, from the shape of the post, must have been a Texaco. The building has two bays and seems to be a repair shop, it is known as Sudberry's Southland Service Station.

An old service station on Route 66 in Truxton Arizona

an old Route 66 service station in Truxton AZ
Old filling station on Route 66 in Truxton AZ.
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View
Chevron Service Station

A few yards to the west, next to the service station is a smal building, which apparently was a Chevron Service Station, all that remains of its filling bay is the concrete paving.

Truxton's First Café

To the west of it is a masonry building, housing a café with a gabled roof. It can be seen in the photograph below, behind the signpost.

Here is where the town was "founded" the Café was with the now gone (it was just to the right of the café) Texaco service station which was housed in a garage (see a photo of what they both looked like not so long ago)

Head west to corner to see the Barker Apartments:

Barker Apartments

Route 66 and Molthan Ln.

On the northwest corner is the abandoned building which was built in 1953 and operated for some years as a motel. Later it was purchased by the Barkers (they owned the Frontier Motel across the road) who rented its apartments to the locals.

Street View.

Unpainted signpost of the Barker Apartments

Old signpost of the Barker Apartments, Truxton, Route 66,  Arizona
Sign of the Barker Apartments in, Truxton, Arizona, by
Bell Gas
old bell gasoline sign

Bell Gas Signpost Carol Highsmith

Beside Barker Apartments is another "former" service station, the sign still proclaims "Gas", but the image of a bell which once was the brand is now gone. In the 1990s it sported the sign of a Mobile Gas station.

Street View.

Cross the road to visit another defunct service station:

Service Station

The white building lacks the canopy, but the area where the gas pumps once stood can be clearly made out.

This is its Street View.

Unnamed Service Station in Truxton

old gas station Truxton, Route 66,  Arizona
Gas station in, Truxton, Arizona, by

Next to it, to the west of it, is the famous Frontier Motel:

Frontier Motel

16118 Route 66

This is a classic Route 66 motel with flamboyant signage and all. The Frontier was built by Alice Wright in the 1950s, and it included a café and the motel with several units.

In 1957 it was purchased by Ray and Mildred Baker (who would later work actively in the rebirth of Route 66, through the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona). Ray passed away in 1990 and Mildred in 2012.

An view of the Frontier motel and Cafe,Route 66 in Truxton Arizona

Frontier Motel and Cafe in Truxton AZ
A view of the Frontier Café and Motel, US 66 in Truxton AZ.
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Cross back to the north side of the road and visit the Truxton Service Station:

Truxton Service Station

This service station opened in 1951 and at one time was a Withing Brothers gas station, and was also owned by Mildred Barker (owner of the Barker Apts. and the Frontier motel & café).

The place is still open, selling gasoline. See its street view.

Head west for 0.2 miles and, also on the right side of the road is an abandoned motel, the Orlando Motel.

The Orlando Motel

This is another classic, date unknown, but you can see it in the following set of "Then and Now" photos:

A Photo showing a snowed Orlando Motel in Truxton

old photo of the Orlando Motel in the snow, Truxton, Arizona
The Orlando Motel, snowed, Truxton, Arizona, by

There is more greenery around the building, it has lost its canopy and although the sign is the original one, it lost its upper "spikes".

The same spot,with the remains of the Orlando Motel on Route 66 today

Orlando Motel on Route 66 today
The same place (Orlando Motel) on Route 66 today
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

The Cowgill´s Trading Post - signpost

Keep westwards to the modern (it opened in 2006) former Cowgill's Trading Post, now a Gas & Grub. It was the site of a famous "Cowgill's" sign post, now rather faded, and having lost some charm.

Compare the photo with its Street view.

At one time there was a mural with a Native face on the western facade of the building. Now gone.

Abandoned cars in Truxton Arizona
Arizona, Route 66, Cowgill sign and abandoned cars, by Carol M. Highsmith

The Alignment of Old Route 66 in Truxton

route 66 shield Arizona
Peach Springs to Truxton

It is 8.5 miles from Peach Springs to Truxton all of it along the 1940 - 1979 alignment of Route 66.

Two miles (2 mi.) west of Peach Springs the pre-1950s US 66 roadbed can be seen as it splits towards the north side of the current alignment and then curves, crossing it, and passing towards the south of it, running more or less parallel to it.

This old alignment cannot be driven nowadays but you could walk it (be careful of trespassing private property). It passes behind the Indian High School and meets the current alignment (1950s- 1979) close to the western boundary of the Indian Reservation. You can see it in the map above, in Blue and in this street view.

The road then enters Truxton and continues with only one alignment up to Crozier Canyon.

The map below from 1951 does not show Truxton, which was established that same year. Instead it has Crozier and Valentine.

Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman in a 1951 map Arizona
Route 66 in a 1951 (Shell) map from Seligman to Kingman www.davidrumsey.com

Note to the north, on the Colorado River, the "Bridge Canyon Dam Site" and the road linking it to the spot where Truxton was founded.

What are now known as "Grand Canyon Caverns" appear as "Coconino Caverns".

 

> > See the previous segment Seligman to Peach Springs

> > See the full Williams to Kingman segment

Outdoors, National and State Parks

There are plenty of outdoor spots where you can enjoy nature close to Truxton, from neighboring Peach Springs you can visit the Grand Canyon and go rafting along the Colorado River at Diamond Creek or enjoy the Grand Canyon Caverns along Route 66.

You can also drive up to the Grand Canyon, from Williams.

Sources

Special thanks to www.66postcards.com used under Fair Use.

Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.

Historic Route 66 in Arizona All-American Road, National Scenic Byway, www.fhwa.dot.gov.

Image by Vítězslav Válka adapted under its CC BY-SA 3.0 CZ License

Map Icons by Nicolas Mollet under its CC BY SA 3.0 License