About Wildorado, Texas
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 3,915 ft. (1,195 m). Population: est. 180 (2000 census).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Wildorado is located in the south of Oldham County, in the western region of the Texas Panhandle. The town straddles old Route 66 (now I-40), 23 mi. west of Amarillo.
The town's name comes from Wildorado Creek, whose sources are just 1.5 mi north of the town, the name is of uncertain origin and perhaps combines the words "wild" and "Eldorado", a mythical lost city with abundant gold treasures (from the Spanish words: El Dorado: "The Golden one").
Human beings have inhabited the Panhandle for a long time; remains of Paleo-Indian stone tools 10,000 years old have been recovered nearby, in Clovis New Mexico.
The Spanish Conquistadors explored the region in 1541 seeking for the mythical town of «Eldorado», but only found Indians and a dry flat territory.
The Comanche and Kiowa Indians ruled the land and hunted buffalo on the plains. Only after Texas' independence and its inclusion in the United States did white settlers reach this region.
After a war (1874 - 76) the U.S. defeated the Indians and placed them in reservations. Tascosa, on the Canadian River became county seat of Oldham County (1880) and the Fort Worth - Denver railway reached it in 1887.
The old cattle trail that linked Tascosa in the north with Canyon City in the SE had a campsite at what is now Wildorado. Before 1900 Eugene Binford and John Goodman had settled there and Goodman opened a post office in 1904.
Bank robbed eight times Credits
The Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway chose the spot as a site for a station on its line west from Amarillo, and built it there in 1908. By that time the Goodman's Wildorado State Bank had opened.
Population reached 100 in 1915 and the town boasted two churches and a newspaper, the Wildorado Progress, founded in 1909.
The late 1920s were violent and the local State Bank was robbed eight times between 1925 and 1928.
It was the days that U.S. Route 66 was created (1926) and a growing number of travelers crossed the country passing through Wildorado. Travel boosted the economy during the grim period of the Dustbowl and Depression in the 1930s, during which population dropped to 57. The 1940s brought growth and population increased to 125.
When I-40 passed through the town, the south side of Old Route 66 was demolished to make space for the new highway.
Irrigation for the farms and new environmentally friendly energy sources ensure the town's economic future.
Wildorado Wind Ranch
The Wildorado Wind Ranch is a renewable-energy project to generate 160-megawatt from the Panhandle winds. It has seventy wind turbines with an output of 2.3 MW and over 30 miles of underground power lines.
Nancy Jean Binford (1921 - 1998), Cowgirl
Born in Amarillo but lived most of her life on the 10,000 acre Binford Ranch in Wildorado. She graduated at the Texas Tech University at Lubbock.
She was a sponsored "Sweetheart" in rodeos for the Range Riders of Amarillo and a member of the American Quarter Horse Association. She was also a charter member of the Girls' Rodeo Association which she helped found in 1948 and sponsored the first all-girl rodeo in Amarillo, the "Tri-State All Girl Rodeo".
Ms. Binford organized and produced all-girl shows in the South West, and also won the world's championship in cutting horse competition and in roping in 1950
She was inducted in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1979.
Where to Stay
Weather in Wildorado
The average rainfall is about 20 inches (500 mm) making the Texas Panhandle a semi-arid region. Summer is hot, with average highs above 90°F (30°C) and with average lows of 65°F (19°C). Winter are quite sunny and the maximum temperatures average 50°F (10°C) with average minimum temperatures of 25°F (-4°C).
It does Snow in Wildorado during winter, starting early December but you can encounter snow between September and May. On average, each year sees 17 inches of snow (with peaks of 40”), that is, from 43 to 102 cm. The region around Wildorado is among the windiest in the U.S. and that is why it has been chosen for wind farms.
Tornadoes, this is Tornado Alley, read more: Tornadoes on Route 66.
Getting To Wildorado
Wildorado is the second town to the west of Amarillo (23 mi away) along I-40.
It is 127 miles (204 km) west of the Texas state line.
Heading west from Wildorado, it is 50 miles (80 km) to the New Mexico state line.
Map of Wildorado and Route 66
Map of Wildorado and Route 66 between Texola, Oklahoma and Glenrio, Texas.
Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment; Red line: I-40 where it overlaps the old alignment.
Black: Jericho Gap section of US highway 66. Blue: Original alignment of US 66 between Amarillo and Conway.
Route 66: Get to Wildorado
See previous sections of US Route 66:
From Amarillo to Wildorado
Leaving downtown Amarillo
From downtown Amarillo, (mile zero) at Pierce Street (US87) and Amarillo Blvd., turn left and head west, after passing the bridge over the railroad, take a right onto SE 6th Ave. ⁄ TX-279 and keep straight. The road will become SW 6th Ave.
The street has an underpass (2.3 mi.) and a change of course (2.9 mi.). It will then cross the Historic Sixth Street District.
Head west and take a left onto Bushland Ave (3.8 miles). At the underpass at Bell St. (5 mi.). turn left onto W. Amarillo Blvd. - I-40 Bussiness Loop and go southwest.
The road crosses Coulter St. (5.8 miles) and heads west reaching Soucy after crossing TX-335 (7.5 mi.). It will pass in front of the Historic Helium Plant (8.5 mi.).
Before reaching I-40, take a right (9 miles) onto the old alignment of Route 66 along Indian Hill Rd.
Leave Indian Hill Rd. at Hill Road (12.6 mi.) and access I-40 westbound. At Exit 57, (14.7 mi.) you will reach Bushland.
Leave Bushland (14.7 miles) and continue along the North frontage road of I-40 and reach Wildorado (23 mi.), at Exit 49.
The road continues west of Wildorado, all the way to Glenrio, you can see the full detailed itinerary to Glenrio here: Amarillo to Glenrio.
Wildorado: Attractions & Sights
Things to Do and See in Wildorado
Tiny Texan town with an original classic Route 66 motel; the vintage Royal Inn Motel.
Wildorado is such a small town that it never incorporated. I-40 did not even bypass it. The Interstate cut right through the town, demolishing buildings on its south frontage road.
You can see the old Railway depot and, towards the west of the town, on its south frontage road, old service stations and the Royal Inn Motel which is the sole surviving business of the Original Route 66 in Wildorado:
Tours & Itineraries
US Highway 66
Historic Route 66 alignment
Above we detail the alignment of Historic Route 66 from Amarillo to Glenrio, including the Wildorado segment of the road.
Amarillo Globe News, obituaries, July 29, 1998
H. Allen Anderson, "Wildorado, TX", Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Handbook of Texas Online, Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Image by Mortenson Company © 2015 M. A. Mortenson Company, under Fair usage.
Panhandle snowfall National Weather Service.
Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.