Tours close to Kingman in Western Arizona
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Tours close to Kigman
White Cliffs Wagon Road
Ruts in White Cliffs wagon trail. gokingman.com
0.9 mi. north of the Visitor Center at the old powerhouse. Map and directions.
You can park at the trail head and walk along the trail. Free; no admission fee charged. Total length of trail 650 ft.
At the White Cliffs Wagon Trail Park you can hike along a trail, to visit a section of the old wagon road used to bring ore from the mines to the railway depot at Kingman
The heavy carts that used it from 1870 to 1900 wore deep ruts in the soft volcanic rock, which you can see during your hike. (The red arrows in the image mark the deep ruts).
The trail was bypassed in 1912 and the original cart road with its deep ruts remains in perfect condition.
Camp Beale Springs
Marker at Camp Beale Springs. Bill Kirchner
Just 1.8 miles to the west of town, Map and directions.
In 1857, the U.S. government commissioned Lt. Edward "Ned" Fitzgerald Beale on a mission to survey and open a wagon trail from Fort Smith in Arkansas, to California.
His route is roughly aligned with the one followed later by Route 66, and was known as the "Beale Wagon Road". It became the main route used by settlers moving into California until the railway was built in the mid 1880s.
Beale used camels imported from Tunis as pack animals. Though hardier than mules, the camels scared both horses and mules. The Army decided not to use camels in the future.
You can still see part of Beale's Wagon Road to the north of what is now Parks, AZ.
Although known to the local natives for thousands of years, it was "discovered" by Edward Fitzgerald Beale. It was a good water source in a dry area and it became a stop on the Prescott to Hardyville toll road in the 1860s.
However, war soon broke out with the Hualapai natives due to increased presence of white people in their land. This led to the Hualapai War of 1866 to 1870.
The defeated natives were confined in a reservation at the springs in 1873 but moved to La Paz the following year. The camp closed in 1874.
The Hualapai were allowed to retur to their territories (later they were relocated in another reservation at Peach Springs on Route 66).
The springs were used as the source of water for the newly established town of Kingman. A small reservoir was built there.
Nice spot to trek in the wild or have a picnic.
There is a marker and its inscription reads:
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription. This camp, established March 25, 1871 by Company F, 12th Infantry commanded by Capt. Thomas Bryne, was located at a spring used by Indians for centuries. It was named for Navy Lt. Edward F Beale who established a wagon road along the 35th parallel.
In 1865 William Hardy created a stop on his toll road from Prescott to Hardyville. It was an Army outpost during the Hualapai War of 1866-1870.
The location became a temporary reservation for Hualapai Indians from 1871 to 1874. The spring later supported mining, agriculture and domestic water needs for the town of Kingman.
Ha' Qa' Muwe marker
There is a second marker (on the stone). . Its inscription reads:
Ha' Qa' Muwe (Ancestral Home of the Hualapai)
In Memory of Our Hualapai Ancestors
Who Fought Against Cultural Genocide With Bravery and Foresight
They Sacrificed Their Lives So The Hualapai People's Survival May Continue Today And Forever...
This location was a temporary Internment Camp for the Hualapai People until the Infamous Forced March Of The La Paz Trail Of Tears, April 21, 1874
This ends your tours close to Kingman. Now head out on some longer itineraries in your car.
Where to Stay in Kingman
Your Hotel in Kingman:
>> Book your Hotel in town Hotels in Kingman
More Lodging Near Kingman along Route 66
Heading East.... In Arizona
- 53 mi. Peach Springs
- 90 mi. Seligman
- 113 mi. Ash Fork
- 122 mi. Williams
- 155 mi. Bellemont
- 166 mi. Flagstaff
Heading West: Hotels & Motels in AZ & CA
You are so close to Las Vegas!
>> RV campgrounds in Kingman
Visit Santa Claus and Chloride
A short trip (54 mi. round trip) along US 93 to the NW of Kingman. See this Map and directions.
US Highway 93 links Kingman with Las Vegas, Nevada, and just 14.4 miles from Kingman you will reach Santa Claus Arizona.
U.S. Highway 93
There was a dirt road that linked Kingman with Chloride which was extended to the site of Hoover Dam and designated as state road 69 in 1934. After the completion of the dam in 1935, traffic could cross the Colorado River along the top of the dam. SR 69 became US 93 between Kingman and the dam,and US 93 in Nevada was extended from its southern terminus in Glendale, through Las Vegas to Hoover dam.
It became the main highway for those visiting the dam.
Santa Claus Arizona
Now all you will see are some abandoned buildings surrounded by desert shrubs slowly decaying under the sun of Arizona. But at one time it was part of an ambitious Christmas-themed project.
The postcard below postmarked in 1972, read on its back:
Christmas Tree Inn, Open Every Day. Breakfast and Luncheon-Dinners on Sunday
Gift Shop Open - Overnight Camping
Weekday Dinners by Reservation
Gene and Helen Cole
Homemade Bread, Pies, Cakes Real Home Cooking
The gas station is on the right, the inn on the left. On the far right is the "Third Little Piggy House" and part of the roof of "Cinderella's Doll House".
Today it is abandoned and in ruins, but you can still see the same buildings (inn, gas station and Little Piggy's house).
The History of Santa Claus AZ
A realtor from Los Angeles, Nina Talbot, purchased 80 acres in the Arizona desert in 1937, with the intention of developing it around the Santa Claus-Christmas theme.
She built the Christmas Tree Inn the following year and ran it with her husband. Its purpose was to attract buyers who would invest in a property in the "town".
It was a hit among the tourists traveling along Hoover Dam highway and became a well known restaurant. It also had a Texaco gas station.
But the only buildings in Santa Claus were the inn, a gift shop, a small one-room house, and its only residents were the Talbots and the Post Office employees.
Nobody invested in the new real estate development.
Christmas Tree Inn
The media reported that its walls were decorated with fairyland characters and its menu specialties were salads and pastries.
Its big hit was Kris Kringle rum pie and many tourists stopped by to savour it.
The Talbots sold out in 1949 and the new owners developed it along the Christmas theme, adding Cinderella's Dolls House, a wishing well, the House of the Third Little Pig (fittingly built with bricks), and a small train.
The Post Office was very busy during Christmas, thousands of letters were postmarked at Santa Claus and mailed to children across the country.
It later slipped down a slope of decline, and was eventually boarded up.
Return to the highway and head west to Choloride.
If you visit the Grand Canyon
Some tours and sightseeing
Chloride "Ghost Town"
27 mi. to the NW of Kingman
Though not technically a ghost town, as it has 393 residents, it has its "Ghost Town" section that you can visit.
It was established in the early 1860s as a mining camp when silver chloride (hence the name "chloride") was discovered in the mountains. The ore also had lead, gold, zinc copper and vanadium.
A wagon route and stage coach linked it to Beale Springs (the main road passed through there) and later a branch line was laid by the railroad from Kingman which operated until 1935. It was the county seat from 1877 to 1887 and reached 5,000 inhabitants.
Mining came to an end after World War II.
The old town is almost an "Old West" ghost town with many original buildings: the bank, jail, station and post office.
You can also visit the "Roy Purcell Murals" painted on the canyon faces in the Cerbat Mountains. There are tours to take you there (rough roads).
- Chloride is the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in Arizona
- The post office opened in 1873 and is the oldest still-working post office in Arizona (see the historic building on the town's main street)
- There are reenactments of gun fights on some weekends each month
You can return to Kingman or drive further afield heading north to Hoover Dam and Las Vegas.
Tours and activities in Las Vegas & Hoover Dam
You can also visit the Colorado River and Laughling in Nevada.
Colorado River & Laughlin Nevada
34 miles west along AZ-68 (Map with directions).
Laughlin was a small town known as South Pointe frequented by those who fished in the Colorado River. In 1964 Don Laughlin visited the area and bought the land to develop it as a tourist attraction. He build a motel, and a small casino. The town boomed and was named after him.
It is a "Little Vegas" with shows, casinos and gaming, plus golf and many outdoor activities on the Colorado River (fishing, boating, jet skiing, etc.)
Whiting Bros. Station
The Whiting Bros. gas station was located on the southwestern side of Kingman, on the original 1940s alignment that existed before the freeway was built in 1979. This ran to the east of the freeway's alignment all the way to McConnico (see map of this aligment), where it turned west (these 1,000 ft. -300 m- are now under the freeway) and headed towards Cool Springs and Oatman along current state Hwy 10 (see map of this aligment).
The first alignment of US 66 out of Kingman (1926-early 1940s) went along 2nd St. southbound and ran to the east of the later alignment, sandwiched between the tracks (See map) and the hills.
The WB station was located just before McConnico.
Dans Auto Salvage - former WB station
2666 S Highway 66
Now it is part of a junkyard full of tires and rusting cars that provides scrap metal and car parts to those who need them.
Whiting Bros. and Route 66
> > Read more: Visit our Whiting Bros. and Route 66 webpage.
Learn all about the motels and gas stations of Whiting Bros along US 66 in New Mexico and Arizona.
After visiting the former Whiting Bros. station, you can head west towards the Historic Route 66 Back Country Byway.
The Historic Route 66 Back Country Byway
Back Country Byway
Back Country Byway sign. Austin Whittall.
The road is legally accessible by any vehicle under 40 feet in length. The part of the road passing through the mountains is a very narrow two-lane with no shoulders, extremely tight switchbacks and many steep drop-offs. Wide vehicles and vehicles over 30 feet in length should use extreme caution when driving this road.
Just after you turn right onto the Byway you will see the Route 66 Shield painted on the road, shown below.
See this map with its location.
A Route 66 icon
20 miles west of Kingman on Route 66. (Map with directions).
During the golden days of Route 66 it was a stop on the road before facing the tough winding climb across the Black Mountains towards Sitgreaves Pass. There were cabins, food, fresh water and gasoline.
It crumbled into disrepair when traffic fell off in 1952 when Route 66 was realigned through Yucca.
Purchased in 1997 by Ned Leuchtner he restored it to its former appearance and reopened in 2001. Stop at its gift shop and get some great views of Squaw tit mountain behind it.
See the US 66 Shield painted on the road in front of the old gas station.
Drive west into Oatman.
The Alignment of Old Route 66 from Williams to Kingman
We describe this segment of Route 66 from east to west, starting in Williams.
From Williams to Ash Fork
Rittenhouse described the road between Williams and Ash Fork in his 1946 "Guidebook to Route 66" as being 19 miles long, "but in this distance you drop 1,700 feet down winding grades which are tricky on winter nights when the road is icy. Inquire about road conditions before starting, if driving at night". This sounded rather challenging.
He also noted that there was a public campground 1 mile west of Williams and 5 miles further ahead, was the Pine Springs Ranch Lodge with a gas station and log cabins.
Westwards from Williams, the 1926 to 1984 alignment
It is a 2 mile stretch from the western tip of Williams and past I-40s exit 161, long the South Frontage Road. The segment ends at Mountain Spring Ranch. See a map of this segment. West from this point, the original roadbed disappears under the eastbound lanes of I-40.
Go onto I-40, head west and get off at Exit 157, here you will reach a Historic Sector of US66
Rural Route 66: Pine Springs Section
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
At Exit 157, head south along FR 108 until the Pine Springs Camp. It is in this area that the "old Route 66" reappears on the south side of I-40 and heads west following two alignments:
- The 1926 to 1932 road (via Bixler Saddle Rd), as shown in this map.
- The 1932 to 1952 road (Bill Williams Loop Rd - Fire Rd 1089). Shown in this map.
Both alignments converge at Pine Springs Camp which had cabins, lodge and gas in those days.
From Pine Springs Camp the 1926-1952 alignment heads west for one mile (see map) and again disappears under the eastbound lanes of I-40.
Ash Fork Hill, the abandoned sections west of Pine Springs
Though US 66 is mostly buried under I-40, in some parts it surfaces to the south of the Interstate and you can still spot the old road's remains (like this concrete culvert in the forest on the south side of I-40). Then the road curves further towards the south and turns back sharply to what is now I-40, crossing it (Point where it crosses I-40), continuing to the north side of I-40 where the 1932 to 1952 segment it can be driven (the 1952 - 1979 segment is under I-40 after this point).
Ash Fork Hill
A difficult section as the old road had to cross Ash Fork Hill, which had a 1,700 foot incline -one of the steepest along the whole of Route 66.
The original dirt road was replaced in 1932 by a new one that more or less followed the earlier one. As traffic increased during World War II, a new and less steeper alignment was built in 1950. I-40 was built on top of it. The old road was abandoned and although most of it is closed to the public, it can be walked along; it is part of the Kaibab National Forest.
1932 - 1952 Ash Fork section east of Exit 149
To reach this segment, leave I-40 at Exit 149, which is next to the section's western tip and head east as shown in this map.
West from Exit 149: the 1926-1979 road more or less lies under I-40. The exception is the 1965 alignment on the south side of I-40 after Exit 148. You can drive a short 0.6 mile stretch (map here) past the remains of the classic 1960s Martin's Motel and County Line Cafe. The road then curves to the south and is not open to traffic.
Entering Ash Fork
All alignments entered Ash Fork westwards from what is now I-40'S Exit 146. Until 1950 it crossed the town as a two lane road (along Lewis Ave.) and from 1950 to 1979 Lewis Ave. carried the westbound traffic while Park Ave. took the eastbound flow.
Leaving Ash Fork
Map of the segment, it was used from 1926 to 1979. At I-40s Exit 144, the old alignment merges and disappears under the westbound lanes of the Interstate.
West of Ash Fork
The roadbed used from 1926 to 1965 then heads to the south side of I-40 and can be driven along a 3.2 mile segment (you can reach it from Exit 139). However its western tip is also under I-40; see the map of this segment, the image shows what it looks like nowadays from the freeway.
The 1926 to 1965 Route 66 west of Ash Fork seen from the eastbound lanes of I-40.
Click on image for Street View
All the alignments then resurface at Exit 139, where they head towards Seligman as the Longest remaining segment of Route 66 in the whole of the U.S., and it ends at Topock on the Colorado River, at the California state line.
The Crookton Road segment
From Exit 139 westwards begins the 1920s to 1979 stretch of Route 66. It is known as Crookton Road as it heads straight towards Crookton Hill (6.3 miles away) and skirts around its base. The railway had set up a siding here and named it Crookton after General George Crook (1830-1890), who fought in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars.
Just before it curves around the hill, a fork opens to the right which is the pre-1940s alignment. Both meet again 0.8 miles west of the hill. See a map of the older alignment.
Railroad Bridge 1926-30s
The road then curves to cross the railroad. To your right is the "old" 1930s bridge on the alignment used from 1920s until the 1930s. See image.
The current roadbed was built in the 1930s and was Route 66 until 1979. Over the next few miles, the "old" pre-1930s alignment winds across the current road. See a street view of it and also this satellite view where the old alignment marked with the red arrow.
Later it adopted the current alignment along Chino Street.
At the end of 1937, the Arizona Highway Department reported that the number of cars traveling on Route 66 that year with out-of-state plates numbered 514,332.
To relieve traffic congestion, the Highway Department widened 66 through Seligman in 1966.
Head west down Route 66 from downtown Seligman. At the western tip of town the 1926-30 alignment turned south (on the west side of the modern Chevron gas station located there by the entrance ramps to I-40) and crossed the tracks.
The original alignment curved to the southwest and then to the northeast crossing back to the north side of the tracks and modern US 66 at Chino Point, 3.9 miles west of the Chevron service station (See the spot), the power line marks the course of the 1926-1930s alignment on the right side of current Route 66.
Both 1930s and the later alignment meet again 2.7 miles north, where the power line joins the road (See location). To the right you will see the edge of the mesa known as Aubrey Cliffs a red sandstone formation.
After driving 18.7 mi. west of Seligman, to your left you will see some trees and the 1946 Pica Motel (not mentioned by Rittenhouse as it was completed after his trip through the area). Street View.
The 1940s to 1979 road runs in a long straight stretch through Aubrey Valley passing by Rittenhouse's "Deer Lodge" (17 mi.), which offered "Cabins and gas". They are long gone, but there are homes nowadays at this site. Just two miles ahead is Hyde Park, to the right.
Rittenhouse mentioned it as a Café with cabins and gasoline.
It's slogan was "Park your Hide at Hyde Park" and was the nearest lodging to the famour "Yampai - Coconino Caverns" (now the Grand Canyon Caverns). All that remains of it are the foundations and rubble (See Street View).
This section of Route 66, through Cedar Grove and up to the Indian Reservation was not paved until after 1935.
Grand Canyon Caverns
On the south side of the road, Hyde Park Rd. leads to Yampai Divide (a railway siding) and 1.6 miles ahead is the access to Grand Canyon Caverns Village (26.3 mi. from Seligman). Drive down it (Access Map to reach the Grand Canyon Caverns).
Onwards to Peach Springs
The road keeps on straight, crossing the Indian Reservation Boundary. And then, the old 1926-1930 road turns to the south side of the modern alignment, along what is now Indian Route 19, heading towards the railroad at Nelson (where there is a plant producing lime) and then west into Peach Springs. See this map of the 1926-30 alignment.
Route 66 in its 1940s to 1979 continues, paved, all the way into Peach Springs north of the railroad.
The 1930s-1940s alignment can be seen, occasionaly, on the south side of the current alignment (see the Street View of a bridge) just west of the Coconinio - Yavapai county line.
The road descends into Peach Springs , the "Capital of the Hualpai Nation".
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 comes from the south and 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 is the map of this segment and its Satellite view.
This old alignment cannot be driven nowadays but you could walk it (be careful of trespassing private property).
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. But it does show both Crozier and Valentine.
Crozier Canyon Section
But after the former recreation area was damaged by the floods in 1937, the road was moved to higher ground, to the west of the railroad.
Both alignments "new and old" meet again in front of the Historic Valentine School.
From Valentine to Hackberry
From the Historic School in Valentine, Route 66 runs with a southwestern course and when it reaches the old Post Office of Valentine it takes a western direction.
At Hackberry Rd., the older and newer alignments split again.
1926 - 1930 roadbed
Take a left along Hackberry Rd. (south) cross the tracks and then head right (west) following Main Rd. all the way into Hackberry. The road goes through the village and then crosses the railroad and meets Route 66 by Hackberry's General Store as shown in this map.
The later (1937) the road was shortened, bypassing Hackberry altogether (current alignment) with a northwestern direction, parallel to the course of the railroad which skirted the Peackock mountains until reaching the Antares siding, where it turned sharply towards Kingman with a southwestern course.
From Hackberry to Antares and onwards to Kingman
In this section, the road adopted the course of the railroad which skirted the Peackock mountains until reaching the Antares siding, where it turned sharply (90°) towards Kingman, running with a straight southwesterly course along the flat Hualapai Valley, with the Peacock and later the Hualapai Mountains to its left.
The 1946 Route 66 guidbook written by Rittenhouse mentions Hackberry but does not mention any other landmarks until reaching Kingman. He only states that the road left Crozier Canyon shortly after leaving Hackberry and ran "amazingly straight" along a "great plain" all the way into Kingman.
An earlier 1910s National Old Trails (N.O.T) map of the region shows Hackberry at the foot of Peacock Peak and to the N.W., the station of Antares but has no references to garages or stores there.
There were four other railroad sidings between Antares and Kingman (but no stores or gas): Hualapai, Sombra, Berry and Louise.
The Arizona DOT map of 1935 marks Hackberry and the paved road runs all the way to Topock, passing through "Hualapai", 12.4 miles west of Hackberry. No mention of Antares.
The 1926 - 1930s alignment west of Hackberry
The N.O.T. and the first alignment of US 66 prior to being realigned in the 1930s, ran on the south side of the tracks west of Hackberry, as shown in this map, meeting the later (1930s-1979) alignment 2 miles northwest of the town.
From here, both alignments coincided as they ran straight towards Antares, curving then towards the southwest.
After Antares, the road runs straight, through Valle Vista (which did not exist during the "classic" days of Route 66) and past the Hualapai and Berry sidings. At Kingman Airport, the westbound lanes of the modern four lane highway are the 1930s-1979 Route 66 roadbed; the eastbound ones were added after 1979.
The road then crosses I-40 entering Kingman (see our Page #1).
Outdoors, National and State Parks
Deer in Hualapai Mountain Park. TripAdvisor
Hualapai Mountain Park
14 mi. from Kingman (Map and Directions).
Forested mountain range that rises above the arid surroundings. It was home to the "pine tree people", the Hualapai natives.
Ten miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, or riding. Picnic areas and camping spots. Skiing in winter.
The park covers 2,300 acres and its elevation ranges from 4,984 to 8,417 feet. (1245 - 2567 m).
The Grand Canyon Skywalk
74 mi. See the Map with Directions.
Opened in 2007 it is within the Hualapai Tribal land. It is a transparent horseshoe-shaped bridge that curves out and above the Grand Canyon 4,770 ft (1.450 m) above the Colorado River.
The best way to reach it is taking a tour as the roads are not in top conditions.
Read more at the Skywalk website.
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Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.