About Kingman, Arizona
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation 3,333 ft (1.016 m). Population 28,068 (2010).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) no DST⁄ PDT (UTC-7).
Kingman is the county seat of Mohave County, on Route 66 in the northwestern part of Arizona. Its motto is "The Heart of Historic Route 66". (Map of Kingman).
Classic Route 66 at Mr. D'z Diner
Human beings have lived in this part of Arizona for over 10,000 years and their Native America descent, were the Patayan people who lived along the Colorado River basin. The Havasupai and Hualapai groups of the Patayan were farmers who planted crops of squash, corn and beans in the watered areas, including what is now Kingman.
The neon sign of the "Hill Top Motel"
Spain incorporated Arizona into their province of New Mexico but did not settle the territory. Missionaries from California explored the area in the 1700s.
Following its independence from Spain, Mexico lost these territories to the U.S. after being defeated in the 1846-48 war.
The Name: Kingman
Named after the railroad surveyor Lewis Kingman (1845 - 1912) who had been dispatched by William Strong, the president of the AT & SF to survey routes for the railroad across Arizona.
He directed the construction from Winslow to Beale Springs, which is where Kingman now stands.
Lewis Kingman in 1885. Credits.
The government sent Capt. Lorenzo Sitgreaves to explore the region in 1851. He was followed by Lt. Edward "Ned" Fitzgerald Beale who surveyed a route along the 35th parallel from Fort Smith in Arkansas to California. His route passed through Kingman. He discovered what are now known as Beale Springs (read more below).
During the Hualapai War (1866-1870) an outpost was established at Beal Springs, which became an Indian Reservation after their defeat. They were moved out in 1874 and the camp closed.
the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad (later the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad) reached the area in the early 1880s and Kingman was founded in 1882 and the post office opened in 1883.
Kingman became the county seat in 1887 (formerly it was located at Fort Mohave) and it grew in importance as a shipping point for the region's mines and ranches.
The National Old Trails Highway (N.O.T.) reached the town in 1914 and was aligned through its downtown. At that time the N.O.T. guidebook informed that Kingman had "Good hotels, Harvey HOuse, camp grounds with shower bath and rest rooms".
Route 66 was created in 1926 and followed the N.O.T. roadbed. The building of Hoover Dam (1931-36) and the World War II airfiled contributed to the town's economy. By 1952 mining had dwindled so the Route 66 alignment through Sitgreaves Pass and Oatman was replaced by a new one, that ran along level ground, through Yucca.
Interstate 40 bypassed the town in 1979 closing an era.
Where to Stay in Kingman
Accommodation in Kingman:
>> Book your Hotel in town Hotels in Kingman
More Lodging Near Kingman along Route 66
Motels and Hotels in ...
Heading East.... In Arizona
West, Hotels & Motels in California...
- 25 mi from Kingman, Yucca
- 29 mi from Flagstaff Sedona
- 30 mi from Williams Valle
- 52 mi from Williams Tusayan
- Grand Canyon Region
Close to Route 66 ...
>> RV campgrounds in Kingman
Weather in Kingman
The area around Kingman has a "cold semi-arid climate". Its altitude gives it much colder winters and cooler summers than that experienced in the neighboring lower lying desert areas closer to the Colorado River.
Snow ocassionally falls in winter with some 3.7 inches (9.4 cm) per year. Rainfall takes place 36 days every year with 19.3 in. of rain (263 mm). April, May and June are the driest months while August is the wettest.
Average temperatures during the year: range from the summer high (Jul) 97.8°F (36.6°C) and summer low 67.2°F (19.6°C) to a winter high (Jan) 55.9°F (13.3°C) and a winter low 31.1°F (-0.5°C).
Kingman is well to the west of the Rocky Montains so there are virtually no tornados in the area.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Kingman
You can reach the town along Historic Route 66 in Arizona from Selimgan in the east or Topock in the west. Or via I-40, and, from Las Vegas, Nevada, by US 93
Map of Route 66 through Kingman Arizona
Static Map showing Route 66 alignment through Kingman, AZ
Display Kingman Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
The map above shows US 66 alignment through Kingman, the color key For Kingman only is the following:
(for the other parts of the map, check the color key of the map of the corresponding city)
Pale Blue: Driveable 1926 to 1952 Route 66 alignment.
After 1952 Route 66 was aligned where I-40 now runs, south of Kingman.
Route 66's alignment in Arizona: the Historic Route 66 through Kingman
Route 66 across Arizona
Historic U.S. highway 66, "Route 66" has been designated as an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway in the state of Arizona.
Click on the following link for a Full description of Route 66 across the state of Arizona.
Sights and Attractions in Kingman, Arizona
What to Do, Places to See
Classic Motels and Service Stations
Kingman has many Route 66 classic vintage motels: the Siesta, Bell, El Trovatore are only some of them. Also Service Stations and Cafes. Nearby you can visit Cool Springs, Cholride -an Old West mining ghost town and the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Kingman
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse drove along Route 66 in 1946, collecting information which he included in his book "A Guide Book to Highway 66". Which is a great reference for learning about US 66 during the post-war period.
Rittenhouse mentions the following accommodations in Kingman:
Tourist Courts (the motels of the 1940s): Akron, Arcadia Lodge, Wal-A-Pai, Williams, Kit Carson Motel, Gypsy Garden, Stony Wold, Bungalow, White Rock, Lambert's Gateway Village, Bell's, Stratton's, Kingman, El Trovatore, Challenger, Modern Trailer court. (those lacking links have gone).
Below we describe most of the surviving US 66 motels (some mentioned by Rittenhouse) and other historic buildings on Kingman's Route 66.
Some Kingman Trivia:
Kingman: "get your kicks on Route 66"
"Get your Kicks on Route Sixty-six"was written in 1946 by Bobby Troup during his trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. Kingman is one of the three Arizona tonws mentioned in the song (the others are Flagstaff and Winona).
Read More: Get your Kicks on Route 66, full details on the song and its context.
Now you go through Saint Looey
And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico,
Don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino.
Andy Devine, Credits
The Kingman Comercial Historic District
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
It covers nine buildings along Andy Devine Ave. on the 300 and 400 blocks in central Kingman.
Route 66 is named Andy Devine Avenue through Kingman. Who was he?
You have surely seen him in some "Western" movie. His father opened the Beale Hotel and he was raised in town.
Andrew Vabre "Andy" Devine (1905 - 1977). An American character actor and comic cowboy sidekick known for his distinctive, whiny voice and his friendly plump countenance
Start your tour at the Powerhouse Visitors Center:
Powerhouse Visitors Center
120 W. Andy Devine Ave. - Open daily 8 AM - 5 PM
A good place to get advice on what to see and do in Kingman (and the whole of Arizona), as well as maps and guidance. There are Route 66 mementos for sale at the gift shop.
The Historic Route 66 Museum is inside the Center.
Historic Route 66 Museum
Admission fee. Read more at the Historic Route 66 Museum website.
Downtown Kingman "Then and Now"
Below is a vintage postcard of Route 66 in Kingman in the 1940s showing the central part of Downtown Kingman. The description on the postcard says: "KINGMAN, ARIZONA A modern and friendly city in the extreme western part of Arizona, on U. S. Highways 66 and 466 between the Grand Canyon and Pacific Coast, junction point for Hoover (Boulder) Dam and Las Vegas, Nevada".
A postcard with a view (1940s) of Route 66 in dowtown Kingman
The Downtown of Kingman today
Begin your tour at the Route 66 Museum in the old Powerhouse and head east along Andy Devine Ave. (Historic Route 66). You will immediately see, to your left, a Diner:
Former Shell Station, now Mr D'Z Route 66 Diner
105 E Andy Devine Ave. NW corner of North 1st Street and Route 66
See a vintage 1930s postcard of the Shell service station which has an Art Moderne design in the rounded canopy, with horizontal lines or the curved windows the crests in the columns and the curved and streamlined corners.
Art Moderne or Streamline Moderne, was popular in the 1930s and evolved from Art Deco. Its main features are: curved shapes with rounded edges, horizontal lines or grooves in walls, flat roofs, smooth wall surfaces (plaster) and pale beige or off-white colors with contrasting dark trims.
Keep east, and on the next corner is an Old Gas Station now a car wash (Street View). And, on the following block, the 300s on Andy Devine Ave. there are two landmark hotels that predate Route 66:
313 Andy Devine Ave.
Built in 1907 to provide another lodging option to those arriving by train. See image above.
319 Andy Devine Ave.
A two-story building which was built in 1899 of local stone and brick and refurbished in 1916. It was the first "big" hotel in town. Image shown above.
Kingman Water Tank, A. Whittall
On the next block, to your right is the old railway station:
AT&SF Railroad Depot
S side Andy Devine between 4th and 5th St.
Built in 1907 in a Mission Revival style, it replaced the former one, gutted by fire. (See street view).
The Amtrak Southwest Chief route stops at Kingman every day on its service between Los Angeles and Chicago.
Classic Route 66 Motels in Kingman
Head eastbound, and on the left is a historic café.
Casa Linda Café
511 E Andy Devine Ave.
This restaurant and café dates back to 1933 and (with some changes) can still be seen on the right side of the road.
Continue east, and, again, on your left are some more classics:
711 E Andy Devine Ave.
Now the St. Michael Catholic Church, it was built in 1937 and it had an Indian curio shop next to it (1940) which is presently a motorcycle spare parts shop.
Mobile Service Station
731 E Andy Devine Ave.
The remains of a 1951 Mobile gas service station.
The old Mobile Service Station as it is today:
Two blocks to the east, to your left is the Arcadia Court Motel:
909 E Andy Devine Ave.
The Arcadia Court (court was the 1930s name for what we now call a motel), opened in 1938 a few blocks to the north of the downtown part of Kingman. Arcadia is a good name for a motel: it was an utopian ancient land of harmony with nature.
It is still operating under a similar name: Arcadia Lodge.
A view of the Arcadia Court in a 1930s postcard
Arcadia Lodge nowadays:
Next to the Motel are two more icons:
909 Andy Devine Ave.
The Jade was a Chinese restaurant established by Charlie Lum in 1951 (who was born in Canton, China in 1912, and moved to Kingman in 1922 with his parents).
He put it next to the Arcadia Motel to ensure a good flow of customers. Although the place has closed, the neon sign is gone, but the building is still standing -but changed- as you can see below:.
941 E Andy Devine Ave.
Old Gas Station. Google
To the right of the old Jade, is a 1954 service station with a two-bay garage and a flat roofed canopy over the gas pumps. Now it is an auto repair shop.
On the following block (Route 66 now starts to curve towards the north) is a motel (left):
1001 E Andy Devine Ave.
This old "Travelodge motel" is now the Ramblin Rose, a classic US 66 motel that opened in 1958. The 1960s postcard gave a very brief outline of its location: "Kingman TRAVELODGE In Mohave County - Sportsmen's Paradise". As you can see below it has kept its original looks, and in those days, the parking lot was full:
You can Book a Room in this motel.
A vintage early 1960s postcard of the Travelodge - nowadays it is the Ramblin Rose
The Travelodge is now the Ramblin Rose motel:
Old Alignment on Chadwick Drive
As the road curves to the north, there is a section (Chadwick Dr.) which was the road until the 1940s when a cut through the hill straightened the alignment. (Map of this segment).
On the left, after the northern tip of the "old" road is another motel:
Brandin' Iron Motel
1403 Andy Devine Ave.
The back of the postcard says: "BRANDIN' IRON MOTEL Mr. & Mrs. R. A. Bewley, Owners & Operators American Express Credit Cards Member The Diners' Club".
Brandin' Iron Motel in the 1960s
The motel opened in 1953. When Route 66 was widened through Kingman its access was restricted (you can see that in both images) and it closed in the 1990s. It was remodeled in 2001 and now houses apartments with a "Pueblo" stucco walled style.
The Brandin' Iron Motel is no longer a motel.
Across the highway, to your right is a real Route 66 icon: the El Trovatore Motel:
El Trovatore Motel
1440 E. Andy Devine Ave.
Built in 1939 by John F. Miller who owned a hotel in Nevada and bought a ranch in Arizona in 1935 after the completion of the Hoover Dam. The complex initially had 30 units and later, he added another 24.
You can Book a Room in this motel.
Trovatore is Italian for "Trobadour" or "bard", "minstrel". It is the name of an opera by Giuseppe Verdi. But "El" is a Spanish word ("the"). So the motel's name combines a Spanish and an Italian word!
Longest Route 66 map in the entire world
Since the old trading post at Meteor City, AZ, has become a ruin, the honor of displaying the Worlds longest Route 66 map goes to the Trovatore.
The Map is a mural that is 206 feet long (62.8 m) and covers the front of the entire motel. It was painted by local artist Dan Louden.
A vintage postcard of the Trovatore Motel
Trovatore Motel, almos unchanged...
Gas Station and former Restaurant
Next to el Trovatore, to its right (south side) and passing the service station built in 1968 (at 1420 E Andy Devine Ave.) is the old: Coco's restaurant also built in 1968. (See postcard, and its See street view) it is still standing with minor modifications.
Keep northbound, and 750 feet ahead, on the left is another motel:
Hill Top Motel
1901 E Andy Devine Ave.
Established in 1953 and remodeled in 1959, it is still open and taking care of travelers along Route 66 and operating under the same name Hill Top Motel:
You can Book a Room in this motel.
The 1940s postcard below proclaims "The New U.S. Highways 66 and 93... 1 Mile East of KINGMAN, ARIZONA Telephone Blue 534... Individual controlled Panel Ray Heat... York Refrigeration... The Most Scenic View in Kingman... Ceramic Tiled Baths, with Tub and Shower Combination... T.V. in all rooms. George and Eleanor Allen, Owners & Operators".
What it looked like back in the 1940s
The building seems very similar, and the neon sign is identical (red instead of black and with some other words on the lower part), the trees have grown and the lawn is not so green, but it is the same classic motel. It is pictured at the top of this page.
The same "Hill Top" but nowadays
On the following block, to your right is the Siesta Motel:
1926 E. Andy Devine Ave.
What a great name for a motel, "Siesta", the traditional Hispanic afternoon nap.
The motel opened in 1929, barely three years after the creation of Route 66. The building is still there, though nowadays it is an apartment complex.
An old 1950s postcard of the Siesta Motel
A view of the Siesta Motel today
1918-20 E Andy Devine Ave.
Next to it, to the right (south), is the Service Station, now named Mohave Muffler, which dates back to 1939 (the year World War II began). See its street view.
Keep northbound and look to your left after crossing N. Stockton Hill Rd.
Orchard, also Astro and Space Age Inn
1967 E Andy Devine Ave.
The motel opened in 1964 as the Astro Motel, it was part of a chain that spanned California, Utah and Arizona and even reached KS.
Later it changed its name to Friendship Inn Space Age Motel, and now it it the Orchard Inn. It has an "avant garde" style shared with all the Astro chain motels. The ones on Route 66 are: the Barstow Astro and the Winslow Arizona Astro, another one in Pasadena -Now a Knights Inn) and one in San Bernardino - Astro Motel
Astro Motel retro postcard
Village Inn Pizza
Next to it is the Village Inn Pizza - Motel Restaurant (the "A" shaped building) from 1972 now named Vanny Inn -closed.
Across the road, on the eastbound lane of Route 66 (right) is a motel, now closed:
2010 E Andy Devine Ave.
The once famous Bell Motel which later was the Desert Lodge, has now closed, and the building is vacant. It was built in 1945 and was mentioned by Rittenhouse in his 1946 guidebook to Route 66.
Vintage view of the Bell Motel
Greenlaw Photo Collection (Click for larger image)
Next to it, on its north side is the Hill Crest Motel:
Hill Crest Motel
2018 E Andy Devine Ave.
This motel which dates back ton 1935 and was upgraded in 1950 and again in 1985, is still there, on Route 66. On the back of the postcard you can read: "S. Highways 66 & 93. East Entrance of..Kingman, Arizona. Back of card: Hillcrest Motel U.S. Highways 66 & 93. East Entrance of KINGMAN, ARIZONA Telephone. GReen 251... Air Conditioned & Air Cooled… Ceramic Tiled Baths, with Tubs & Showers... Wall to Wall Carpeting… Fireproof. Restaurants Nearby".
A view of the Hill Crest Motel from Route 66 in the 1940s
The building (with less trees) has survived relatively intact and a diner occupies its office. The current view of the former motel is shown below:
A view of the former Hill Crest nowadays
To your left, on the north side of US 66 is a former Diner:
Former Denny's Diner. A. Whittall
2011 E Andy Devine Ave.
The current "Rutherford's Family Diner" which we photographed in 2016 was from 1993 until 2009 the "Silver Spoon Family Restaurant". But before that it was a Denny's Diner with a classic "Boomerang Roof". This was a design from the early 1960s by Armet & Davis. There are more on Route 66 : the Barstow CA Denny's Diner, the Denny’s Diner in Needles CA, one in Gallup NM, the Denny’s Tucumcari Diner and the one in downtown Albuquerque which is now the Whole Hog Cafe, all of them sport this "Googie" styled roof. This is its Street View. Don't miss the old Motel Neon Sign behind the restaurant -you can see it in the photo- from a now demolished motel.
West of this point begins a long stretch of urban road without any significant Route 66 motels until you approach I-40. Then you will see the former "Ranchito Motel", on your left at Airfield Ave.:
2803 E Andy Devine Ave.
This motel built in 1940 and refurbished in 1955 is now the High Desert Inn.
A 1950s postcard of the motel
The sign has changed and moved a few feet to the left of the image. But basically it is very similar to what it used to look like.
The same place sixty years later:
Ahead, on the south side of the road is what once was the King’s Inn Motel:
King’s Inn Motel
2930 East Andy Devine Avenue, Kingman
The King's Inn Motel boasted on its postcard that it was a member of Best Western Motels and "Kingman's newest. 53 Luxurious Rooms with Free Sauna - Room Coffee - TV. - Phones... Excellent Rated... Lowell & Dorothy Dale, Owners-Managrers". It's "Heated Pool" with "pointed" corners is stil there".
It is stil there, now the Best Western Plus King's Inn and Suites a four-star hotel. With the same "L" shaped layout on the southern wing.
You can Book a Room in this motel.
Vintage postcard King’s Inn Motel. www.ebay.com
Click for larger image
A view of the King's Inn today. Booking.com
Across the road, on the north side is the former Pony Soldier Motel:
And, at the northern tip of the following block (also on the left side of Route 66):
Pony Soldier Motel
2939 E Andy Devine Ave.
This hotel is now the Route 66 Motel, and opened in 1963. At that time Route 66 no longer passed through Oatman but was still the main route through Kingman. There is a Pony Soldier Motel Sign in Tucumcari NM -the motel has gone.
Vintage postcard of the Pony Soldier Motel
It looks unchanged, except for the name on the original sign.
Pony Soldier, now the "Route 66 motel":
Approach I-40, and on the second block is the Lido (on the left side of US 66):
3133 E Andy Devine Ave.
The motel was built in 1952, when Route 66 was realigned through Yucca, bypassing Oatman. It was remodeled in 1965, and in 1969, a Shell Service Station was built to the north of it; the filling station is still there.
You can Book a Room in this motel.
The Lido Motel is still open
Pass under the Interstate, northbound along Route 66, and 1.2 miles North of I-40 is the last motel of this itinerary:
3801 E Andy Devine Ave,
This motel opened in 1955 and was successively remodeled in 1960 and 1973. Now it is a place that rents apartments. The original sign with a typical Route 66 shape has also gone.
Skyline Motel in a classic period postcard (early 1960s or late 1950s)
The Skyline today
Turn back and head into town again. The tour ends at the Skyliner.
Tours and Nearby places to visit
White Cliffs Wagon Road
0.9 mi. north of the Visitor Center. Map and directions.
At the White Cliffs Wagon Trail Park you can see part of the old wagon road used to bring ore from the mines to the railway station.
The heavy carts that used it from 1870 to 1900 wore deep ruts in the soft volcanic rock. The trail was bypassed in 1912 and the original road remains in perfect condition.
Camp Beale Springs
Just 1.8 miles to the west of town, Map and directions.
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.
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 and the defeat of the natives.
They 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 returned to their territories (later they were relocated in another reservation at Peach Springs (on Route 66) and the site became the source of water for the newly established town of Kingman.
27 mi. to the NW of Kingman, see this Map and directions.
It is an old silver mining camp with a population of around 250. There are reenactments of gun fights on Saturdays (noon).
The camp was established in the early 1860s 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 ther) and later a branch line was laid by ther railroad from Kingman. It was the county seat from 1877 to 1887.
Mining came to an end after World War II and the town is almost an "Old West" ghost town with original buildings: 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).
Colorado River & Laughlin Nevada
34 miles west along AZ-68 (Map with directions).
A "Little Vegas", with shows, casinos and gaming plus outdoor activities on the Colorado River (fishing, boating, jet skiing, etc.)
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.
A view of the rebuilt Cool Springs Gas Station
The Alignment of Old Route 66 from Williams to Kingman
The first dependable road for cars in this part of Arizona was the National Old Trails Highway, it was built from California eastward in the early 1910s and linked up with the Ozark Trail in Romeroville, New Mexico.
As the usage of automobiles grew, the National Old Trails highway had to be improved, as improved in the early 1920s with Federal funds and in 1926 it was included in the alignment of the brand new U.S. Highway 66.
From Williams to Ash Fork
Rittenhouse described the road between Williams and Ash Fork in his 1946 guidebook 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". Which 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 disapp disappears under the eastbound lanes of I-40.
Go onto I-40 westbound and leave it at Exit 157, here you will reach the Historic Sector:
Rural Route 66: Pine Springs Section
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
At Exit 157, heas 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 algon the whole of Route 66.
The original dirt road was replaced in 1932 by a new one that mor or less followed the earlier one. As traffic increased during World War II, a new 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 as 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, below is what it looks like:
The 1926 to 1965 alignment of Route 66 west of Ash Fork as 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.
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. Pictured below.
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).
The Old Route 66 Bridge east of Seligman
Click on image for Street View
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. It 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 1926-1940s alignment.
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.
18.7 mi. west of Seligman, on the left are 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 (See a vintage postcard).
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.
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 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. But it does show both Crozier and Valentine.
Crozier Canyon Section
At Crozier Canyon the 1926-1937 roadbed had a different alginment to the current one. It was located further east, and can be seen in the map above, in Blue. The Old concrete bridge can still be seen on the old roadbed.
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 meet again in front of the Historic School and continue together until the junction of Route 66 and Hackberry Rd., south of Valentine, where the route takes a western course before heading towards the N.W. through Hackberry.
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:
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.
In Kingman we have already mentioned (above) the change in alignment just east of the downtown area along Chadwick Dr.
Outdoors, National and State Parks
This photo of Hualapai Mountain Park is courtesy of 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.
Trails for hiking, biking. Picnic areas and skiing in winter.
Read more at the Hualapai Mountain Park website.
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.
Skywalk on the Grand Canyon.