About Winona, Arizona
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation 6,240 ft (1.902 m). Population n⁄a (2010).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) no DST⁄ PDT (UTC-7).
Winona is a tiny unincorporated village in Coconino County in the nortwestern part of Arizona. In the 1950s it became a part of Flagstaff. See a Map of Winona.
View at Walnut Canyon National Monument near Winona, Arizona, Route 66
This part of northern Arizona has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years. The area near Winona was peopled by the "Sinagua" people who lived in an area around Flagstaff, close to the San Francisco Peaks between the Mogollon Rim, Verde Valley, Sedona, Wupatki, Sunset Crater and the Little Colorado River.
The name "Sinagua" comes from the Spanish words "sin" (without) and "agua" (water), which is the name they gave the San Francisco Peaks, which lacked permanent rivers.
They were hunter gatherers and farmers who grew corn, beans and squash. They flourished between 500 and 1220 AD. A dry period led them to move towards the southwest and east into New Mexico towards Zuni as did the Anasazi people. They had all gone by the 1400's. Ruins of their homes can be seen in Walnut Canyon, Elden Pueblo and Wupatki.
The hunter gatherer Navajo (Diné) people occupied the territory to the east of Winona, and the Hopi lived just to the northeast.
The Hopi were neighbors of the Sinagua, and descend from the Anasazi people, and like them are farmers.
The Hopi village of "Old Oraibi" is one of the oldest continuously inhabited villages in the U.S..
The Spanish never occupied this area after they conquered Nueva Mejico in 1597. After its independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico "inherited" the territory only to lose it to the U.S. after its defeat in the 1846-48 War.
In 1857, Lt. Edward Fitzgerald "Ned" Beale (1822 - 1893) surveyed a wagon road from Ft. Smith Arkansas to California and passed just north of Winslow en route to Flagstaff. Beale employed camels, imported from Africa as pack animals. Although they were hardier than mules the Army declined to use them in the future because the camels scared both horses and mules.
During the American Civil War, the Unionist government created the Territory of Arizona (1863) separating it from New Mexico and in 1870 a fort was built nearby at Holbrook. In 1876 the Mormons from Utah moved south to settle in Arizona, they used a trail which was later known as the Honeymoon trail
The Navajo people and the Apache were pacified between 1862 and the mid 1870s. Settlers arrived at that time, attracted by the timber and the chance to raise sheep and cattle.
The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, later Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad (AT&SF) laid their tracks through Winslow in 1883 and linked up with the California railroad at Needles, CA., creating a transcontinental link and plenty of traffic through the region.
In the early 1900s, a shorter road between Winslow and Flagstaff became necessary, and the National Old Trails highway association surveyed one through Winslow. Route 66 was aligned along the National Old Trails in 1926 and traffic began flowing through Winona.
Where to Stay
There is lodging on Route 66 very close to Winona:
>> Book your Hotel in Flagstaff
Lodging Near Winona along Route 66
Heading East.... In Arizona
- 11 miles. Motels and Hotels in Twin Arrows.
- 44 miles. Motels and Hotels in Winslow.
- 77 miles. Motels and Hotels in Holbrook.
- 123 miles. Motels and Hotels in Chambers.
East... In New Mexico
- 173miles. Gallup.
- 16 miles. Motels and Hotels in Flagstaff.
- 28 miles. Motels and Hotels in Bellemont.
- 49 miles. Motels and Hotels in Williams.
- 66 miles. Motels and Hotels in Ash Fork.
- 92 miles. Motels and Hotels in Seligman.
- 127 miles. Motels and Hotels in Peach Springs.
- 163 miles. Motels and Hotels in Kingman.
>> There is a RV campground close to Winona
Weather in Winona
The climate in Winona is dry and semi-continental. Seasons are clearly marked, with cold winters with abundant snow and a dry windy spring. Summer is hot and dry until July, when the humid summer monsoon period begins. Fall is dry and pleasant.
Winona is one of the snowiest incorporated cities in the US
The average high temperature in Winona in summer (July) is 81.2°F (27.3°C). The winter (Jan) average high is 42.5°F (5.8°C). The record high is 96°F (36°C) in July. The average low in summer is 50.9°F (10.5°C) and in winter it is 17.3°F, well below freezing (-8.2°C). Record low is -30°F (-34°C) in January.
Rainfall is scarce and averages 21.86 in per year (555 mm); around 8 in. (200 mm) fall during the Summer Monsoon period between July and Oct, and another 8 inches between December and March.
Yearly 101.7 inches of snow fall in the area (258.3 cm), between late Sept. and early May you may encounter snow.
There are 88 days a year with precipitation, 35 with snow and the relative humidity fluctuates from 34% to 62% (June and January).
All the area that is located to the west of Rocky Mountains hardly has any tornados.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Map of Route 66 through Winona Arizona
Display Winona Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
The map above shows US 66 alignment through Winona, the color key For Winona 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 1947 Route 66 alignment west of Winona.
Red: I-40, east of Winona, it covers the post-1952 roadbed of Route 66. West it overlays the post-1947 roadbed up to Exit 204.
Green: The 1947 to 1968 alignment from Exit 204 into Flagstaff.
Blue: The 1926 to 1952 alignment of Route 66 east of Winona to Canyon Padre.
Route 66's alignment in Arizona: the Historic Route 66 through Winona
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 Winona
What to Do, Places to See
Things to Do and Places to See
Forests and volcanoes
Winona with its "Winona Trading Post" and historic Walnut Creek Route 66 bridge, built in 1924 has many natural attractions too: Walnut Canyon National Monument and the "Chocolate Niagara" Grand Falls on the Little Colorado River. Enjoy the forests at the San Francisco Mountains and Coconino National Forest.
Historic context, the classic Route 66
Shortly after World War II, Jack DeVere Rittenhouse drove along US 66 and wrote his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" published in 1946. It is an invaluable resource for those interested in capturing the essence of the "classic" Route 66 of the 1940s.
After leaving Twin Arrows (in those days it was known only as Toonerville), Rittenhouse succinctly writes that 10 miles west of Canyon Padre he reached "Winona. alt. 6.00f ft. Winona Trading Post offers cafe, gas, groceries and several cabins", a clear refrence to the iconic Trading Post.
He then writes that the road climbs steeply towards Flagstaff.
The name: Winona
Winona was originally named "Walnut" when the railway reached the area, after the creek that flowed by the station. The Arizona walnut was very common along the creek, but now are les so due to the decreased water flow caused by upstream dams.
The name changed to Winona in 1886 because there was another Walnut on the railroad. The name was "just another name" and was chosen for no special name.
Winona is a femenine given name that means "Firstborn daughter" in Dakota language. It was the name of the daughter of Wapasha III, a Sioux Dakota Indian chief.
Some Winona Trivia:
Get your Kicks in Winona
"Route Sixty-six": is an emblematic song that immortalized Route 66 in the minds of several generations as an iconic Road Trip, a journey where the traveler can get his kicks, enjoying and savoring the moment and the freedom of riding the Mother Road. It was written by Bobby Troup in 1946 and since then, it has been a hit evoked by all those who have driven (or dream about driving along) Route 66.
Read More: Get your Kicks on Route 66, full details on the song and its context.
Winona is one of the three Arizona towns mentioned in the song (along with Flagstaff and Kingman), and it appears in the following stanza:
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.
It is the only town in the song that is not mentioned in its geographic sequence (it appears after Flagstaff, which is further west). This was due to the author's need to find a word that rhymed with "Arizona", and "Winona" was perfect.
Sights in Winona
Winona Trading Post
Access ramp to I-40 westbound at Exit 211.
After the National Old Trails highway was improved between Winslow and Flagstaff in the early 1920s, Billy Adams built the Winona Trading Post on the new highway near some Indian ruins. The post office opened in 1924 and his wife Myrtle was the postmaster.
Adams built wooden cabins and a 14-room motel the following year. And in 1926 Route 66 was aligned right in front of his business and remained there until it was upgraded and displaced to a new alignment in 1952, where I-40 is now located. The Trading Post moved to the new corridor; and also had cabins, cafe and a service station. The following postcard shows us what the Trading Post looked like during the 1950s:
Winona Trading Post on US 66 in its heyday.
The postcard has the following text on its back: "WINONA TRADING POST Winona, Ariz. Restaurant, Indian Rugs and Jewelry. One of the best views of San Francisco peaks. Located 16 miles east of Flagstaff on Highway U. S. 66. Mailing Address: Rural Rt. 1, Box 808, Flagstaff, Ariz.".
The current appearance of the place where the old post once stood can be seen in the following image:
How the Winona Trading Post looks nowadays
The original "main building" with the cafe and office still stands, and the old garage behind the Texaco sign in the postcard is still there, and is still a garage. A new service station has been built between both buildings and the old pumps and canopy in front of the main building have gone.
Tours & Itineraries Near Winona
Nearby Route 66 Towns
The area around Winona
The area surrounding Winona is forested with pines and junipers, a nice contrast to the deserts further east.
Route 66 Walnut Canyon Bridge
Historic Walnut Creek Bridge.
Old Route 66, Winona, AZ.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
This bridge was built in 1924 to span the Walnut Creek in Winona; it carried Route 66 from 1926 to 1947.
It has a span length of 101 ft. (31 m) and is 124 ft. long (38 m). It is a steel Parker Throughtruss bridge built with five riveted panels.
It is now closed to traffic, but is in very good shape, on the north side of AZ-394. You can park at the pullout place next to it.
The river once carried water but now it is dry most of the time as the dams upstream retain the water in reservoirs for Flagstaff's population.
The bridge is located 1 mile west of Exit 211 along AZ-394 (Map showing Map with directions).
The Alignment of Old Route 66 from Winslow to Winona
- 1926 road: Head west along the 1926 alignment until it reaches a dead end just south of I-40. (1926 alignment map).
- later road: keep along W 3rd St. to its end, just past Exit 252 of I-40. (Later alignment).
Both options end on the south side of I-40 and their roadbeds further west are under the freeway, but you can meet them further west on the north side of I-40, so head there crossing to the North Frontage Rd. at Exit 252 and head west.
There is a segment 1.3 miles long shown in Map of Route 66 just west of Winslow.
To Leupp Corner
This segment also ends in a dead end, making it necessary to backtrack and get on I-40 at Exit 252 and head west along it until Exit 245, where you can go to the North Frontage Rd. again and head west along Route 66 (AZ-99). This segment passes by Leupp Corner.
1926 - 1935
The road continued further west and heads along the Red Gap Ranch. This segment passes Exit 239 and (this is the 1926 alignment) it ends in a dead end on the east side of the railroad tracks after 8.1 miles. see a photograph of the dead end here.
This is the Map alignment through Leupp Corner.
Where the dead end is now located, the old road crossed the tracks and headed towards what is now the south of I-40; the road then arches in a wide curve further south and then back again towards I-40, crossing a creek and what is now I-40 at the Westbound Rest Area. You cannot drive this segment, but you can still see the old roadbed in many places south of I-40. This alignment is shown in the image below:
Meteor City on the Later 1940s - 1969 alignment
The road took another course after it was paved in 1935, at the point where modern I-40s Exit 239 is located, the road veered towards the south, passing in front of Meteor City trading Post and keeping west south of what is now I-40, across Cow Wash, the railway and then heading north into what today is the Rest Stop West, merging with the previous alignment.
This is the Map of the 1940s road through Meteor City; the western part of the road cannot be driven as it is cut by the tracks and I-40.
Both alignments by Barringer Crater
At Barringer Crater there arte two alignments:
The late 1940s alignment is now covered by the roadbed of I-40 between the Westbound Rest Area and Two Guns, but the older aligment used until the mid 1940s can still be driven; but to do so you must reach it via Exit 233 on I-40 and head south for 0.4 mi. till reaching "Old Route 66" by the RV campground. Options:
- Go East: Take a left and drive all the way to the end of the segment, which is beside the of the Eastbound Rest Area of I-40. Actually the old road is now interrupted by the rest area and I-40, as it came from the north side of I-40 (now the Westbound Rest Area). This is a 1.6 mile long segment. This is its Map.
- Go West: Take a right and drive straight to the next Exit of I-40 (Exit 230) at Two Guns 5.4 miles away. This is the Map.
These two options are also shown in the map at our Barringer Crater page
- Green: shows the National Old Trails Highway in its pre-1915 alignment. Notice how it curves in an out of the Diablo Canyon and crosses its bed.
- Pale Blue: Between Meteor Crater and Two guns it shows the 1926 to 1938 Route 66 alignment that can still be driven today. West of Two Guns, it coincides with the National Old Trails Highway after 1915 and the 1926 - 1930 Route 66. This part can also be driven nowadays.
- Red: I-40 where it overlaps the 1938 to 1979 roadbed of Route 66.
- Black, these are the sections where the old roadbed has gone, there is no road to drive, but you can still make out the original roadbed (1926 - 1938).
- Blue: The 1930 - 1938 alignment of Route 66 which cannot be driven either.
West of Two Guns
West of Two Guns the 1915 -1930 roadbed of Route 66 can be seen, but it is no longer a road that can be driven. The later 1930s alignment lies under I-40. However at I-40's Exit 225, you can head to the south side of the freeway and drive a tiny section of the original 1915 - 1930 road. The road west of this exit is once again overlaid by I-40.
Route 66's alignment through Toonerville and Twin Arrows
The 1926 alignment of Route 66 reached Toonerville - Twin Arrows along what is now the South Service Road of I-40, which is now truncated in its eastern tip. The original road followed the National Old Trails highway, and kept on straight west (now partly hiden by the earthworks on the south side at Exit 219), it reappears on the north side of I-40 and runs straight until reaching the Canyon Padre, where it sharply curves south, crossed the Canyon via the Historic concrete bridge, and then curved towards the west again, passing to the south and then again to the north of I-40. It then continued west along what is now AZ -394, towars Winona.
This alignment is shown in the Map above, in Black (roadbed which cannot be driven), Pale Blue: Driveable 1926 to 1960 Route 66 alignment east of Toonerville, Blue: The 1926 to 1952 alignment of Route 66 west of Canyon Padre and all the way into Winona.
In 1937, a new bridge was built to replace the dangerous 1914 one. It was built where the eastbound lane of I-40 is now located, leaving the old bridge and its curved access abandoned.
The eastern 1926 alignment was linked to the bridge with a new roadbed from what is now Exit 219, passing by the current Twin Arrows Trading post and meeting the 1926 alignment on the western side of Canyon Padre, on what is now AZ-394.
This is shown in Green on the map above.
This roadbed remained in use until 1952, when a new alignment (under I-40) was built west of the Canyon Padre all the way to Winona from what is now Exit 219. The road east of the Canyon was moved in 1960 to an alignment that is now located under I-40s roadbed, and the 1937 -1960 road in front of Twin Arrows and Toonerville was abandoned. This alignment remained in use until 1979 when I-40 replaced US 66.
Red shows the post-1952 alignments now under I-40 (see map above).
The whole of the old (1926 - 1960) Route 66 alignment in Toonerville and Twin Arrows that can still be driven, is a 2.2 mile segment. Click to see the Toonerville - Twin Arrows US 66 map (with directions).
The National Old Trails highway became the Flagstaff - Winona highway in 1922 when it was improved using Federal Funds. At that time the Walnut Creek Bridge was built.
In 1926 the Winona to Flagstaff segment of this road became Route 66 and remained so until the road was realigned in 1947 west of Winona. The 1947 alignment is now overlaid by the roadbed of I-40 west of Exit 211 until Exit 204. To the east of Winona, after 1952, US 66 changed its alignment too. Now it is covered by I-40 all the way to Canyon Padre.
The 1926 to 1947 road that took a more northern course became what is now AZ-394.
Click for the Winona to Flagstaff alignment.
> > See the previous segment Joseph City to Winslow
> > This segment Winslow to Winona
> > See the next segment Winona to Flagstaff
National and State Parks
The San Francisco Volcanic Field
The volcanic field covers about 1,800 square miles (4.660 km2) is a great outdoors area. Most of it is lies within Coconino and Kaibab National Forests.
The forested volcanic ranges include Piñon, Juniper, Ponderosa Pine, Fir and Bristlecone Pine. It is ideal for hiking, camping, skiing in winter and wildlife viewing.
It is roughly centered on Flagstaff but reaches east past Winona and is made up of geologically-young volcanoes (6-million-years-old). The highest one is Humphreys Peak which is also the highest point in Arizona (12,633 ft - 3.853 m).
To the west, near are several parks, like the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Wupatki Nat. Mon. and the Slide Rock State Park; click to Read more about them.
Walnut Canyon National Monument
It is 10 mi. southwest of Winona (see this Map with Directions).
Check the Official website for complete information.
Open daily except Christmas, it has several trails which allow you to spot wildlife and the remains of Native buildings that dot the canyon walls. It became a protected area as a Forest Reserve in the early 1900s, and was designated National Monument 100 years ago, in 1915.
See the photograph of the canyon and some native ruins above.
The "Chocolate Niagara"
It is a 26 mile drive (along a rough and unpaved road -check with the locals before driving there in a regular car) from Winona to the Grand Falls; see this Map with Directions.
Grand Falls on Little Colorado River
The falls are located inside the Navajo Reservation. March an April is the best time to visit the falls, which become a muddy water torrent falling 190 ft. (58 m). In summer it is mostly a trickle of water.
The Little Colorado River is dry most of the time. It only carries water between March and April during the spring snow-melt period so that is the best time to visit the falls. A lava river flowed from Merriam Crater and spilled into the canyon of the Little Colorado River 150,000 years ago, it ran downstream for 15 miles and hardened. This dammed the river and caused it to deviate and fall over the Kaibab sandstone walls to reach the old canyon.
Check the Official website of the Navajo Nation Parks & Recreationfor complete information.
Will Croft Barnes, Arizona Place Names, University of Arizona Press, 1988.
Historic Route 66 in Arizona All-American Road, National Scenic Byway, www.fhwa.dot.gov.
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.
Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.