• Kingman AZ

Route 66

Las Vegas NV to Albuquerque NM

Get your kicks on Route 66!

Route 66, Main Steet of America, the Mother Road; however you wish to call it, this is America’s most famous road. It’s as Americana as it gets! It’s also very evident that the interest in Route 66 goes well beyond the U.S. borders, all you have to do is listen to the many languages heard at stops along the way. I’ve learned through years of marketing tourism that Europeans, especially, love to follow popular routes whether at home or abroad.

I’ve been fascinated with Route 66 since my youth beginning with the early years of going on family road trips to visit relatives to watching the weekly TV series. The interest never left but was placed on a back burner until recently.

The stretch of Route 66 that runs from Albuquerque through Arizona is the section that’s most accessible to where I live, which made it the logical stretch to plan for a tour. It’s packed full of interesting attractions from scenic landscapes to roadside diners, shops, motor lodges, and historic sites. I’ve wanted to plan this tour since the early 90’s, but it wasn’t until 2016 that I decided to stop procrastinating and make it happen. After several trips mapping the route we ran the first tour in 2017.

Hoover Dam Constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression the Hoover Dam is located on the border between Nevada and Arizona 39 miles from the Las Vegas strip. The Dam is a National Historic Landmark and has been rated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. Open to the public everyday from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving & Christmas). Guided tours are available at $30 pp  click here

Oatman AZ Located in the Black Mountains of Mohave County, this small frontier settlement hit pay-dirt in 1915 with the discovery of a rich ore body that brought one of the desert country’s last gold rushes. For nearly a decade, the mines of Oatman were among the largest gold producers in the American West. Named in honor of Olive Oatman, a young Illinois girl, who was taken captive by Indians and forced in to slavery in 1851 then later traded to another band of Indians, who released her in 1856. After the gold boom this small town might have faded away if it weren’t for Route 66. The town maintains a Wild West feel, down to the wooden sidewalks, staged shootouts and kitschy shops. Descendant “wild” burros of those brought here by the early miners wander the streets, stop traffic, and are pretty cooperative for camera shots. Recommendation: Built in 1902, the historic Oatman Hotel is holds the distinction as the honeymoon stop of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard after their wedding in Kingman on March 18, 1939. Visit the gift shop upstairs where you can see the Gable/Lombard honeymoon “suite.” Downstairs, just off the main entrance is a restaurant best known for it’s unusual wallpaper; thousands of dollar bills stapled to the walls, ceiling and placed under glass on the tables. Definitely worth checking out.

Sitgreaves’ Pass Sitgreaves’ Pass was first mapped out by Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves in 1851 while on an expedition to see if the Colorado and other rivers could be navigated by steam boat. From the top of the pass at an elevation of 3,550 ft, you can see across the Black Mountains into California and Nevada to the West and across the scenic switchbacks to the Hualapai Mountains in Arizona to the East.

Route 66 Memorial Hill Located just past Sitgreave’s Pass overlooking Gold Road Mine. Dozens of crosses and other remembrances dot the hillside. It’s interesting, quirky, and kind of eerie. Better yet, do this at night!

Shaffer Fish Bowl Spring Shaffer Fish Bowl Spring is located on Oatman Highway (Route 66) between the towns of Oatman and Kingman. A natural spring leads down to a basin where there are several gold fish. A few stone steps, often with loose gravel and burro droppings, lead up to the spring capture basin that offers a panoramic view of the valley below. Local residents say that travelers used the spring water to fill canvas bags or the radiator as they drove up the old highway. Perhaps the inspiration to Radiator Springs for the 2006 Pixar film Cars? It seems that knowing where springs were along the highway was important for drivers who needed to top off a radiator from time to time.

Cool Springs From the very earliest days, Cool Springs camp and service station was an important stop for motorists traveling Arizona’s Route 66. Cool Springs was built in the mid-1920s and has been connected with Route 66 from the very start. The legacy of Cool Springs reflects the larger story of Route 66. The Mother Road gave it life. The hey-day of Route 66 was the hey-day of Cool Springs. The rebuilt Cool Springs station is now a gift shop offering Route 66 souvenirs and one of a kind Cool Springs memorabilia. You can also order items from the Cool Springs gift shop through this web site. Visit our online store for more information and to check out some of the Cool Springs items for sale. Site of the movie, Universal Soldier.

Kingman Kingman is located right in the center of the longest continuous remaining stretch of Route 66 (easily accessible from Interstate 40), and remains a thriving Route 66 town with many motels, cafes, and service stations that keep the spirit of Route 66 alive. At an elevation of around 3,300 feet, Kingman offers a temperate climate year-round making this charming community not only a remarkable destination, but a perfect launching point for “Route 66 and Beyond.”

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