Moving West

Establishing the West

Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and it supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.

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Interstate Sign

The Interstate Highway

Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, and it was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985, after it had been replaced in its entirety by the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66", which is returning to some maps. Several states have adopted significant bypassed sections of the former US 66 into the state road network as State Route 66.

The Mother Road

The Mother Road

The numerical designation 66 was assigned to the Chicago-to-Los Angeles route on April 30, 1926 in Springfield, Missouri. A placard in Park Central Square was dedicated to the city by the Route 66 Association of Missouri, and traces of the "Mother Road" are still visible in downtown Springfield along Kearney Street, Glenstone Avenue, College, and St. Louis streets and on Route 266 to Halltown, Missouri.

Preview of the Mother Road
Oatman to Cool Springs

Here you can preview the Historic Route 66 from Oatman to Cool Springs, which is right before you arrive in Kingman AZ.

A Look Into the Past
It will blow your mind

Arizona has the longest stretch of Route 66 still in use today. Cities that line this historic road are as rich in history and tradition as the road itself. Keep in mind that Route 66 is more than just another road. It's a time line in our nation's history. At times it is amazing at how you can literally see the history of the road.

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Look into the past

Oh yeah, it's that good.
See for yourself

The often romanticized highway represents an outstanding example of the transition from dirt road to super-highway. Not only does Route 66 underscore the importance of the automobile as a technological achievement, but, perhaps equally important to the American people, it symbolized unprecedented freedom and mobility for every citizen who could own and operate a car. In response, the federal government pledged to link small town U.S.A. with all of the metropolitan capitals.

Old dirt road in the forest

Create your own memories
A unique experience for everyone

Route 66 is many things to many people. Each person tends to experience the road differently. There is a spirit, a feeling, that resides along this highway. The spirit of Route 66 lives in the people and their stories, the views and structures, and travelers' perceptions of them along the route. To gain an understanding of Route 66 and the spirit of Route 66, there is no substitute for driving the highway.

Cadillac Graveyard on Route 66

The Interstate Highway system
The End of The Mother Road

The Interstate highway system put an end to most of the small towns along side the original Historic Route 66, though many have survived, and embrace their history. It is hard to find small towns where people will open their doors and their hearts, but this has not been lost in the remaining small towns left beside the Historic Route 66, where you can clearly see the history of our nation.

Historic route 66