Did somebody say road trip? Cruising the historic Route 66 is a fun, nostalgic blast from the past. If the open road is calling you a road trip on Arizona’s Route 66 may just be the fix. This amazing historical route will take you back in time to when a Sunday drive was an integral part of American history. From Lupton to Topock Route 66 has some cool sights along the way.
Built in the late 1920’s, Route 66 is one of the most famous highways in America. It connected eight states from Chicago to Los Angeles. The following U.S. states were linked by Route 66:
- New Mexico
Route 66 was replaced with the Interstate Highway in the mid 1980’s. However, some of the historic Route 66 has been preserved by the National Scenic Byway. If you are looking for a nostalgic vacation, Route 66 is a great road trip.
Arizona Historic Route 66 Sections
In Arizona, historic Route 66 runs from Lupton to Topock. This road trip can be broken up in four sections.
- Lupton to Winslow
- Winslow to Flagstaff
- Flagstaff to Seligman
- Seligman to Topock
Lupton to Winslow
Depending on which direction you are traveling Lupton, on the border of New Mexico and Arizona, is your starting point or ending point of Route 66 in Arizona. For the purpose of this post we made it the starting point. Lupton is about an hour drive from the Petrified National Forest and the Painted Desert.
The Petrified National Forest is the only National Park that has a portion of Route 66 in it’s boundaries. Even if you don’t have time to visit the entire park it is an easy stop to see the original Mother Road in the Painted Desert portion of the park. You can view a 1930’s Studebaker car. Millions of people visited this national park because of Route 66. This section of the road was closed in 1958.
If you want to explore the whole park you will need at least a few hours to do so. The Blue Mesa loop is one of our favorite stops in the park because of the expansive views. It is about 12 miles from Interstate 40.
From the Petrified National Forest it is an hour drive to Winslow. You will want to stop in Winslow to grab a bite to eat at one of the cafes and stand on the famous corner.
Winslow to Flagstaff
Winslow to Flagstaff drive is 57 miles and if you do not stop would take about an hour. Be sure to stop at the The Crown Railroad Cafe in Flagstaff. This historic restaurant opened in the 1960’s and is located on Route 66.
Flagstaff to Seligman
Route 66 from Flagstaff to Seligman will take you through Williams. Williams, the gateway to the Grand Canyon, was the last town on Route 66 bypassed by Interstate-40. The town has some cool 1950’s style restaurants and memorabilia shops. If you’re looking to see some wildlife, Williams is also home Bearizona and the Grand Canyon Deer Farm.
Seligman to Topock
Seligman to Topock is the last leg or first leg, depending on your direction, of Route 66 in Arizona. This route takes you through Seligman, Peach Springs, Hackberry, Kingman, and Oatman to Topock. Seligman is about 40 minutes from Williams.
You’ll want to stop and see some of the historic landmarks in Seligman. Delgadillos Snow Cap is a good spot to grab some food if you’re hungry.
While you’re here visit the memorabilia shops and see some cool old cars.
Peach Springs is 37 miles from Seligman. You can view the Historic ‘John Osterman Shell Gas station built in the mid 1920’s. It is owned by the Hualapai Indians and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Hackberry is about 25 minutes down the road. The most famous spot here is the Hackberry General Store.
Check out the store and take a look at all the old cars on the property.
If you’re lucky you might see a cat taking his afternoon nap.
Kingman, Arizona is a 25-minute drive from Hackberry. My daughter and I stopped in Kingman to see the Route 66 Museum. I didn’t have high expectations, but this is a really cool spot to stop. They have an amazing collection of Route 66 memorabilia and an entire town set up to look like the early 1900’s. Bring cash for the admission fee.
Kingman is a larger city, so this is a great spot to fill up the tank or grab some food if you need to. You will drive another hour before reaching the old western town of Oatman. Stop in Oatman to see the wild burros, see the defunct mine, and shop in this old west town.
If you drove east to west, the final 21 miles from Oatman to Topock is the end of Arizona’s historic Route 66.