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Arizona Route 66

Kingman and
the Mojave Desert

Arizona Route 66


Kingman, Arizona

Kingman, Arizona in 1896

Route 66 after Hackberry is fairly flat and straight for the next 30 miles into Kingman, the Mojave County Seat. I took Andy Devine Ave., which is Route 66, through town. There is a lot left of old Route 66 in this town; cafes, motels, and old gas stations. There’s also a steam locomotive in the city park that hints of the wild old railroad days here. Kingman was established as a railroad stop in 1883, and the town grew from there. It became Mohave County's most important city and was selected as county seat in 1887. Kingman is located on the last leg of the thirty-fifth parallel line in Arizona. After passing through Kingman going west, Route 66 dropped down into the desert on its way to the Colorado River and California beyond.

 

Welcome to Kingman!

Abundant water in this dry region of the southwest attracted the railroad to establish a railroad stop here. Lewis Kingman was the locating engineer and he named the stop for himself. The railroad was the reason for Kingman's existence in the beginning.

Welcome to Kingman. Arizona

Kingman Rails

The mines located in the mountains to the west of Kingman played an important economic role in the history of Kingman too. Kingman was a shipping and supply point for them. The construction of dams along the Colorado River during the early twentieth century further strengthened Kingman's economic base. With the coming of Route 66 in 1926 Kingman became an important motel-cafe-service station stop for travelers. In 1928 Charles Lindbergh selected Kingman as a stop between Los Angeles and Winslow on his new forty-eight-hour air mail service between Los Angeles and New York. Location, location, location - Kingman had it all. Kingman's strategic highway location continues to bring life to this interesting old Route 66 town.

 

Old Santa Fe Station Kingman, Arizona

One of the Last Steam Engines through Kingman

Passenger Trains don't stop anymore in Kingman
and the old Santa Fe RR Depot stands silent today.

The importance of the railroad to Kingman is in evidence with this fine old steam locomotive in the city park.

 

Route 66 in Kingman is Andy Devine Ave. and was named for one of Hollywood's greatest character actors. Andy was actually born in Flagstaff but he was raised in Kingman. While a teenager he even worked on a dude ranch in Truxton Canyon along old Route 66. Andy Devine always referred to Kingman as his hometown.

Once the jewel of Kingman, the Hotel Beale catered to the passengers of the Santa Fe RR and travelers on Route 66. Located across Andy Devine Ave. from the old Santa Fe Depot in the historic Kingman downtown, it has fallen on hard times of late.

Hotel Beale

 

Kingman today celebrates its Route 66 heritage. There are colorful motor courts and cafes still in operation along this stretch of the famous highway. The old powerhouse in Kingman has been converted into a Route 66 Museum and visitor's center. If you happen to be driving through Kingman don't forget to stop at Mr. D's Diner across the street from the Powerhouse and Kingman City Park. They have some pretty fine burgers - but bring your appetite!

Power House in Kingman

Mr. D's Diner

Powerhouse Route 66 Museum

Bring your appetite to Mr. D's

 

The Desert Ahead

Route 66 leaves the higher elevations at Kingman and drops down into the desert. This was many a west bound traveler's first glimpse of the dreaded Mojave Desert but for those going east it promised an end to the blistering heat among the cool Arizona pines down the road a bit. In the early 1950s Route 66 (now Interstate 40) was straightened to avoid the Black Mountains thus by-passing Oatman, Arizona and passing through Yucca, Arizona instead. For the purpose of this web site we will follow Route 66 on the old alignment through Gold Hill and Oatman. After all this is the most historic and interesting way anyhow.

Old Trails Cactus Garden

   

Yucca Motel

Yucca, Arizona

If you were to continue on the Interstate (I-40) towards California and bypass Oatman you would be following the newer alignment of Route 66 laid down in the early 1950s. When the Interstate was built in the 1970s it followed this alignment. The town of Yucca boomed during the short years that Route 66 passed through providing tourist accommodations and services to the dusty desert traveler. Though located on the new Interstate, that wasn't enough to keep some of these businesses alive. Highway memories abound in this small desert town.

Honolulu Club, Yucca, AZ

Whiting Bros. is Now But a Memory in Yucca

 

Photographs taken March, May 2001 & April 2003


Click on an area or city of Route 66 on the map below to take a cyber tour of that section of the  Mother Road

Travel Cyber Route 66 in Arizona

Go West on Route 66

NAVIGATION NOTE: Buckle up and hold on to your mouse! These pages are arranged like the map above. I have set up this site as if you were traveling from EAST to WEST, much like the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath. You can click on the Route 66 shields to "travel" the Mother Road in either direction though. Clicking West Route 66 or East Route 66 will take you to the next town or area on the map in that direction. Or you can select any shield below to take you to that specific state.

Go East on Route 66

To Sitgreaves Pass

To Hackberry, Valentine & Truxton Canyon

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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