To embark on a classic road trip in USA from east to west, the emblematic Route 66 It is unsurpassable. But what not everyone knows in Spain is that since it is not officially a road, it does not appear on most maps. Nicknamed the “mother of roads” by the novelist John Steinbeck, this succession of main streets of small towns and country roads In 1926 it became the first layout that linked the skyscrapers of Chicago with the palm trees of Los Angeles.

There is no doubt that this tour is perfect for immersing yourself in American retro popular culture or simply to delight in captivating landscapes, such as Arizona. It may have great attractions (Monument Valley, The Grand Canyon, Cathedral Rock), but what will also last in the traveler’s memory will be the long and romantic journey under an endless sky.

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Likewise, the traveler will be able to rub shoulders with farmers in Illinois and country stars in Missouri, hear stories of Indians and cowboys in Oklahoma, and discover the traditions of the American Indians in the tribal nations and peoples of the southwest. And of course, follow in the footsteps of miners and outlaws in the Wild West, before finishing the journey on the sunny Pacific beaches of Southern California.

Sign of historic Route 66 in Illinois (United States)
Sign of historic Route 66 in Illinois (United States)

Why is Route 66 so famous?

Inaugurated in 1926, in its day Route 66 stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles, uniting a set of towns and secondary roads as it passes through eight states. The highway gained notoriety during the Great Depression, when migrant farmers traversed it west from the Dust Bowl-affected Great Plains.

The nickname “Mother Road” was coined by novelist John Steinbeck in 1939 in his novel “The Grapes of Wrath.” Unemployed young people were hired to pave the final sections of what was then more than a muddy road. The works finished just before the outbreak of World War II, and it served for a wave of soldiers and workers to respond to the call of destiny.

Grand Canyon of the Colorado in northern Arizona (United States)
Grand Canyon of the Colorado in northern Arizona (United States)

Things improved in the 1950s, when newfound prosperity encouraged many Americans to hit the road. Unfortunately, when everything seemed to be going smoothly, the Government implemented a new network of interstate highways, which, in the end, marked the death certificate of the Mother Road.

What routes can be done?

exist three different sections to make Route 66which varies in the number of days to cross this almost century-old road.

  • Route 66 this 5-7 days: The ghost tour swallowed by the 1,690 kilometer interstate begins in Chicago, the Windy City, and continues south towards Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.
  • Central Route 66 5-7 days: Extravagance is the hallmark of the Mother Highway as it passes through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona with a total of 1,448 kilometers.
  • Route 66 West 3-4 days: This 565-kilometer stretch winds through the desert, passing retro icons before arriving in Los Angeles. Explore the ghost towns of the Mojave Desert, railroad stops like Barstow and Victorville, and the Cajon Harbor, all before winding through the Los Angeles Basin and ending up next to the rushing final swell of the Santa Monica Pier.

When to go?

High season is going from June to August, thanks to the good weather throughout the region, with generally high temperatures. However, the greater influx of people also makes prices higher.

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