The historic American road Route 66

The historic American road Route 66
Photo: David Winkler

Last updated: 09/18/2018

Historic American Route 66! Who hasn't heard of Route 66, or Route 66, in English, right? The iconic American highway was created in 1926, crossing much of the United States. The construction of Route 66 aimed to integrate the eastern United States, which was already a more developed region, with the west of the country, which was still little known. Symbol of Cadillac cars and Harley Davidson motorcycles in the 50's and 60's, the highway starts in the state of Chicago and ends in California, right at the Santa Monica Pier! There are 3,940 km of history! The first McDonald's in the world is located on Route 66 (in the city of San Bernardino, California)! The historic American road Route 66 was the setting for several movies and inspiration for others!


From 1956, it began to lose importance and, in 1985, Route 66 was no longer part of the official American transportation system, which demands wider highways. Currently, it is known as the “Historical Route 66”, due to its tourist, historical and cultural importance. However, in some desert areas there are abandoned stretches, which are dead ends or in ruins, and some towns along the way were abandoned and turned into “ghost towns”.

Route 66 begins in the city of Chicago, Illinois, on the street in front of the building of The Art Institute of Chicago.

The historic American road Route 66
Route 66 Start Sign in Chicago, Illinois

Then it goes through the states of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona until it reaches the Santa Monica city (well known for its famous pier), located in our beloved California!

The historic American road Route 66
End of Route 66 sign at Santa Monica Pier, California

In other words, during its extension of almost 4 thousand kilometers, the highway passes through no more than 8 American states!

The historic American road Route 66
Route 66 map. Source: Official site of US National Parks

The official website of the American parks (NPS – National Parks Service) provides an interactive route along Route 66. To consult this route, click on this link.

Considering these 8 states, see how the 3,940 km are distributed*:

  • Illinois: 484 km
  • Missouri: 510 km
  • Kansas: 21 km
  • Oklahoma: 695 km
  • Texas: 299 km
  • New Mexico: 784 km
  • Arizona: 645 km
  • California: 505 km

*numbers rounded up

See below the map we created that indicates some cities through which Route 66 passes:

We had already had the opportunity to see the beginning (in Chicago, Illinois) and the end of the route (in Santa Monica, California), but we hadn't ridden it yet. And we had the opportunity to drive approximately 200 kilometers in the state of Arizona during our Road Trip. And it is this adventure that we describe in in this post.

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The historic American road Route 66 - Travelers

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  1. […] It is at Santa Monica Pier that Route 66, the most famous historic road in the USA, ends. It starts in downtown Chicago, Illinois and, along its nearly 4,000 km long, crosses the United States, passing through the states of MISSOURI, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, ending at the Pier of Santa Monica, California. To learn more about it, see this post. […]


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