Historic road goes through Williams, Seligman

Get your kicks on Williams Route 66 today

Williams' car shows are not lacking in classic and vintage automobiles. Car shows are popular venues along Route 66 during the summer months.<br>
<i>Photo/WGCN</i>

Williams' car shows are not lacking in classic and vintage automobiles. Car shows are popular venues along Route 66 during the summer months.<br> <i>Photo/WGCN</i>

Formerly the only road west, Route 66 is now more of a memory than a journey. But even though it has been replaced by faster, smoother traveling highways, the route will always remain the most revered two-lane road in America ... especially in Williams.

West of Williams, travelers can get on Route 66 by exiting Interstate 40 at Crookton Road (exit 139). From there, the road leads to and through Seligman, continuing west to Kingman, 88 miles away.

In Seligman, there are all the services a traveler may need, such as lodging, camping, dining, groceries, gas, souvenirs and of course, Route 66 memorabilia.

It was 1978 when Seligman and Route 66 were bypassed by Interstate 40. It looked bleak for the town because much of its economy depended on tourism.

As a result, in 1987, the Seligman Chamber of Commerce, led by barber Angel Delgadillo, lobbied Arizona officials to designate Route 66 as a historical highway.

In 1988, Route 66 gained historical status and since then, "the highway's popularity has skyrocketed, they just keep coming," Delgadillo once said.

The old road leaves Seligman and crosses Aubrey Valley. Then the road becomes straight as far as the eye can see and crosses a large basin.

Grand Canyon Caverns and Peach Springs are a few interesting stops along the way. Motorists with high-clearance vehicles can even drive to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River via Diamond Creek Road.

Further east is Williams, which holds the distinction of being the last town located on Route 66 to be bypassed by I-40. It has become another popular spot for Route 66 enthusiasts.

Visitors will want to begin their tour into the past on Route 66 in Williams. Continue east to I-40 and exit at Garland Prairie Road (167) for a tour on the graveled Old Trails Highway. The paved tour of Route 66 continues on I-40 to Pittman Valley Road (exit 171) and heads north over the interstate. Turn right on Route 66, continuing until you reach the Parks Feed & Mercantile, located to your right. At this point, you can return to I-40 or continue on a gravel road to Brannigan Park (Bellemont, Exit 185), where you'll reach the end of what's left of Route 66.

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