Parts of Route 66 to Avoid
Once Route 66 was decommissioned as a Federal Highway, road maintenance began to vary from place to place. Through towns and major cities, you can expect a well maintained road with good signage and lots to see and do along the way. However, the same cannot be said for other parts of the road. Below are some stretches that may deserve a detour.
Mojave Desert- California: A series of storms washed out several sections of Route 66 between Essex and Ludlow (traveling east to west) in San Bernardino County. You can still dine at the history Roy’s Diner in Amboy by taking Kelbaker from I-40 to National Trails Highway (Route 66) and getting back on i-40 to bypass another part of washed out road at Ludlow.
Saint Louis- Missouri: there are several alignments of Route 66 through Saint Louis. Like all major cities, Saint Louis has its areas of high crime. You can avoid going through the more dangerous parts of Saint Louis by sticking to the west side of town, or staying on the interstate.
Unpaved alignments: In some parts of New Mexico and Arizona there are portions of Route 66 that were never paved. The road originally was gravel, and became paved over time. These routes can be exciting if you want to feel what it was like for the Okies making the pilgrimage out west during the Great Depression. However, you can expect these stretches of road to take longer and leave you more shaken then smoother alternatives.
Be sure to visit our state guides to find the places you do want to visit on your Route 66 adventure.