Historic U.S. 66
This view looks up at the Colorado Street Pioneer Bridge, which carries Historic U.S. 66 and Colorado Boulevard over the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. This bridge, which was built in 1913, still makes a statement today with its bold concrete arches, length (1,486 feet), and sheer height. Photo taken 12/10/05.
Historic U.S. 66 (also known as Route 66, the Mother Road, Will Rogers Highway, and National Trails Highway) is perhaps the most famous highway in the United States. Traversing eight states on its trip from Santa Monica to Chicago (through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois), Historic U.S. 66 passes through many towns that time forgot. Relegated to business loop or frontage road status for much of its route nationally, the last segment of U.S. 66 was bypassed by freeway in 1985 in Arizona. The entire route was decommissioned shortly thereafter, and now U.S. 66 is signed as an historic route. Signs are erected all along the various routings of U.S. 66 in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and Inland Empire, and U.S. 66 is well-signed on its extant sections between Cajon Pass, Barstow, and Needles.
A portion of this route is still state maintained, even though portions of the route are being remanded to local control. Currently, however, California 66 is Foothill Boulevard between California 210 in San Dimas/Claremont and Interstate 215 in San Bernardino. California 66 matches the original routing of Historic U.S. 66 for its entire length. This highway is much more often signed as either Historic U.S. 66 (brown shields) or even as U.S. 66, even though U.S. 66 is long since decommissioned.
The longest extant sections of Historic U.S. 66 are located in San Bernardino County. On November 4, 2011, signs were erected along the National Trails Highway between Victorville and Barstow and from Barstow to Needles designating Historic U.S. 66 as San Bernardino County Route 66, complete with blue and gold pentagon markers. These signs were installed at the request of County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt after he had observed similar route marker signs on county highways in other states and other parts of California.1 A dedication ceremony for the county route followed on November 11, 2011.
The U.S. 66 page is divided as follows:
- U.S. 66 Index
- U.S. 66 East
- U.S. 66 West
- California 66
- California 2
- Business Loop I-15 and Historic U.S. 66-91 - Victorville
- Business Loop I-15 and Historic U.S. 66-91 - Barstow
|In the unincorporated community of Amboy, U.S. 66 passes by Amboy School, Roy's Motel and Cafe, and the Amboy Post Office. These pictures show some of these locations in this minimally populated town in the Mojave Desert. Photos taken 04/01/07.|
|On the Santa Monica Pier is the 66 End of Trail marker. Dedicated on November 11, 2009, the marker signifies the sentimental terminus of U.S. 66 on the pier (even though its last official terminus was at Olympic Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard a few blocks east of the pier entrance off Ocean Boulevard and Colorado Avenue). A small kiosk (66-to-Cali) selling Route 66 memorabilia is located next to the End of Trail marker at the end of the driveable section of the pier. On the side of the 66-to-Cali souvenir shop is a replica End Historic Route U.S. 66 sign on the side of the kiosk. These pictures were taken exactly 83 years after U.S. 66 was first commissioned in 1926. Photos taken 11/11/09.|
- New SB County Route 66 signs are in!, by Brad Mitzelfelt, San Bernardino County’s First District Supervisor from 2007-2012, dated November 4, 2011
Page Updated January 12, 2013.