The ultimate guide to riding Route 66 on a motorcycle

There's arguably no more iconic American road trip than the Mother Road—here’s how to travel it on two wheels

By Sanna Boman

If your idea of a perfect motorcycle road trip involves scenic, winding roads far away from people, cities, and cars, Route 66 might not be for you. But if you’re a fan of American history, kitschy roadside attractions, classic neon signs, mid-century architecture, Indigenous heritage and culture, and talking to friendly locals, there is arguably no better road trip in the world than driving the Mother Road. 

And if you ask me, the best way to experience it is by motorcycle.

Last year, Roadtrippers published Route 66: Chicago to Santa Monica , and I immediately jumped on the chance to take the book out for a proper test run. This past October, I spent 7 days riding Route 66 from Illinois to California. Here’s what I learned along the way.

route 66 bike trip

Roadtrippers Route 66: Chicago to Santa Monica

What is route 66 .

Stretching 2,448 miles (3,940 kilometers) from Chicago in the east to Santa Monica in the west, Route 66 crosses through eight states and offers a near-perfect snapshot of the U.S.—from bustling cities to crumbling ghost towns. The original road was established in 1926, and during its mid-century heyday, small towns went all in on capturing the tourism that came along with the highway’s rise in popularity. Roadside attractions, diners, and motels sprang up along the route, many of which are still standing today. But as more and more sections of the original route were bypassed by interstate, other towns and destinations weren’t so lucky, and fell into disrepair or disappeared entirely. 

route 66 bike trip

Route 66 was officially decommissioned in 1985, but it has seen a revival in the last few decades. According to Rhys Martin, president of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, a lot of the buzz can be attributed to Pixar’s 2006 movie Cars .   

“The figure that’s quoted is that the businesses along the route saw a 30 percent jump just from the movie,” he says. “And as those kids grow up and introduce their own kids to Cars , that’s getting them interested in the history and the story. And now, just from a greater cultural standpoint, you have people who are more interested in authentic experiences.” 

And despite the occasional tourist trap, you’d be hard pressed to find a more authentic road trip experience than Route 66. 

Related: The Roadtrippers guide to Route 66

What to ride on a route 66 motorcycle road trip.

When I first started planning my trip, I knew that I wanted to do it on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I’d conjured up images of cruising down the highway on a chromed-out machine that, in many people’s minds, occupies the same cultural space as the Mother Road itself: a bit dated, perhaps, but still undeniably American.  

Instead of a classic cruiser, I got the opportunity to ride Harley-Davidson’s new adventure motorcycle, the Pan America . Comfortable, fast, and able to go anywhere, it ended up being the perfect choice for the trip. And I couldn’t help but appreciate the juxtaposition between riding a new generation of Harley on the most classic American road.   

A motorcycle parked behind two pumps at a vintage service station

For those not bringing their own motorcycle, the easiest choice is to rent a bike. Motorcycle rental company EagleRider has locations in both Chicago and Los Angeles, and the option of a one-way rental is available for an additional fee. EagleRider also offers guided and self-guided Route 66 tours. The 15-day self-guided tour package starts at about $2,500—however, it is entirely possible to ride all of Route 66 in 7 to 10 days, as long as you’re comfortable riding a few hundred miles per day. 

If you’re able to pick up and drop off the bike in the same location, you’re going to have a lot more options. Peer-to-peer rental platforms such as Riders Share and Twisted Road generally offer a wider range of models at a lower price point than traditional rental companies. I’ve also heard of people purchasing a used motorcycle at the start of the route and selling it after they reach the end—but that involves a lot more risk, money, and paperwork than most people are going to be comfortable with.

What to pack for a Route 66 motorcycle road trip

No matter what bike you end up with, make sure it’s comfortable enough to ride long distances on, and that it has space to carry all your gear. Since Route 66 crosses through multiple states with widely varying climates, you’ll want to make sure you pack for all-weather travel.  

Traveling on a motorcycle means always being exposed to the elements, with very little protection beyond what you’re wearing. Depending on the time of year you travel Route 66, you may hit everything from scorching heat to snowstorms (in fact, you’re likely to encounter both some of the hottest and coldest days of your journey just within the state of Arizona). 

The best way to handle extreme weather on a motorcycle is to bring layers. Make sure you pack both warm and cool base layers, protective gear (built-in armor and abrasion-resistant fabrics are highly recommended), and rain gear. For next-level comfort in the cold, I recommend investing in heated gear.    

Route 66 runs through multiple large or mid-sized cities, and you’re never far from restaurants or gas stations. That said, it’s always a good idea to carry water and snacks on your bike in case of an emergency. A basic toolkit can also be a lifesaver in unexpected situations. A lot can happen in 2,400 miles—parts rattle loose, tires wear out, and oil may need to be refilled. Make sure you carry tools that fit your specific bike, and regularly check things like brakes, fluid levels, tire pressure, lights, and bolts. 

Related: How to prepare for a motorcycle road trip 

State-by-state itinerary.

Original route mileage: 301 miles (484 kilometers) Must-see highlights: Start of Route 66 sign, Gemini Giant, Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Bunyon with a Hot Dog, Pink Elephant Antiques, World’s Largest Catsup Bottle

Route 66 starts in downtown Chicago. Anyone who’s ridden a motorcycle here, or in any major metropolitan downtown area, knows it’s not necessarily the most enjoyable experience; navigating around traffic, pedestrians, and one-way streets is a far cry from the open road. But it’s definitely still worth kicking off the trip with a photo in front of one of the Historic Route 66 “Begin” signs located along East Adams Street. One is on the north side of the street near Michigan Avenue and another on the south side, in a small park near Wabash Avenue. I was able to easily find motorcycle parking just in front of the Wabash Avenue sign. 

If you’re already hungry, consider grabbing a donut hole from Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant & Bakery , or stop at Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket just outside of the city for one of the most classic Route 66 dining experiences. Just a heads up: You’ll likely be eating a lot of greasy American cuisine over the next few days, so pace yourself.

A motorcycle parked in front of a large fiberglass statue of a man holding a rocket ship

Continuing on the greasy food theme, a favorite stop for bikers is the Launching Pad diner, a Route 66 staple in Wilmington, Illinois. The parking lot is typically packed with motorcycles and vintage cars, and the Gemini Giant Muffler Man makes for a great photo op. There’s also a gas station conveniently located across the street. I ended up spending more than an hour here talking to other motorcyclists who wanted to hear about my bike—the Pan America is still so new that seeing one out in the wild is a novelty, and I was more than happy to sing its praises. It was a good reminder: Motorcyclists love to talk about motorcycles, so make sure to factor in extra time for chit chat during gas stops.  

About 100 miles southwest of Wilmington is Atlanta, another small town packed with Route 66 attractions. Don’t miss the Bunyon with a Hot Dog Muffler Man or the Route 66 Arcade Museum , both located on the same block of Arch Street in downtown. 

After a long first day on the road, I rolled into St. Louis, Missouri, just as the sun was starting to set. I took a slight detour on the way to my hotel to check out Gateway Arch National Park , which was beautiful at sunset.  

Related: A resurrected Route 66 diner serves up hot fudge sundaes with a side of grief counseling

Original route mileage: 317 miles (510 kilometers) Must-see highlights: Gateway Arch National Park, Murals of Cuba, World’s Second Largest Rocking Chair, Uranus Fudge Factory, Gary’s Gay Parita, Red Oak II

My first stop after leaving St. Louis was at the Route 66 State Park visitor center, located just off I-44 along the Meramec River in Eureka, Missouri. It started raining as I pulled into the parking lot, so I went inside to hide from the weather. The visitor center has a small museum documenting the road’s history in the state, and a helpful staffer gave me a printed map and pointed me in the direction of the route’s original alignment.

A handing holding up a "Roadtrippers Route 66" guidebook in front of a very large rocking chair

As with much of Route 66, the original road in Missouri largely runs parallel to the interstate, and it’s easy to get on and off. With my tight schedule, I ended up making a list of stops ahead of the trip and, in the interest of saving time, jumped on and off the freeway between stops. Those with more time to spend on the route will be able to meander along on its original parts. This is an excellent way to find small towns that may be less touristy, but still packed with history and hidden gems. “Generally speaking, if you find yourself on the interstate and you’re passing a lot of towns, you’ve missed something somewhere,” Martin says.

While the Missouri stretch of Route 66 is often beautiful—it crosses through the lush, green Ozarks—the weather was not in my favor. It was pouring rain for most of the day I spent riding through the state, but with proper rain gear and a quick switch to “rain mode” on the motorcycle, it wasn’t too bad. 

I stopped for lunch in Cuba, a town known for its murals depicting historical events. Since I don’t eat meat, I opted out of Missouri Hick ’s famous barbecue and instead found Little Shop of Comics & Audrey’s Eatery on Main Street, a cozy comic book shop with a cafe in the back. I ordered soup and waited out the rain. 

Back on the road, I made my way to the World’s Second Largest Rocking Chair (it used to be the largest, until 2015, when an even bigger rocking chair in Casey, Illinois, knocked it down to second place), the Devil’s Elbow Bridge , and the Uranus Fudge Factory and General Store . The latter may be a classic tourist trap, but anyone who enjoys potty humor will have a good time in Uranus. 

A smiling man seated on a bench on a porch next to a goose, surrounded by Route 66 memorabilia

One of my must-see stops was Gary’s Gay Parita , a replica of a 1930 Sinclair gas station. The property is packed with memorabilia from the heyday of Route 66, including vintage cars, gas pumps, signs, old glass bottles, and more. The current owner, George Bowick, has a wealth of Route 66 knowledge and is happy to share it with anyone who asks. As we were chatting, Lady Bird, his tame goose, nibbled on my boots. Bowick recommended I visit Red Oak II on my way into Carthage, so naturally I obliged. 

Red Oak II is a unique type of place. Created by artist Lowell Davis, it’s a replica of the real Red Oak, Missouri, where Davis grew up. After leaving for many years and returning to find that his hometown had turned into a ghost town, Davis started moving buildings from the old town and restoring them on his farm just outside Carthage. The result is a quaint but eerie town that feels completely frozen in time. I didn’t see a single person during my visit, but a very sweet dog showed up out of nowhere and escorted me around. 

Original route mileage: 13 miles (21 kilometers) Must-see highlights: Cars on the Route, Gearhead Curios, Rainbow Bridge

The Kansas section of Route 66 is short but sweet. In just about 13 miles, the state manages to pack in several can’t-miss stops. Entering into Kansas through Missouri’s Old 66 Boulevard puts you at the north end of Main Street in Galena (population: 3,000). Your first stop here should be Cars on the Route , a restored Kan-O-Tex service station. Grab some snacks or Cars memorabilia, and check out the old truck that inspired the movie’s Tow Mater character.     

A motorcycle parked in front of a brightly colored vintage service station

As you ride down Main Street, you’ll come across the Galena City Jail, another vintage service station called Gearhead Curios, and a large “Galena on Historic Route 66” mural. I can never pass up a good bridge, so from Galena I continued onto the Rainbow Bridge, a beautiful Marsh Rainbow Arch bridge built in 1923 over Bush Creek.

If you have time for a detour, the Tri-State Marker just a few miles south of the route allows you to stand in three states at once: Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, a worthy photo op.

Original route mileage: 432 miles (695 kilometers) Must-see highlights: Blue Whale of Catoosa, Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66, Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, POPS Soda Ranch, Lucille’s Service Station, Sandhills Curiosity Shop

If you’ve ever traveled I-44 through Oklahoma, you’re already familiar with its most annoying feature: the frequent cash-only toll booth stops. From the Missouri state line and all the way to Oklahoma City, old Route 66 runs parallel to I-44, and if you have the time (and want to save a few dollars), it’s a much more pleasant way to travel. It’s also the easiest way to make sure you don’t miss any roadside attractions along the way.

The first must-see stop in Oklahoma on my list was the Blue Whale of Catoosa , one of the most recognizable stops along the route. I sat down at a picnic table for a snack while admiring this roadside attraction, originally built as an anniversary gift to a wife who loved whales. 

A motorcycle parked in front of a large fiberglass statue of a man holding a rocket ship

In Tulsa, I took a much-needed break from greasy diners with lunch at Chimera Cafe. I had originally planned to avoid bigger cities as much as possible on this trip, but Tulsa is a real Route 66 goldmine and I ended up spending more time here than I originally planned. One of the highlights was Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios and its Space Cowboy Muffler Man. Just as I was about to leave, a guy rode in on a dual-sport motorcycle to ask me about my bike. This turned out to be Chris Wollard, the local artist who designed and built the Space Cowboy’s shiny rocket ship ( Mark Cline fabricated the Muffler Man). 

A few hours later I stopped at the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum . While chatting with the guy at the front desk, I quickly realized we had friends in common. The museum is small but jam-packed with vintage motorcycles dating back to the early 1900s. Entry is free, but donations are appreciated. 

I stayed the night in Elk City, home to the National Route 66 Museum. The next morning I was on the road by sunrise, heading toward my final stop in Oklahoma: Sandhills Curiosity Shop . Owned by “hillbilly hoarder” Harley Russell, it’s neither a store nor a museum—but it’s a classic Route 66 stop that makes for a great photo op. 

Related: Route 66’s most famous hillbilly hoarder, presides over a shop where nothing is for sale

Original route mileage: 186 miles (299 kilometers) Must-see highlights: Tower Conoco Station & U-Drop Inn, Slug Bug Ranch, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum, Cadillac Ranch, Midpoint Cafe

The Texas Panhandle, with its flat plains and unrelenting stretch of I-40, isn’t necessarily known as the most scenic place to ride a motorcycle. However, this part of the Mother Road features some of its most iconic stops—and some of the best detours.

A towering art deco building against a blue sky

There are so many vintage service stations—restored or abandoned—along Route 66 that it’s impossible to visit them all. But if you only have time for one, the Tower Station and U-Drop Inn in Shamrock is a stunning art deco masterpiece that should not be missed. As a bonus, Ramone’s House of Body Art, the auto body shop in Cars , was heavily inspired by this building.    

One of the more famous Route 66 attractions in Texas is Cadillac Ranch . And while that’s absolutely worth a stop, I found Slug Bug Ranch to be a less crowded and equally enjoyable alternative. Located just 15 miles east of Cadillac Ranch, this whimsical tribute features a row of Volkswagen Beetles buried nose down and covered in graffiti. 

During my jaunt through Texas, I decided I’d had enough of riding straight, flat highways and needed a change of scenery. After grabbing lunch in Amarillo, I took a 30-mile detour south to Palo Duro Canyon State Park . Home to the second largest canyon system in the country, the gorgeous scenery and steep switchbacks of the park did not disappoint. If you go, remember to check the forecast beforehand—due to its microclimate, temperatures at the bottom of the canyon can be significantly higher than at the rim. 

As I continued my journey west, I made a final stop in Texas at the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian. This roadside diner and gift shop marks the official halfway point of Route 66—1,139 miles down, 1,139 miles to go.

Original route mileage: 487 miles (784 kilometers)  Must-see highlights: Russell’s Travel Center & Car Museum, Tee Pee Curios, Blue Swallow Motel, Blue Hole of Santa Rosa, Tinkertown, Old Town Albuquerque, Laguna Pueblo, Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave, El Rancho Hotel

While New Mexico has no shortage of mid-century kitsch, it’s also arguably the best state along the route to dive deep into Indigenous history and culture. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s pueblos and Native American villages were all closed to visitors during my trip. 

Exterior of a vintage motel at dusk, with a lit neon sign and a 1950s car parked at the entrance

I spent the night at one of the most iconic accommodations along the route: the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, a classic 1940s motor court (each room comes with a private garage for your motorcycle) known for its spectacular neon signage. I rolled in right before sunset and was lucky enough to get the last available room, despite not having made a reservation in advance. This irked my neighbors in the room next door, who had made their reservations months earlier. But as several people I spoke to during the trip confirmed, the route was much less busy than normal because the pandemic had temporarily halted the influx of one of the most prevalent Route 66 travelers: the European tourist. 

Tucumcari is worth a visit whether you’re staying the night or not. Pick up a souvenir from Tee Pee Curios , grab a home-cooked meal from Del’s Restaurant, or get a photo in front of one of the town’s Route 66 murals. 

Heading west through the Land of Enchantment, Albuquerque contains the longest continuous stretch of Route 66 within a single city. Here, you can stand at the intersection of two different historical alignments of the highway. Beyond its Mother Road legacy, the city is also home to mid-century modern architecture , a Historic Old Town area packed with museums, the famous Balloon Fiesta (which, coincidentally, took place during my visit), and tons of artsy Southwestern charm. On my way into town, I took a detour to ride some proper switchback roads to the top of the Sandia Crest ridge. 

A Hotel el Rancho sign on top of a building set against a cloudy gray sky

Before heading into Arizona, I stopped in Gallup to admire the historic El Rancho Hotel and say “howdy” to the cowboy Muffler Man at John’s Used Cars. 

Original route mileage: 401 miles (645 kilometers) Must-see highlights: Chief Yellowhorse Trading Post, Petrified Forest National Park, Jackrabbit Trading Post, Standin’ on the Corner Park, La Posada Hotel, Two Guns, Twin Arrows Trading Post, Delgadillo’s Snow Cap, Hackberry General Store, Cool Springs Gas Station

In just over 400 miles, the Arizona stretch of Route 66 packs in so many must-see stops—including ghost towns, a national park, vintage service stations, interesting architecture, and roadside attractions—that it might be worth budgeting in some extra time to make sure you don’t miss anything. If you can, add an additional day to your itinerary for a detour to the Grand Canyon as well.   

You’ll know you’ve entered Arizona when you see the big yellow signs for Yellowhorse , a Navajo-owned trading post set against a dramatic red rock backdrop. Both Yellowhorse and the neighboring Teepee Trading Post are perfect places to stop for souvenirs, photos, and snacks. 

Large yellow billboard with a jackalope silhouette and the words HERE IT IS

My next stop was Petrified Forest National Park , the only national park to have a section of Old Route 66 preserved inside it. Exploring the entire park can easily take a full day or more—but for those only interested in the Mother Road marker, it’s located in the northern part of the park, a 20-minute ride from I-40 along a scenic road (note that you will need to pay the park entrance fee to access it).   

Arizona has several towns that have gone all in on their Route 66 legacy, including Holbrook, Winslow, Seligman, and Kingman. But one of the more intriguing stops along the entire Mother Road is located off I-40 right in between Holbrook and Winslow. Those who’ve been paying attention may have noticed a few bright yellow mileage signs at other locations along the route. These all point to the Jack Rabbit Trading Post , an unassuming roadside souvenir store, and you’ll know you’ve arrived by the massive “Here it is” billboard.  

Some other highlights in the Grand Canyon State include standing on the corner in Winslow, exploring the ruins of the Two Guns ghost town, grabbing a sundae at Delgadillo’s Snow Cap in Seligman, and riding the Oatman Highway—not for the faint of heart, it features 191 curves in 8 miles, a narrow roadway with no guardrails, and roaming burros that tend to be standing in the middle of the road as you’re coming around a tight turn.    

A burro walking down a paved road surrounded by desert

The Arizona section of Route 66 also contains what is probably the most drastic change in climate you’ll find in a single state during your trip. On one of the days I spent here, I woke up to 45-degree weather in Flagstaff. A few hours later, as I was crossing the Colorado River and making my way into California, the temperature was closer to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you’ve packed layers, or chances are you’ll be uncomfortable at some point.

Related: Lured by gold and ghosts, visitors just can’t quit the tiny mountain town of Oatman, Arizona

Original route mileage: 314 miles (505 kilometers) Must-see highlights: Roy’s Motel and Cafe, Amboy Crater, Calico Ghost Town, Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch, First Original McDonald’s Museum, Wigwam Village Motel No. 7, Aztec Hotel, Santa Monica Pier

The California section of Route 66 starts in Needles. As I was grabbing food at the local Wagon Wheel Restaurant, I noticed a hand-written sign inside, summing up the town: “Needles, California, hot spot known for absolutely nothing; 20 miles from water, 2 feet from hell.”  

Heading west through the California desert, the first can’t-miss stop on this part of the route is Roy’s Motel and Cafe in Amboy. This gas station and souvenir shop is a popular stop for photos thanks to its iconic—and recently restored—neon sign. Nearby you’ll also find Amboy Crater , a 250-foot-tall volcanic cinder cone, where you can hike by lava lakes, basalt flows, and collapsed lava tubes. 

A large neon sign that reads "Roy's Motel Cafe" with a vintage car parked in front of it

Make a pit stop at Calico Ghost Town , walk through the glass forest at Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch , and get nostalgic at the First Original McDonald’s Museum before it’s time to leave the more quiet and remote parts of this trip behind and enter the busy city streets of Los Angeles. 

As you get closer to the coast, you may experience something you haven’t seen since you left Chicago: traffic. Los Angeles has a lot of it—however, since lane filtering is legal in the state, you can easily bypass it on a motorcycle. Just go slow and stay alert. 

The western half of California’s Route 66 passes through several bustling cities and towns, where strip malls and chain restaurants greatly outnumber quirky roadside attractions. But keep your eyes peeled for mid-century architecture, neon signs, and vintage service stations along this stretch, including Cucamonga Service Station ; built in 1915, it actually predates the route. 

Unfortunately you can’t ride a motorcycle all the way to the finish line—but when you reach the Pacific Ocean, park your bike and walk to the end of the Santa Monica Pier to get a photo in front of the iconic “End of the Trail” sign. Congratulations, you made it.

Meet the Author

route 66 bike trip

Sanna Boman

Sanna Boman is the editor in chief at Roadtrippers. She's an avid roadtripper and motorcyclist, both on and off road. Her current goal is to visit all U.S. national parks. She lives in San Diego, California.

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Route 66 Motorcycle Tours

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Ways to explore Route 66

There are many ways to experience the Route 66 with EagleRider, and here’s how they compare!

Guided Route 66 Motorcycle Tours

The ultimate experience, route 66 motorcycle tour™.

Chicago, IL

15 Days/ 14 Nights

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Route 66 Motorcycle Tour - Albuquerque to Los Angeles

Albuquerque, NM

9 Days/ 8 Nights

Route 66 Motorcycle Tour - Chicago to Albuquerque

8 Days/ 7 Nights

Route 66 Motorcycle Tour - Harley-Davidson VIP Experience

Milwaukee, WI

17 Days/ 16 Nights

Route 66 Motorcycle Tour - Harley-Davidson VIP Experience - 10 Day

10 Days/ 9 Nights

Coast to Coast Guided Motorcycle Tour - Los Angeles to Orlando

Los Angeles, CA

Southwest Canyon Country Motorcycle Tour

Las Vegas, NV

Wild West Motorcycle Tour™

16 Days/ 15 Nights

Wild West Motorcycle Tour™ - 1

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San Francisco, CA

3 Days/ 2 Nights

Route 66 Self Guided Motorcycle Tour - Albuquerque to Chicago

Texas motorcycle tour, midwest motorcycle tour - 8 day, washington d.c. motorcycle tour.

Washington DC, Virginia

Arizona and Grand Canyon Motorcycle Tour - 8 day

Phoenix, AZ

San Diego - Phoenix Motorcycle Tour

San Diego, CA

Zion and Grand Canyon National Park Motorcycle Tour

Texas 3 day motorcycle tour, arizona and grand canyon motorcycle tour - 3 day, las vegas to death valley motorcycle tour, las vegas and national parks motorcycle tour, western highlights motorcycle tour - 1, california and las vegas motorcycle tour, las vegas and grand canyon motorcycle tour.

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Route 66 Motorcycle Rentals

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Street Glide® Touring Edition

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Road Glide® Ultra

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Tri Glide® Ultra

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Pan America™ 1250 Special

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Route 66 Motorcycle trips

Enjoy an unforgettable motorcycle trip on Route 66 with EagleRider, the world’s largest motorcycle experience company. Join us on this classic American adventure and explore what generations of dreamers have experienced before you. Ride the 2,400 miles of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in 15 days, or pick your favorite stretch of Route 66 if you have less time. EagleRider offers more than 15 tour routes, over 76 destinations, explorable in 4 tour types with extraordinary features, on the best late model Motorcycle Rentals. Scroll down to learn more about how you can enjoy and experience Route 66. Now is the time to make Route 66 your summer adventure! Whether you participate in one of our tours or just rent a bike from us, now is the time to make Route 66 your summer adventure.

Transform your journey into an exhilarating Harley Tour by selecting one of our incredible Harley models such as the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, Harley-Davidson Street Glide, Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic, Harley-Davidson Road Glide, Harley-Davidson Street Glide Touring Edition, Harley-Davidson Road Glide Touring Edition, Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra, or for a different riding experience, choose from our sport touring models like the BMW R 1250 GS, BMW R 1250 RT, BMW R nineT Urban G/S, Yamaha Super Tenere 1200, and Yamaha FJR1300.

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Bicycle Route 66

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Riding Conditions

Biking for your kicks on bicycle route 66.

For over 50 years, motorists traveled the legendary U.S. Route 66 – popularly known as Route 66 or The Mother Road – from Chicago, Illinois to the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, California. Now it’s the cyclists’ turn.

In view of the strong association between the historic roadway and America’s love affair with the automobile, it is perhaps ironic that hundreds of travelers will now attain independence from the motor vehicle by traveling Bicycle Route 66 under their own steam. While the cafes and grocery stores along the way remain important fuel stops for them, traveling cyclists can enjoy a certain satisfaction as they whiz past the many gas stations found in the towns and cities they visit.

Over the years Route 66 was in service there were multiple alignments of its path. Some of them exist today as Historic Route 66 and are signed in various ways. In many places Historic Route 66 was replaced by interstate highways. Bicycle Route 66 travels west on bike paths, county roads, and state, federal, and interstate highways. However, please note Bicycle Route 66 does not always follow Historic Route 66. Deviations were made based on present-day conditions.

Right from the start in Chicago, Illinois, Bicycle Route 66 diverges from Historic Route 66 due to heavy traffic conditions. The official start location on Lake Michigan in Grant Park at Buckingham Fountain allows the use of multiple bike paths and trails along with city streets out of the congestion to meet up with Historic Route 66 in Elwood. A short distance later, the route begins its parallel path with I-55 passing through the capital city of Springfield as well as many smaller communities.

Much of the route in Illinois is characterized by the prairie landscape and rolling hills. In Madison County, the route takes advantage of a number of county-maintained trails to the Mississippi River crossing on the historic Chain of Rocks Bridge into St. Louis, Missouri.

The Riverfront Trail leads cyclists into the city and past the Gateway Arch commemorating the launch of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition. Once through the suburbs on city and county roads, Bicycle Route 66 begins paralleling I-44 mostly on frontage roads and some county highways. Not far out of St. Louis, cyclists will encounter the rolling hills of the northern reaches of the Ozark Mountains. West of Springfield, Missouri, the route leaves Historic 66 in favor of quieter county roads and state highways. Bicycle Route 66 rejoins Historic Route 66 east of Joplin.

Kansas contains only about a dozen miles of Route 66, the least of any of the eight states the highway runs through. That didn’t prevent the residents of the area from taking great pride in “owning” part of the highway.

Once the route reaches the Oklahoma border, the flat to rolling landscape will encompass a variety of different prairie types until it reaches the Great Plains of the Texas  panhandle. In general, the terrain across Oklahoma is a gradual uphill again paralleling interstates, first I-44, then I-40.

Amarillo, Texas is the last large city on the route before you reach the midpoint of Historic Route 66 in Adrian, Texas. Up to this point in the route, services of most types are regularly available and there are no extended sections of sparse services. However, the availability of bike shops decreases as the route heads west.

Much of Bicycle Route 66 across New Mexico is either on or roughly paralleling I-40 and/or I-25. One notable exception is where the route heads north to Santa Fe following an older alignment of Historic Route 66 before returning south to Albuquerque. Cyclists wishing a more direct route can opt to ride the shoulder of I-40 to Tijeras then return to the route. A second exception takes cyclists onto the Turquoise Trail/State Highway 14 between Santa Fe and Tijeras providing beautiful open vistas before returning to Historic Route 66.

West of Albuquerque to Chambers, Arizona and again past Flagstaff, Arizona, Bicycle Route 66 passes through several Native American lands known as Pueblos, Nations, and Reservations. These are sovereign lands with their own cultural flavor. Etiquette across them will require you to be a bit more circumspect in your behavior. Stealth camping is not permitted and in most, permission must be granted to photograph or otherwise record the scenery and sites. While most of the roads through these lands are state owned, those on the Pueblo Alternate through Acoma Pueblo are not and are subject to closures periodically. A visit to the Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum is a must if riding this 27.1 mile alternate.

Just west of Grants, New Mexico, cyclists will cross the Continental Divide as they pedal through the El Malpais National Monument. For a more direct route between Grants and Gallup, you can choose to follow I-40 and its frontage roads. This is the original alignment of Route 66.

Gallup, New Mexico is home to the Brickyard Bike Park, which celebrated its grand opening in September 2013, with cycling celebrity Levi Leipheimer officiating. The bike park, coupled with a 15-year-long effort to build trails outside of town and recast the city as a mountain-biking mecca, has earned Gallup a formal designation by the state legislature as the Adventure Capital of New Mexico. Today, the area boasts two major networks of professionally designed, curvy singletrack trails, including the flagship High Desert Trail. Gallup hosts more mountain bike races than any other community in New Mexico and the High Desert Trail system has been designated a National Recreation Trail.

Bicycle Route 66 breaks from following Historic Route 66 to head south through the Petrified Forest National Park. Its hauntingly beautiful archaeological sites and unique geological formations include, not surprisingly, petrified trees.

From Flagstaff, cyclists will ride a combination of I-40, paralleling service roads and county roads to Ash Fork before riding onto Old Route 66 the rest of the way across Arizona. From five miles south of Kingman to Topock at the California border, Old Route 66 has been designated by the Bureau of Land Management as the Historic Route 66 National Back Country Byway. It crosses Sitgreaves Pass in the rugged Black Mountains, where the BLM warns: “Travelers are advised that the portion of the highway passing through the mountains is a very narrow two-lane with no shoulders, extremely tight switchbacks, and many steep drop-offs.”

The entry into California drops cyclists into a long, desert stretch with very limited services from Needles to Barstow. This region is subject to violent thunderstorms and downpours in the summer monsoon and winter storm seasons. The weather pattern can result in flash flooding that closes the former Route 66 now known as the National Trails Highway (NTH) and thus Bicycle Route 66. Over the years the NTH has fallen into some disrepair and, in September 2014, a particularly bad storm system came through not only flooding the area but further damaging the NTH and several of the original Route 66 bridges causing long term closures of the road. However, there are long-term construction projects aimed at restoring the damaged portions. See for road closures or inquire locally about conditions.

I-40 was built to replace the NTH. It is now the main thoroughfare between these two towns, and thankfully, has a well-maintained riding surface. While interstate riding is not our preference, it is the best solution to the problem of travel between Needles and Barstow if the NTH is impassable. Though I-40 is normally closed to bicycling, Adventure Cycling has worked with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to come to an agreement about temporarily allowing cyclists to ride sections of I-40 to continue on Bicycle Route 66. (See the map updates and corrections for Bicycle Route 66, Section 6 for current detour information.)

Once out of the desert, services improve and traffic increases as the route becomes urban through the suburbs of Los Angeles. While there are several plaques in the area denoting the end of Historic Route 66, the terminus of Bicycle Route 66 is on the Santa Monica Pier at the sign located where the road meets the pier.

Photo by Michael Clark

This route contains a diversity of landscapes from the flat prairie grasslands of Illinois to the rolling hills of the northern reaches of the Ozark Mountains to the vast, open desert spreads across the southwest.

While there aren't a lot of mountain passes on this route, across New Mexico, Arizona, and California there are long stretches across the desert with few services and significant heat depending on the time of year.

For westbound riders this route is best ridden in spring with a departure in mid-April. This will allow most cyclists to make it through the highest humidities of the midwest and high heats of the desert before June through August. If departing in autumn, mid-August to September should allow cyclists to clear the mountains before heavy snows fall as well as avoid the heat and humidity. For eastbound riders starting in California, the best departure time is September.

Though the famous Route 66 song may indicate that you'd want to travel from Chicago to LA, based on general wind patterns, you'll find them more in your favor if you ride eastbound, from Los Angeles to Chicago. Strong winds come from the west, southwest, and south during the riding season. The farther east you ride the winds come from the south, so about the time you begin angling to the northeast near Oklahoma City, the winds will be typically from the south-southwest.

While much of the route has plenty of food sources, riders should be prepared to carry food and water across some of the longer desert stretches in the Southwestern U.S. There are few bike shops from Amarillo, Texas until the outskirts of Los Angeles.

Some campgrounds will charge a cyclist traveling alone less if they have hiker/biker sites, but often they will charge the price of a regular tent or RV site, and that can easily be $10-$20/night. If you're friendly and ask around, you can often get yourself invited to camp in a yard. In national forests you are allowed to camp anywhere on national forest land as long as you "pack it in, pack it out." Many city parks are free to camp in.

You may also wish to sign up with  Warmshowers , a reciprocal hospitality site for bicycle travelers, for other overnight options.

Route Highlights

Bicycle route 66 highlights.

  • Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Section 1
  • Lincoln Home National Memorial, Section 1
  • Chain of Rocks Bridge, Section 1
  • St. Louis, Missouri, Sections 1 and 2
  • Meremac State Park, Section 2
  • Route 66 State Park, Section 2
  • Ozark Mountains, Section 2
  • Ribbon Road, Section 3
  • Hometown of Mickey Mantle, Commerce, Oklahoma, Section 3
  • Hometown of Will Rogers, Claremore, Oklahoma, Section 3
  • The Blue Whale of Catoosa, Section 3
  • Slug Bug Ranch and Cadillac Ranch, Section 3
  • Glenrio, Texas, Section 4
  • Pecos National Historical Park, Section 4
  • Turquoise Trail, Section 4
  • El Malpais National Monument, Section 4
  • Navajo Nation, Sections 4 and 5
  • Petrified Forest, Section 5
  • Painted Desert, Section 5
  • Hualapai Native American Reservation, Section 5
  • Mojave National Preserve, Section 6
  • Mojave Desert, Section 6
  • San Gabriel Mountains, Section 6

More Route Resources

  • How to Travel with your Bike on Amtrak
  • EZ 66 Guide for Travelers  by Jerry McClanahan (all states)
  • National Park Service Route 66
  • No-Turn-Away Bike Camping Policies
  • U.S. Bicycle Route 37 (Illinois)
  • Chicago and Illinois bike maps
  • Old Plank Road Trail  (Illinois)
  • Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie  (Illinois)
  • Madison County trail map (Illinois)
  • U.S. Bicycle Route 66 (Missouri)
  • St. Louis area greenway map (Missouri)
  • St. Louis city bike maps (Missouri)
  • Route 66 State Park (Missouri)
  • Springfield bike map (Missouri)
  • U.S. Bicycle Route 66 (Kansas)
  • Tulsa RiverParks trails (Oklahoma)
  • Tulsa regional trails (Oklahoma)
  • Rte. 66 Trail (Oklahoma)
  • Oklahoma City trails map (Oklahoma)
  • Amarillo bike map (Texas)
  • Santa Fe bike map (New Mexico)
  • Albuquerque bike map (New Mexico)
  • Railrunner train between Santa Fe and Albuquerque (New Mexico)
  • Laguna Pueblo (New Mexico)
  • Acoma Pueblo (New Mexico)
  • Zuni Pueblo (New Mexico)
  • Navajo Nation (Arizona)
  • Discover Navajo (Arizona)
  • Painted Desert Visitor Center (Arizona)
  • Flagstaff bike map (Arizona)
  • Mohave County road closure status (Twitter account)   (Arizona)
  • Fort Mojave Indian Tribe (Arizona)
  • San Bernardino County road closure status (California)
  • " Forgotten Road ," Ludlow to Newberry Springs alternate (California)
  • Los Angeles area bike maps (California)
  • Los Angeles bike maps (California)
  • Connect and share photos with other riders on Instagram: #acaBR66 


Note: bicycle route 66 does not always follow historic route 66. deviations were made based on present-day conditions..

Bicycle Route 66 begins in downtown Chicago along Lake Michigan. You’ll be riding trails and city streets to make your way through the city and its suburbs. As with all cities, rush hours are to be avoided. Our route does not follow historic Route 66 to leave the city due to high traffic levels and safety concerns. For bike maps of Chicago and Illinois see: .

At Laraway Rd., south of Joliet, the Wauponsee Glacial Trail turns into a finely crushed gravel surface for 5.2 miles.

The riding through Illinois is over flat to rolling terrain that originally supported the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Efforts to restore the native prairie can be seen along many roadsides today.

The shoulder on SR 53 between Elwood and Wilmington is minimal to non-existent and sometimes filled with litter when it exists. Traffic can be heavy and high speed. Caution advised. The Route 53 Trail through the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is unpaved, but provides a nice break from the busy highway.

Central Illinois is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities with ample services. Springfield and Bloomington/Normal are the only cities of any size and present no unique problems to traverse. Instead of using major roads in many of the towns and cities, the route follows occasional bike paths and city streets.

Many miles of the route parallels I-55. When the interstate was built, U.S. 66 became I-55 so you’ll ride on multiple frontage roads.

The Green Diamond Rail Trail (not on the route) connects Farmersville and Waggoner, but it is unpaved and poorly maintained. Inquire locally about conditions before choosing to ride it.

Madison County is the last county in Illinois before riding into Missouri and the route uses several of the county trails. For occasional closures and more information see .

The route crosses the Mississippi River into Missouri via the picturesque Chain of Rocks Bridge which is closed to motorized traffic. The Riverfront Trail travels along the Mississippi River through an industrial area to reach downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch. Plan your itinerary accordingly to avoid rush hours to get through the city and its suburbs. For a bike map of St. Louis, see .

All known Amtrak stations are listed on this map but not all stations provide bicycle service. Check if bicycle service is provided at both the starting and ending stations on your trip using the spreadsheet and other trip planning resources at .

USBR 36 has been designated in Illinois. Portions of our route run concurrent with it. For more information and maps see . The route in Missouri is concurrent with USBR 66. As of this printing, it is planned to be signed. Be aware that signs can be damaged, stolen, or otherwise missing so you can never rely totally on following signs. For more information and maps see .

Illinois has a humid continental climate with hot, wet summers, cold, snowy winters and frequent short fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and wind direction.

Illinois averages around 50 days of thunderstorm activity a year which puts it somewhat above average for the U.S. Nearly half of all thunderstorm days occur during the June-August period.

The flat plains of Illinois are favorable to tornado activity. An average of 35 occur annually, mainly in May. Their path of travel can be erratic. If you see one on the horizon, seek shelter below ground at a farmhouse, if at all possible. If not, find a ditch or low spot and wait out the storm.

St. Louis is the largest city on Route 66 between Chicago and Los Angeles. In St. Louis the route follows city streets that require extra vigilance. Chouteau Ave./SR 100 has bike lanes but can have heavy traffic; watch out for turning vehicles. Plan your itinerary accordingly to get through the city and its suburbs. Ride carefully and avoid rush hours.

For bike maps of St. Louis see: .

And for Springfield see: .

Missouri is hilly. Between St. Louis and Springfield, cyclists will encounter some bigger hills as you are riding through the northern reaches of the Ozark Mountains.

Overall, Missouri has 1,100 miles of waterways. Its numerous rivers give life to farms and lush vegetation, the hills carpeted by endless forests. These are the same rivers that forced Route 66 to cross numerous bridges, many of which you will also cross.

From St. Louis to Springfield there are ample services with usually less than 10 miles in between them. The route parallels I-44 following frontage roads and flipping back and forth from either side of the interstate. Local traffic uses these roads while the majority of the through traffic will be on I-44.

The route through Springfield is biker friendly. It’s still a good idea to avoid riding through the city during rush hours.

Between Springfield and Joplin, the route departs the Historic Route 66 corridor north of SR 96 in favor of several lesser traveled county and farm roads. All road surfaces have been confirmed as paved but there may be sections of poor maintenance and/or signage, and services are few. Note that SR 96 may be traveled west directly to Carthage but the highway carries significantly more traffic and has narrow shoulders.

The 9.8-mile Route 66 State Park Spur connects the Main Route with the historic park in Eureka.

U.S. Bicycle Route (USBR) 66 has been designated in Missouri. Portions of our route run concurrent with it. For more information and maps see .

The continental climate of the state is subject to frequent changes. The three primary causes are (1) cold air moving down from the north, (2) warm, moist air entering from the Gulf of Mexico, and (3) dry air from the Plains sweeping in from the west.

In summer, the warm, moist air masses can produce copious amounts of rain, largely in the form of showers or thunderstorms. Spring and fall are transitional seasons when abrupt changes in temperature and precipitation may occur due to successive, fast-moving fronts.

Flash flooding along minor streams following heavy thunderstorms can occur frequently in the spring and early summer from April to July, but may occur during any month.

Tornadoes have been observed during every month of the year, with about 70% occurring from March through June. Their path of travel can be erratic. If you see one on the horizon, seek shelter belowground at a farmhouse, if at all possible. If not, find a ditch or low spot and wait out the storm.

Missouri State Parks have a no-turn-away policy which can be found at .

You’ll encounter both flat terrain and rolling hills on this section of Bicycle Route 66. Oklahoma tends to slope gradually upward from its eastern to western boundaries. Woodlands and transitional prairie grasslands, composed of shortgrass, mixed-grass, and tallgrass prairie cover the central portion of the state. In the upper portion of Texas, referred to as the Panhandle, the Great Plains become a reality in the flat, wide open expanse of country you’ll ride through.

The route parallels I-44 between the Kansas border and Oklahoma City, then uses multiple frontage roads along I-40 between Oklahoma City and Adrian. These roads can go by several names including: service road, outer road, frontage road, etc. There are miles where you will ride on the interstate’s shoulder. Watch for debris and use caution when crossing on and off ramps at the exits.

U.S. Bicycle Route (USBR) 66 is designated but not signed in Missouri, and is signed throughout Kansas. Our routing is not always concurrent with USBRs. For more information and maps see advcy.linkmousbr and . Be aware that signs can be damaged, stolen, or otherwise missing so you can never rely totally on following signs.

Services are reasonably spaced with Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Amarillo offering full services and bike shops. Bike shop availability decreases the farther west you ride so stock up if you need tubes and other miscellaneous parts.

The 12.9 miles of the route in Kansas retains much of the character of the Mother Road.

Between Claremore and Catoosa, our route avoids Historic Rte. 66 due to a lack of shoulders when heading westbound.

You’ll ride through Tulsa mostly on a main thoroughfare, and the Riverparks East Trail, . Ride defensively and try to avoid the morning and evening commute hours. For a map of Tulsa regional trails see .

Be careful while riding on SR 66 near Arcadia Lake. The road is busy and has limited shoulders. The Rte. 66 Trail, , goes through Central State Park.

Plan your itinerary accordingly to avoid riding through Oklahoma City and its suburbs during rush hours. The city streets are busy with little or no shoulders. Information on multi-use trails in Oklahoma City found at .

The city of Bethany suggests that cyclists take an alternate route along NW 39th Street between 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. on weekdays to avoid heavy traffic.

In Amarillo, most of the route could be ridden safely even during rush hours, but will still be safer outside of those times. The biggest concern is multiple viaducts in the city that allow vehicle traffic to avoid the many railroad tracks scattered all over town. Most of these viaducts are signed “No Bicycles”. The route we’ve chosen avoids most viaducts and/or provides an alternative route for cyclists below the viaduct. A map of bicycle routes can be found at: .

West of Amarillo the route is on roads that parallel the interstate. In this area, these roads are of decent quality and the traffic is very low. These service roads constantly go from the north to the south side of the interstate, and then back again.

Oklahoma’s climate ranges from humid subtropical in the east to semiarid in the west. Warm, moist air moving northward from the Gulf of Mexico often exerts influence, particularly over the southern and eastern portions of the state, where humidity, cloudiness and precipitation are greater than in western and northern sections. Summers are long and quite hot. Late spring and early summer are the peak for thunderstorms.

Tornadoes are a particular hazard in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. They usually hit during April, May, and June.

The Texas Panhandle’s climate is semiarid with hot summers and many clear days.

Wide open space is the theme across west Texas and New Mexico with semiarid landscapes and generally long distances between services. Shoulder widths vary on I-40 and I-25 and contain rumble strips and road debris. Be aware that local roads and county roads are subject to flash flooding from July through September.

Services are very limited for the 63.4 miles between Tucumcari and Santa Rosa and 97.2 miles between Santa Rosa and Pecos. Cuervo Rd. is washed out in some short sections and may be dusty and in poor condition; use caution when wet. The alternative is to use I-40.

To ride a more direct route to Albuquerque (roughly along the post-1937 alignment of Route 66), westbound riders can continue on the I-40 shoulder at Exit #256. Exit I-40 at Moriarty and continue onto SR 333 which connects back to route at the junction of SR 14 and SR 333 near Tijeras. This shortcut is about 82 miles, 79 miles shorter than the main route. Elevation will increase until Clines Corners and again east of Tijeras passing between the Manzano and Sandia Mountains. Services and local traffic increase from Moriarty to Albuquerque.

The route into Santa Fe roughly follows a pre-1937 alignment of Route 66. It is longer but has less interstate riding, fantastic views, and a more authentic Route 66 feel including a jaunt by the historic plaza. U.S. 84’s shoulder is good to fair while the elevation increases approaching I-25. Plan on traffic and the elevation increase again through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains into Santa Fe.

Expect high traffic and urban riding through Santa Fe except along the Santa Fe Rail Trail and the Arroyo de los Chamisos Trail. Trail conditions vary from smooth to rough pavement. The Arroyo de los Chamisos Trail is prone to flash flooding July through September. A Santa Fe bicycle map is available at: .

Leaving Santa Fe on SR 14, expect increased climbing with variable shoulder widths until Madrid. The shoulder disappears after Madrid where a long and narrow climb begins. The shoulder reappears and the traffic increases at San Antonito. Use extreme caution on the long descent to the intersection where SR 14 connects to SR 333 under I-40. Traffic increases significantly on SR 333.

The ride along the Turquoise Trail road between Santa Fe and Tijeras provides beautiful open vistas. But if you are in a hurry, the Railrunner train can take you and your bicycle between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. See for more information.

Plan on urban traffic and road conditions through Albuquerque except on the multi-use trail sections. On multi-use trails you will encounter heavy pedestrian and local cycling traffic. The Rio Grande bisects Albuquerque, therefore it is downhill to the river and uphill after crossing it.

West of Albuquerque, the route goes through portions of Laguna and Acoma Pueblos. Please read “Etiquette & Rules for Riding Across Native American Lands”.

The main route to Grants follows Historic Route 66. Riding the 27.1-mile Pueblo Alternate adds about 13 miles to the Main Route. This alternate route is subject to closure without notice. Annual closures include dates in June, July, August, and December. It is recommended that you contact the Pueblo before taking this alternate.

For a more direct route between Grants and Gallup, you can choose to follow I-40 and its frontage roads. This is the original alignment of Route 66.

SR 53 and SR 602 have varying shoulder widths and conditions with limited services. Be respectful passing through Zuni Pueblo. Local traffic increases as you enter Gallup.

Cell service is generally good with pockets of no service in more remote areas, generally away from the interstates. Many of the all service towns have convenience stores rather than groceries. Bike shops are almost nonexistent on this map section and can only be found in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Etiquette & Rules for Riding across NATIVE AMERICAN Lands

Pueblos and Reservations are sovereign nations administered by tribal governments. As guests crossing tribal lands, please behave accordingly.

  • Stay on the designated route. Off-road sightseeing, camping, and rock climbing are strictly prohibited.
  • Camping is prohibited on tribal land except in developed campgrounds operated by the Pueblos. A permit is required to camp on the Navajo Nation, contact the Navajo Parks and Recreation office 3-4 weeks in advance, 928-871-6647.
  • Photography, filming, video recording, audio recording, sketching, or any other form of recording images or sound is prohibited without first gaining consent, and possibly paying a fee or applying for a permit, from each Pueblo or Nation. Commercial use of recorded images or sounds is prohibited. VIOLATORS OF THESE GUIDELINES WILL HAVE THEIR FILM AND/OR CAMERA CONFISCATED.
  • Check with Tribal officials BEFORE entering any churches, residences, ruins, ceremonial places, and/or any other structures.
  • Most Pueblos require visitors to register for guided tours.
  • If organized tours are offered, stay with your tribal guide at all times.
  • Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, smoking, and firearms are prohibited.
  • Do not pick up or remove ANY artifacts, pottery shards, or any other items.
  • Observe all posted restrictions.

The climate of New Mexico is generally semiarid to arid, though there are areas of continental and alpine climates.

April, May, June, and early July are typically dry. There is a windy season, usually from late March to early April, when strong westerly winds scour the state with dust and grit.

The wettest months are July, August, and early September. This is New Mexico’s “monsoon season”, when moisture-laden tropical air triggers frequent, and sometimes violent, afternoon thunderstorms. Lightning associated with these makes summits and ridges especially dangerous, and flash flooding makes camping in dry watercourses unwise.

Between Gallup, New Mexico and Oatman, Arizona the country is open and semiarid; there are generally long distances between services provided by the few trading posts along I-40. Traffic on I-40 is fast and can be heavy due to it being a major east/west truck route. Shoulders are generally wide with well-placed rumble strips, but conditions may vary. Watch for road debris on the interstate. Local road conditions vary, contain numerous cattleguards and are subject to flash flooding from July through September.

Most parts of Arizona do not observe Daylight Saving Time, but rather use Mountain Standard Time all year long. The exception is the Navajo Nation. Between Gallup and Chambers the route crosses the Navajo Nation and is subject to the rules and regulations of both the U.S. and the Nation. Stay on the route, act respectfully and do not camp on Reservation land. For information see or call 928-810-8501.

Ride carefully on the frontage road west of Lupton due to deteriorating pavement.

Near and in any national park cyclists will have to contend with higher traffic levels and RV drivers who are inexperienced. The Petrified Forest National Park offers a welcome diversion from riding the shoulder of I-40. The road through the park is open 8 AM - 5 PM year round, with extended hours as staffing permits, so you can't ride early in the morning or later in the day. Be aware there is no developed campground or lodging in the Park. Contact the Painted Desert Visitors Center for seasonal hours and water availability at: or call 928-524-6228.

For a shorter alternate of 24.6 miles, you could stay on I-40 until Exit #289, taking Navajo Blvd. into Holbrook. There are limited services.

The main route goes through the southern edge of Holbrook and continues on local roads to Joseph City, then follows I-40 to Winslow. South of Joseph City, the 26.7-mile Winslow Alternate includes 19.1miles of deteriorating dirt road which is generally hard-packed but subject to flash flooding July through September. Avoid it when it’s wet. Do not ride this if you are on narrow tires. There are no services on the alternate.

To the west of Exit #230, the I-40 bridge crossing of Diablo Canyon has very narrow shoulders. Proceed with extreme caution.

Exiting I-40 at Winona onto unsigned Townsend-Winona Rd./Old Route 66 the shoulder is limited and good to fair. In general, the road is rough and the elevation and traffic increases between Winona and Flagstaff.

U.S. 89 into Flagstaff has variable shoulder widths. Expect more traffic and urban riding through town. The bike path to downtown Flagstaff is concrete with regular horizontal seams, and looks like a wide sidewalk. However, the shoulder of U.S. 89 disappears in a few spots on the highway so if you choose to ride it, use caution. A Flagstaff trails and bikeways map is available at: .

Another diversion from I-40 is to take Branigan Park Rd./Historic Route 66 between Exit #185 and Parks (Exit #178). This inlcudes 3.1 miles of gravel/dirt. Avoid it if it's been raining.

Eastbound, the I-40 shoulder heading into Williams and between Exit #165 and Flagstaff has cracked and broken pavement.The roads through Williams vary but tend to be cracked; please ride with caution.

Towns increase in frequency west of Flagstaff with services between 10-50 miles apart until Kingman. Five miles past Ash Fork the route departs I-40 onto Old Route 66. There are no shoulders on Old Route 66 until 9 miles north of Kingman, but there is little traffic. You will ride through 16 miles of the Hualapai Reservation, which is subject to different rules and regulations than the state of Arizona. Stay on the route and act respectfully. Permits are necessary to camp on Reservation land and can be found at the Tribal Game and Fish office, 863 SR 66, Peach Springs, 928-769-2227 during business hours from 8 - 5 weekdays and 8 - noon Saturdays. Permits are a minimum of $32.50/day/person.

Traffic and services increase through Kingman. Leaving Kingman on Historic Route 66 there are no shoulders or guardrails, and fast local traffic. You can ride I-40 between Exit #48 (U.S. 93) and Exit #44 (Shinarump Rd.) to avoid this road section. From Exit #44 to Oatman there is gradual climbing across the basin for approximately 15 miles. It is followed by 9 miles of steep, narrow ascents around switchbacks to the expansive Sitgreaves Pass before winding downhill into Oatman. In town you can enjoy a trip back to the Old West but don’t feed the wild burros — they've been known to follow and harass bicyclists.

To avoid the steep, narrow climb over Sitgreaves Pass, or if Oatman Hwy. is closed due of flooding, you may take I-40 from Kingman (where the main route crosses I-40) to Exit #1, and rejoin the main route on Route 66, Section 6, map 91. This alternate is 44 miles, with no lodging between Kingman and Topock, but with convenience stores no further than 20 miles apart. Shoulders are wide, though conditions may vary. For road closure information due to flooding in Mohave County, Arizona, either check this website: or call 928-757-0910 during business hours.

Arizona’s climate is dry with little rainfall. The northern part of the state has moderate summer temperatures.

The monsoon season begins in July when moist southerly winds bring thunderstorm activity. The short-lived, intense thunderstorms often result in flash flooding in steep terrain, as well as urban flooding through low-lying roads and normally dry washes.

Flash floods can occur anytime and are extremely dangerous due to their quick currents and tall waves. Do not approach running water such as streams or canals. The water level can rise dramatically within seconds. Stay on your side of the stream until the flow decreases.

This section contains some of the most isolated stretches and some of the busiest urban stretches of any Adventure Cycling route. Plan to carry extra provisions through the Mojave Desert between Needles and Barstow. There are two summits to cross — Cadiz Summit and Cajon Summit.

Be aware that local and county roads from Oatman, Arizona to San Bernardino, California are subject to flash flooding during the summer monsoon or winter storms. For road closure information in Mohave County, Arizona, check this website: , or call 928-757-0910 during business hours. For road closure information in San Bernardino County check this website: or call 909-387-8063 during business hours.

The 12.5-mile County Road Alternate provides off-interstate riding, but note that the county roads have no shoulder and CR 1 has blind turns. When traffic is steady, usually between 7 AM and 6 PM, use caution. This alternate crosses the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation, which is subject to different rules and regulations than the state of Arizona. Stay on the route and act respectfully. For more information see or call 760-629-4591.

Along I-40, 5.5 miles after crossing into California, there is a border protection station. Plant materials, including fruits and vegetables, will be checked for compliance with quarantine regulations.

Temperatures in the desert can be extremely high and water very limited between Needles and Barstow. Water and snacks can be found at convenience stores along the way, but there is no lodging for 108 miles between Needles and Ludlow. Primitive camping is allowed in some places, but we suggest getting permission to camp at a convenience store or on someone’s land. There can be unfriendly transients in these remote areas.

The National Trails Hwy. between Ludlow and Newberry Springs has a badly degraded surface and is VERY rough, although some portions appear to have been recently repaved. Secure any loose items and bolts on your bike. Allow considerable extra time to get through this stretch. For possible road closures call 909-387-8063.

At Cajon Junction, the shoulder disappears where on-ramps and off-ramps connect to I-15. You may wish to exit and then re-enter I-15 at Exit #131 to avoid this situation.

There is a 5.3-mile alternate that can be taken to get around most of the riding on I-15 south of Victorville. 2.9 miles are on rough dirt and the remainder is on State Highway 138. It is 0.6 miles shorter for westbound riders, and 0.2 miles shorter for eastbound riders than the main route. Use caution because parts of it are loose and steep. Do not use it when wet. See for a map and for a description of its historical context for Route 66.

The 9.6-mile Glen Helen Alternate is 8.8 mi. shorter than the main route and provides a quieter ride, but travels away from Route 66.

Expect urban riding conditions from San Bernardino to Santa Monica, with increasing traffic levels as you head west. The route avoids some of this traffic using 20 miles of the Pacific Electric Rail Trail from Rialto to Claremont. Riding the miles from Pasadena to Santa Monica on an early Sunday morning can help also. Please remember to be alert, careful about locking your bike, and don’t ride after dark in the cities. For Los Angeles area bike maps see: .

California’s climate varies widely. The southeast region has a hot, arid climate. The coastal and southern areas have a Mediterranean climate. In the Los Angeles Basin, the ocean’s influence moderates temperature extremes, especially along the coast.

In the Mojave Desert, summer is dominated by heat. Temperatures on valley floors can soar above 120°F. Low humidity, high temperatures, and low pressure draw in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico creating monsoonal thunderstorms from mid-June through early September. Autumn is generally pleasant and October is one of the driest and sunniest months.

After temperature, wind is the most significant weather phenomenon in the Mojave. Windy days are common; especially near the transition between the Mojave and the low valleys near Cajon Pass. The Santa Ana winds are strong, extremely dry winds that characteristically sweep into the Los Angeles Basin late fall into winter. They range from hot to cold, depending on prevailing temperatures in the desert.

Bicycle Route 66 Overview Image

Bicycle route 66 section 1 detail image, bicycle route 66 section 2 detail image, bicycle route 66 section 3 detail image, bicycle route 66 section 4 detail image, bicycle route 66 section 5 detail image, bicycle route 66 section 6 detail image, bicycle route 66 alternates.

route 66 bike trip

Mark Watson

California-based member of a LA Motorcycle Club and a keen traveler. Author of bestselling books on Amazon about Route 66, Alaska Highway, PCH 1 & Overseas Higwhay. 🇺🇸

Journey Through Route 66 by Bicycle: A Guide to Mother Road Cycling

Journey Through Route 66 by Bicycle: A Guide to Mother Road Cycling

Route 66, also known as the “Main Street of America,” is one of the most famous roadways in the United States. Spanning over 2,400 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, this historic highway passes through eight states and offers breathtaking views of Americana. For adventure-seekers, there’s no better way to experience the beauty of Route 66 than by bicycle. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what makes a bicycle trip on Route 66 an adventure of a lifetime.

Planning Your Bicycle Trip

Plan your Route 66 bicycle trip

Before embarking on your journey, it’s important to properly plan your route and make sure you have the necessary gear and equipment. Route 66 runs through some of the most remote and rural areas of the country, so it’s important to bring enough food, water, and supplies to sustain you during your ride. You’ll also want to research the weather conditions for each state along your route and plan accordingly.

When it comes to equipment, make sure you have a reliable and comfortable bicycle, a helmet, and a repair kit. You may also want to invest in panniers or a trailer to carry your supplies, as well as a GPS or maps to help you navigate the route.

Check my post: Route 66 – The 25 BEST TOP Stops to Visit – Must-see places! What to see?

Experiencing the Beauty of Route 66

Explore Route 66 on a bike. Bicycle ride can be great!

As you pedal your way along Route 66, you’ll encounter a wide range of landscapes and scenic views, from deserts and canyons to rolling hills and lush forests. You’ll also have the opportunity to stop at some of the most iconic attractions along the route, including the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Blue Whale of Catoosa in Oklahoma, and the Wigwam Village Motel in San Bernardino.

Another highlight of a bicycle trip on Route 66 is the opportunity to experience small-town America in a way that’s not possible from the comfort of a car. You’ll have the chance to interact with locals, learn about the history and culture of the communities along the route, and sample some of the best food and drink the country has to offer.

Embracing the Challenges of Route 66

Challenges of cycling on Route 66.

Of course, a bicycle trip on Route 66 is not without its challenges. The route passes through some of the harshest and most inhospitable terrain in the country, and there are stretches where services are few and far between. But it’s these challenges that make the journey all the more rewarding. You’ll have the chance to push yourself to your limits and test your resilience, all while experiencing some of the most beautiful and remote areas in the country.

The Best of Both Worlds: RV & Bike

RV and bicycle. The best way to explore Route 66.

With an RV, you have the freedom to travel at your own pace and the comfort of a home on wheels. Combining this with a bicycle will give you the best of both worlds, allowing you to see the sights and explore the area at your leisure while also getting up close and personal with the surroundings. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or just looking for a leisurely ride, taking a bike on Route 66 with you in an RV is a great way to experience the beauty and excitement of this legendary highway.

Taking a bike with you in your RV will also allow you to see more of the sights along Route 66. While driving in an RV is great for covering long distances, a bike ride will give you the opportunity to get off the beaten path and explore some of the more remote and scenic areas that you might miss while driving. Whether you’re looking to take a scenic ride through the countryside or stop at some of the iconic attractions along the route, taking a bike on Route 66 with you in an RV will help you make the most of your adventure.

Renting a Bike on Route 66

Ren a bike on Route 66. Along the Mother Road there are many bicycle rentals.

If you’re planning a trip along Route 66, consider renting a bike to explore this historic route and experience the beauty of the American countryside up close. In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about renting a bike on Route 66.

When renting a bike on Route 66, there are a few important things to consider to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable ride. These include:

  • The type of bike: Consider your riding ability and the type of terrain you’ll be riding on when choosing a bike. For example, if you’re planning a long ride through hilly terrain, a road bike may not be the best choice.
  • The rental period: Make sure you rent the bike for a sufficient amount of time to complete your planned route, taking into account any rest stops and sightseeing.
  • The rental cost: Renting a bike can be expensive, so consider the cost when planning your trip and make sure you factor in all expenses, including the rental fee, helmet rental, and any other necessary gear.

Where to Rent a Bicycle on Route 66

Cycling on Route 66 on rental bike.

There are a number of bike rental shops along Route 66, and many of them offer bikes specifically designed for touring and exploring the route. When renting a bike, look for a reputable rental shop with a good selection of high-quality bikes and knowledgeable staff who can help you choose the right bike for your needs. Some popular bike rental shops along Route 66 include:

  • Albuquerque Bicycle Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Spokes Bicycle Rentals in Flagstaff, Arizona
  • The Hub Bicycle Shop in St. Louis, Missouri

Riding the Whole Route 66 on a Bicycle

Kingman on Route 66. Cycling with friends.

If you’re an adventurous traveler looking for a unique way to experience Route 66, consider riding the entire route on a bike. In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about riding the whole Route 66 on a bike

Before you start your journey, there are a few things you should consider to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable ride:

  • Fitness: Riding the whole Route 66 on a bike is a physically demanding task, so make sure you’re in good shape and well prepared for the challenge.
  • Bike: Choose a bike that’s suitable for long-distance touring and make sure it’s in good working order before you start your journey.
  • Gear: Pack all the necessary gear, including a helmet, water bottles, repair kit, and appropriate clothing for the weather conditions.
  • Route: Plan your route in advance and make sure you have a map or GPS device to help you navigate. Consider the terrain and weather conditions, and make any necessary adjustments to your route.

Riding the Route – 6 Tips for a long Route 66 bike trip

Once you’re ready to start your journey, here are some tips for riding the whole Route 66 on a bike:

1. Start slow

Tips for cycling on Route 66.

It’s important to pace yourself, especially in the beginning, to avoid injury and fatigue. Gradually increase your speed as you get used to the route.

2. Stay hydrated

Stay hydrated when cycling on Route 66.

Make sure you drink plenty of water, especially in hot weather.

3. Stay fueled

Stay fueled when cycling on Route 66.

Eat regularly to maintain your energy levels and avoid bonking.

4. Take breaks

Rest stops and break during your cycling Route 66 trip.

Take regular breaks to stretch your legs and rest your muscles.

5. Stay safe

Stay safe and watch everything around you. I wish you safe Route 66 bicycle trip.

Always wear a helmet and follow all traffic laws and safety regulations.

6. Enjoy Route 66 cycling the journey

Enjoy your Route 66 bicycle adventure.

The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the journey. Take the time to stop and see the sights along the way, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

A bicycle trip on Route 66 is an adventure of a lifetime, offering a unique and intimate perspective on this iconic highway. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or just looking for a fun and challenging vacation, Route 66 is the perfect destination. So pack your bike, hit the road, and discover the beauty and excitement of this legendary highway for yourself!

👍 Find out more:

Route 66 - travel guide bicycle

Discover the best stops along the Mother Road in my travel guide, “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places” , which is available on Amazon. This is the ultimate travel guide and pocket reference for anyone wishing to experience the nostalgia and wonder of America’s Route 66! MUST-HAVE for all Route 66 travelers. Visit 202 places on Route 66 with “Scan QR and go” for easy navigation.

Traveling on Route 66

Mark Watson  is a California-based member of a Los Angeles Motorcycle Club and a keen traveler. He’s traveled the entirety of U. S. Route 66 seven times on his Harley-Davidson. He strives to interest others in the historic drive to keep the legendary Route 66 alive. He also traveled through the Alaska Highway. He is an author of bestseller books on Amazon: “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places” and “Alaska Highway – 202 Best Stops”.

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A Guide to Bike Route 66

  • Bike Routes

route 66 bike trip

Much like its vehicle-friendly counterpart, Bicycle Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica continues to draw touring cyclists year after year, attracting first-timers and long-time travelers alike.

The Adventure Cycling Association , the United States’ touring resource, published a complete map set inspired by Route 66 in 2015. In the six years since its conception, the route has seen hundreds of cyclists pedal its length, guided by the directions and resources listed in the maps. The route stays as close to original Route 66 as possible, with detours whenever necessary to ensure safe riding conditions. 

What is Bike Route 66?

route 66 bike trip

First established in the 1920s, original Route 66 was the most efficient way to connect the urban hubs of Chicago and Los Angeles. As car ownership became more available to average Americans over the next few decades, the road began its long association with recreation, national pride, and the myth of the road. Route 66 was officially put out of commission in 1985, with newer interstates taking over. Its pioneering spirit, however, proved hard to extinguish. The original byways, businesses, and scenery along the route became a preservation goal for various organizations who cemented its place in American culture. Drivers can still experience the best preserved sections of the route, but cyclists get the best of both worlds with an up close and personal ride through history.

Nowadays, the act of exploring seems arcane; modern travel means convenience at your fingertips and foolproof direction with the tap of a button. It’s difficult to get lost, and even harder not to know what to expect. 

When you are traveling by bike, every day unveils hidden challenges, spontaneous moments, and a pace impossible to recreate by any other means of transport. Cycling Route 66 can re-awaken your sense of wonder much like driving across the country did for early road trippers.

How Long Does Route 66 Take To Ride?

The amount of time you set aside for your Route 66 tour depends on your daily mileage; for newer cyclo- tourists, 40-50 miles is a reasonable daily goal. Make sure you know what you’re capable of before embarking; pace yourself and be careful not to overestimate your abilities. Your training regimen at home can start with a 10-mile ride and advance until you can complete forty or fifty miles within a few hours. 

Plan for rest days along the way; you might want to align them with cultural or natural sites that interest you, or space them out evenly throughout your trip. Considering low temperatures in the Midwest and Southwest, the route is best ridden from Spring to Fall. Crossing the California desert in the height of summer, however, is not advised; the heat can become downright dangerous, especially if you are spending all day outdoors and out of breath.

Depending on the direction you’re headed, you’ll be doing your ceremonial tire-dipping in either the Pacific Ocean or Lake Michigan. Many cyclists choose to ride from west to east, citing tail winds, but your direction is your preference. 

What Bicycle Should You Use?

A ride of this length is best done on a touring bike built to carry weight. Four panniers should be enough to hold your essentials, and don’t forget to make use of your rear and front racks. Consider thicker tires for changes in terrain and make sure you can perform simple fixes on your bike; remote parts of the route will barely have convenience stores, let alone bike shops. Always be sure to check your ACA map and do internet research concerning services along the way. You don’t want to be left stranded without food or water because the gas station you were planning to stop at is further than expected- or worse, not open at all.. Always carry extra supplies, pay attention to business hours and have spare inner tubes and a portable pump handy in case of an inconvenient flat. 

Navigating The Route

route 66 bike trip

Out of Santa Monica, the route winds through the congested Los Angeles suburbs, opening up into the rough expanse of the California desert. Be mentally prepared for long, empty stretches with limited services as you pass Joshua Trees lining the road. In the summer months, this part of the desert sees flash thunderstorms and monsoon rains, often rendering the National Trails Highway between Barstow and Needles unsafe to cross. To solve that issue, ACA has secured cyclist access to the shoulder of Interstate 40 in the event of weather related closure. 

From California, you’ll continue on to Arizona, where services remain sporadic but epic scenery makes the challenge worthwhile. As you enter Kingman, Stop in Flagstaff for the comforts of bike service, live music, and craft beer before riding into Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park . The park’s fossilized forests are otherworldly, especially when surrounded by badlands in varying hues aptly named the Painted Desert. 

In New Mexico, you’ll be treated to the rugged Southwest, its high desert communities and a maddening but beautiful sense of desolation in every direction you turn. 

Just past Grants, New Mexico, you’ll hit Albuquerque, your first large city since the crowds of Los Angeles. From Tijeras, take the Turquoise Trail and enjoy a stunning ride north to Santa Fe. Spend a day exploring the town’s unique mix of Native American and Spanish heritage and abundance of hatch chile cooking. After crossing the eastern half of the state, cruise through Texas, Oklahoma and a tiny portion of Kansas, encountering quiet prairie without any major changes in elevation. Slightly east of Amarillo, Texas, you’ll come across Cadillac Ranch , a photogenic collection of painted vintage caddies precariously embedded in the Texas soil. In Oklahoma City, take a break from the prairie and wander into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. You’ll likely pedal through Baxter Springs Kansas’ southeastern corner in one day, ending up in Joplin, Missouri.

In Missouri, you will climb parts of the state’s Ozark Mountains, passing over the Mississippi and through historic St. Louis via its riverfront bikeway. The Route 66 State Park Spur, right outside of St. Louis, has a visitor’s center operating out of a 1935 roadhouse that hosted some of the route’s earliest visitors. 

As the route flattens out and turns north towards Chicago, you’ll be treated to a gently rolling landscape peppered with small towns until the more populated Northern Illinois suburbs. Stop at Rentz’s Tap & Dining in Odell, Illinois for a home cooked dinner and outstanding local hospitality. 

From there it’s a straight shot to Lake Michigan and on to your destination. 2,493 miles after saying goodbye to Santa Monica pier, you’ll have completed the quintessential American journey nearly a century after its grand introduction. 

Where to Stay On Route 66

touring bike

Where you stay throughout your trip depends on your budget and your touring style. Some choose to spend nights in motels and hotels, while others rely on campsites and resources like city parks and state parks. The ACA Bicycle Route 66 map set indicates designated campsites along the route, many of which are cyclist- specific.

If you’ll be camping , make sure to pack accordingly; you might want a tent and sleeping bag rated to fit nighttime temperature lows in the high desert and in the Northern Midwest. If you’re traveling in spring or fall, it’s especially important to bring a set of base layers to sleep or ride in. Bring a fully waterproof outfit and remain aware of the weather forecast as you ride. Weather can change drastically in elevated areas of Northern New Mexico and Arizona, as well as in the California desert. Don’t hesitate to wait out the weather if you have to; this is why you included rest days in your itinerary. 

The ACA route is designed to follow major interstates and original parts of route 66 via less traveled highways and service roads. Shoulders range from spacious to non-existent, so always be highly vigilant when you ride. Use lights at dawn and dusk, and even on cloudy or foggy days. Wear reflective gear, bright colors, and a quality helmet. Packing essentials include a bike repair kit , a battery pack, multiple water containers, and an air horn to ward off potential unwanted companions like dogs (dogs used to quiet country roads love to chase anything without an engine). 

Though Route 66 is not the thoroughfare it once was, it is very much alive thanks to preservation efforts and unwavering curiosity. Experiencing the legend of the American road by bike is a huge undertaking that will introduce you to an offbeat side of the country. The small things will begin to matter most; the kindness of a stranger, the rush of a desert downhill, or the sliver of sunrise on the horizon will become your best memories. Among ACA’s various cross country routes, Bike Route 66 is really about the in-between, representing “flyover country” at its finest.

For cyclists taking on a cross country adventure, traversing the path of original Route 66 takes on new meaning. Eight states, 2,500 miles, and the best of the American landscape carry the same adrenaline rush that propelled American drivers in the second half of the twentieth century. 

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    “For Route 66, our goal was to stay as close as possible to the original corridor, while keeping as much of it on paved road as we could.

    Why Drive Route 66 When You Can Bike It?

    Thirty years after it was officially decommissioned comes Bicycle Route 66—the first all encompassing cycling map of the iconic byway. So finally, you can ditch the car and explore the most historic road in the U.S. on two wheels.


    Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! >","name":"in-content-cta","type":"link"}}'>Download the app .

    Route 66 lovers who want to tackle the iconic Mother Road  by bicycle, have reason to rejoice: On March 2, after four years of mapping and advocacy work, the Adventure Cycling Association  debuted the first-ever comprehensive bicycle map of the 2,493-mile route, which winds from Los Angeles through eight states to end in Chicago.

    Lest you think that mapping such an iconic American feature simply requires downloading a few satellite photos from Google Earth and stitching them together, think again. Anyone who has attempted to drive even fragmented sections of Route 66 knows that the byway, which was officially decommissioned in 1985, is legendary not only for its nostalgic kitsch, but also for its multiple alignments, confusing signage, and even gravel on some sections in Arizona and New Mexico that were never paved in the first place.

    “It takes awhile to craft long-distance routes,” says Jim Sayer, the executive director of the Missoula-based non-profit. “For Route 66, our goal was to stay as close as possible to the original corridor, while keeping as much of it on paved road as we could,” says Sayer.

    The map for Bicycle Route 66 took six cartographers, four on-the-ground researchers, and cooperation from state tourism bureaus—plus a year’s worth of advocacy work to get permission from the California Department of Transportation to legally use a stretch of I-40 with eight-foot shoulders. It is a utilitarian work of art broken into six separate sections of roughly 400 miles each. Printed on waterproof, tear-proof paper, the map shows turn-by-turn navigation, while the flipside includes detailed field notes on the history, topography, and natural history of Route 66, as well as key services like budget lodging in classic hotels, campgrounds, libraries with internet access, hardware stores, grocery stores, and essential stops in remote segments. Digitally, ACA has Twitter hashtags for all major routes that riders can use to find the latest updates. For ACA members ( a membership costs $40 per year ), there are also GPS waypoints for the route and services along the way.

    If taking roughly 32 days to cycle almost 2,500 miles of Bicycle Route 66, some of which are on an Interstate, sounds like more work than it’s worth, take a few cues from Lon Haldeman, the co-owner of PAC Tours , who helped map the route. He loves Route 66 so much that he’s cycled it 15 times. “You’ve got to have that explorer’s mentality,” says Haldeman. “If you don’t understand the history of Route 66, then you’re like, ‘this is just an old, funky road.’” He also recommends riding from west to east to get a boost from prevailing tail winds and using a touring bike with 32mm or wider tires. “In some sections in Missouri and Illinois, every ten yards has a two-inch crack and bump that’s like hitting a two-by-four,” he says.

    As for his favorite sections, it’s tough for Haldeman to narrow them down. “Oklahoma is really good because it’s almost 100 percent rideable across the state, plus it’s very historical and very safe,” he says. He also loves sections in New Mexico and Arizona for other essential reasons. “ Twisters in Williams, Arizona, makes the best malt on Route 66. It’s got the best ice cream, the best malt flavor, the frosted glass, the stainless steel cup, and a cherry on top. It’s got it all.” Haldeman does note, however, that his malt research is ongoing and his next cycling trip across Route 66 may yield very different results.

    With the new Route 66 route, the ACA now has a total mapped cycling network of 44,673 miles, which pass through 47 states and parts of Canada, making it the largest cycling route system in the world.

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    The mother of all rides: Biking across America on the old Route 66

    In "the grapes of wrath," john steinbeck dubbed route 66 “the mother road.” now this long-abandoned cross-country byway gets a second life as an epic bike touring highway..

    route 66 bike trip

    Photo by Hannah Swithinbank .

    When cyclists travel down U.S. Bike Route 66, heading west out of Texas and into New Mexico, they’ll come off the high plains and pass through Tucumcari and Santa Rosa, then head north to Las Vegas — not the Vegas in Nevada, but the one that was big in the 19th century, when the Santa Fe trail passed through and the hot springs were a draw. From there, they’ll head into the Rocky Mountains, pedaling past Pecos, where they’ll find the ruin of a pueblo relinquished 200 years ago. At Glorieta Pass, they’ll pass the site of a Civil War battle, one of the most important in the western states, where the Union army pushed the Confederates back into Texas. Then they’ll roll into Santa Fe, where they can spend the night in one of the old motor lodge hotels, now restored, from the glory days of Route 66, a road that drew out the dream of getting into a car and driving west.

    U.S. Bike Route 66 doesn’t exist quite yet. Like the old Route 66, Bike Route 66 is more an idea right now than a reality. But while the old road, which was decommissioned in 1985, has disappeared under Interstate 40 in some parts and beneath overgrown fields in others, the new bike route is being mapped now, on top of the old route and the newer interstate.

    Bike Route 66, which will stretch from Chicago to Los Angeles, is part of the first big push to establish official national bike routes, the cycling equivalent of interstate highways. The project has been in the works for two years already, and it will be at least two years more before their work is done — the product of touring societies, volunteer cyclists, state transportation coordinators, local city officials, cartographers, and the nonprofit Adventure Cycling Association, which creates some of the best maps for long-distance cycling in the country.

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    The vision of a Route 66 resurrected as the Great American Bike Trip is so compelling that bike clubs and transportation departments from Illinois to California had dreamed it up independently. “Historically and culturally, Route 66 is very important for southern California,” says Alan Thompson, who’s working on the route for the Southern California Association of Governments. “You had whole groups of people coming during the Dust Bowl, looking for a better life here. My grandfather came on that route from his farm in Texas.”

    It’s that resonance, that taste of dust and kitsch and chrome, that pushed 66 up the list of priorities in the emerging network of bike routes. The idea for a U.S. Bike Route system has been around since the 1970s, but after an initial push that resulted in a few routes, work to create the system stopped. In the intervening decades, groups like Adventure Cycling have mapped thousands of miles of informal bike routes, but in the past few years, cycling advocates have revived the idea of an official, national system. In 2011, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved six official U.S. Bike Routes, the first time since 1982 that new routes have been added.

    Photo by Scott & Emily .

    Adventure Cycling’s mapping work on 66 began with notes from long-distance cycling legend Lon Haldeman, who runs cycling tours that trace the old 66 and who still remembers when, he writes , “The billboards with the fatman’s face were still promoting the Club Cafe in Santa Rosa. The yellow Stukeys Restaurant signs tempted travelers with the nutritious breakfast of one egg, toast and jelly of ninety-nine cents.”

    With those notes and input from cyclists who know the local roads, Adventure Cycling sent out a route researcher from Chicago to the border of New Mexico in 2011. Another team just finished traveling through New Mexico, Arizona, and California. These teams judge if the route is too complicated for bike travel, and they look at the surface of the road, the traffic, and hazards like railroad tracks. They also scout for amenities such as grocery stores, campgrounds, and hotels.

    “There was one [hotel] in Arizona that we really wanted to stay in where they have hotel rooms that are in wigwams,” says Melissa Thompson, an Adventure Cycling cartographer.

    One of the debates at Adventure Cycling was whether to stick to the beaten path of the original road or to break away in order to make “a really excellent bike route,” says Virginia Sullivan, Adventure Cycling’s special projects director. Often, they’ve opted for the latter.

    In New Mexico, for instance, riding Route 66 could mean hugging the shoulder of I-40 all the way through the state. But the New Mexico Touring Society, which has been working on the project, has chosen to snake the route up through Santa Fe, then down to Albuquerque and through the pueblos in the western half of the state. There’s some historic justification for this route: The original 66 went north to Santa Fe before heading south again. Only in 1937 did the route straighten into the smoother line that I-40 draws today.

    “In New Mexico, it’s easy to stay on the freeway and miss all the interesting things,” says Christopher Marsh, a member of the touring society. “We knew all the side roads and the more interesting things that people would want to see if they were coming here.”

    There’s plenty to see, in New Mexico and beyond: Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket in Illinois, the Wagon Wheel Motel in Missouri, the Blue Whale in Oklahoma, the enormous gift shop at Cline’s Corner, New Mexico, the still-glowing neon signs, and the innumerable diners serving up the same short-order cuisine.

    Thompson, the Adventure Cycling cartographer, followed Route 66 for long stretches of a bike trip three years ago. “What I loved was the enormous amount of variety that you get,” she says — the cities and the kitschy landmarks and “the big open spaces where you just feel like, ‘Wow, just look at this big expansive world in front of me.’”

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    Route 66 motorcycle tour

    • Route 66 Self Guided Motorcycle

    Route 66 Self Guided Motorcycle Tour

    14 or 21 night self guided motorcycle tour from £3,796pp including flights, motorbike rental and accommodation, see iconic america at it’s best with a route 66 self guided motorcycle tour from complete north america. , the route is 2400 miles long from chicago to los angeles, and crosses three time zones and eight states: illinois, missouri, kansas, oklahoma, texas, new mexico, arizona and california..

    Route 66 map


    Take it as you see it or change it to suit. This Route 66 motorcycle holiday can be tailored to suit your own tastes & budget.

    All our holidays offer complete financial protection and you will receive a uniquely personalised travelling pack to ensure you get the most from your adventure.

    Roy's Motel and Cafe, Route 66

    What you get

    Explore route 66.

    14 nights from £3,796  and 21 nights from £5,876

    Day 1 Chicago Arrival

    Depart London Heathrow – 11:50 Arrive Chicago – 13:55 Journey Time – 8 hours 30 minutes

    Upon arrival into Chicago O’Hare airport proceed to your overnight hotel located in downtown Chicago, here you can begin your own historic ‘road trip’ after settling in. Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue, Watertower Place, the Navy Pier, the Merchandise Mart, Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum are not far away.

    As you explore one or a selection of these world class attractions, you can begin thinking about your upcoming journey on the Mother Road. Although Route 66 virtually parallels the interstate anywhere portions of the actual road exist, even today hundreds of men & women, young and old, take this trip every year from Chicago to Los Angeles. America unfolds as you travel through the Ozarks, authentic American towns in southwest and vast open deserts. You can start your trip at Grant Park, the exact place where Route 66 begins.

    Route 66 through Illinois was first used by Native Americans as a trading path followed by fur trappers and traders who sought a path to the Mississippi River to ship their goods downstream to French New Orleans. Al Capone and the rumrunners kept the road busy right after it became the first fully paved highway in Illinois in the early 1920s. When the old Route 66 road signs came down in 1977, the strong relationship of the road to the people who travel it brought new Historic Route 66 signs back almost immediately. When the highway department would not pay for them, bake sales, auctions, festivals and other truly American events raised money to bring them back.

    Overnight – Chicago

    Day 2 Chicago to St. Louis 300 miles

    This morning you will collect your bike.

    Most of today will be spent traveling through Illinois farmlands on your way to St. Louis, the crossroads where highways from Chicago, Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, and Indianapolis meet. The city was originally the focal point of Indian trails that ran all across the US and the jumping off point for Lewis and Clark’s Expedition of Discovery to open the West through the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. It will also be your jumping off point to points south and west, as you begin your journey through the wide open spaces.

    Springfield, the Illinois State Capital, is Abraham Lincoln country. He left here to serve as President of the United States during the most awful period in American history, the Civil War and returned as a fallen hero, a casualty of the same war. New Salem where Lincoln lived and worked for six years has been reconstructed. Costumed interpreters bring the village alive. The Lincoln Home National Historic Site is the centerpiece of a four block historic neighborhood. The President’s Tomb, Presidential Library and original law office are also open for touring.

    As you cross from Illinois into Missouri you’ll be crossing the historic Chain of Rocks Bridge. Be sure to stop at Ted Drew’s Frozen Custard, serving Route 66 travelers since 1929. In St. Louis, the original Route 66 tracked through town very near the Gateway Arch and we definitely recommend riding the elevator inside Arch to the top of the 630 foot structure. Spectacular views of the Mississippi River await. In the evening, you can catch up with the St. Louie Blues, which were born right here and taste the fruits of Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer.

    Overnight – St. Louis  

    Day 3 St. Louis to Springfield 210 miles

    Route 66 from St. Louis to Springfield, Missouri takes you through the lush rolling hills of the Missouri Ozark Mountains. The road follows the Great Osage Trail, a major Indian path across the state and a route used by Jess James, of famed James Gang fame, who locals knew as ‘just a nice Missouri boy!’ One of the most famous attractions on Route 66, Meramec Caverns was also used by the James Gang as a hideout when escaping the law. Lester Dill who owns Meramec Caverns started the American advertising institution, the bumper sticker, when he gave away portable advertising to all who stopped by to visit.

    Much of the rural Ozark region, punctuated by the second oldest mountains in the world, looks much as it did when the first settlers arrived. Springfield has been bustling since the St. Louis-San Francisco railroad arrived in 1870. Even though most of Route 66 through here is now Interstate-44, remnants of the old road are everywhere just off the highway.

    Interestingly, Springfield is considered the mother of the Mother Road itself. It was here that Cyrus Avery of Oklahoma who fought for a route through Oklahoma met with John Woodruff of Springfield, to plan and promote the idea of an interregional link that would bring trade and access to the area. In honor, Springfield has preserved much of the old highway frontage along St. Louis Street as well as the ‘Chestnut Expressway.’ If you’re a fan of western lore, delve into the ‘Wild’ Bill Hickock legend surrounding his fellow gambler Dave Tutt. There are so many different stories no one really knows what happened.

    Overnight – Springfield

    Day 4 Springfield to Tulsa to Oklahoma City 310 miles

    Oklahoma was the home of Cyrus Avery, who came to be known as the ‘Father of Route 66.’ After he was appointed to head the commission that reviewed the routes of new national highways, he fought for several years to bring a major highway through his home state, knowing it would boost the economy. Ultimately, he was successful in the choice of a route that followed the National Old Trails Road in 1925, which just happened to cross right through the middle of Oklahoma.

    ‘Been on this road for a mighty long time, Ten million men like me, You drive us from you’ town We ramble around And got them 66 Highway Blues.’

    Woody Guthrie of ‘This Land is Your Land’ fame who hailed from Oklahoma, illustrated the icon which Route 66 had already become in a song that told of the plight of the Okies fleeing to California. The Los Angeles police stationed themselves at the Arizona border in 1934 to stop the flood of Dust Bowlers looking for a better life.

    Southwest of Springfield, you’ll begin to see why they would leave, as the landscape changes from the rich crop raising Midwest into the American southwest; red, dry and dusty. During the1930s, more than 15% of Oklahoma’s population took Route 66 to escape the constantly blowing sand. They picked up their belongings, their families, their hopes and their dreams and headed west.

    After World War II, the pretty Oklahoma City referred to by the Nat King Cole in ‘Get Your Kicks on Route 66’ rose to new heights during the oil boom (the State Capitol is the only one in the country with an oil well on the grounds), only to suffer a dramatic decline at the end of the 1980s. Since then, the city has gone through an astounding transformation which continued during the re-building which followed the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The monument to the victims is very moving and an adjacent museum tells the story.

    For nightlife, make sure you visit Bricktown, a former warehouse district that has been reinvigorated with restaurants, cafes, night clubs and a vibrant atmosphere.

    Overnight – Oklahoma City

    Day 5 Oklahoma City to Amarillo 260 miles

    For the traveler going west on Route 66, Texas is Cowboy Country. It is here that some of the most wonderful icons of Route 66, those ‘functional simple buildings that were adorned with all manner of exterior signs promising all things larger than life, still exist. Two headed snakes, reptile farms, alligators, wondrous caves and petrified mummies all vied for the attention of the vacationer in a unique side show that would have made P. T. Barnum proud. The tales carried home from these vacations would entice and amaze the neighborhood for months.

    Amarillo is one of the last places on earth where the Old West is just minutes away or depending on where you are, could be closer than that. The vast ranches of the Texas Panhandle, some numbering in the millions of acres are just outside of Amarillo. Shortly after being discovered by Spanish explorer Francisco Coronado in 1541, the area became a magnet for cattlemen and sheep herders from all points of the compass looking for fresh grazing grounds. As the Dust Bowl farmers headed to California, more cattlemen and cowhands moved in to claim the same territory for ranching. Step into ‘The Real Texas’ as the locals say.

    Today, Amarillo and the surrounding Panhandle area is still a unique blend of the Old West and the New West, populated by American cowboys, roughnecks and self made millionaires and the ever present oil derricks. Working ranches, essentially unchanged from the day-to-day operations of the late nineteenth century peacefully coexist with a vibrant twenty-first century economy powered by petroleum. More than 2 million cattle are still shipped out of Amarillo each year. Make sure to drive Amarillo Boulevard which is the original Route 66 that is still lined with block after block of strip shopping centers and roadside motels straight out of the 1950s.

    Overnight – Amarillo

    Day 6 Amarillo to Tucumcari 120 miles

    For many people traveling the old Mother Road during its hey-day, New Mexico presented their first glimpse of the more exotic cultures of the Southwest. To people who had never left the Midwest before, it was as if they had entered another country. Back then, the Native American and Spanish cultures were much stronger, not having been diluted as much with contemporary life. It was a fascinating heritage of old Indian Pueblos that dated back to before European colonization and Santa Fe and Albuquerque that looked like they could have fallen straight out of Mexico with adobe buildings and a Spanish plaza in the middle town. What adventure and discovery these lands presented; a phenomenal contrast to Middle America.

    Unique to New Mexico also was the number of Mom and Pop businesses that sprung up along Route 66. Some are still there. More amazing are the materials used to create workable spaces for the businesses. Crates left over from World War II became the walls of a motor court. Oilcans became shingles used to roof a service station. Cast away bottles and roadside trash became the material to create a wondrous roadside attraction. Diners could be ordered from a catalog and shipped by railroad to their destination. These are the same icons we marvel at along the road that so represented America’s love affair with the automobile. As a result, New Mexico still has the most miles of original Route 66 that can be driven today.

    On your way between Amarillo and Tucumcari, New Mexico, be sure to stop at Cadillac Ranch to see the ten tail- finned Cadillacs buried in the sand.

    Once nicknamed ‘Six-Shooter Siding,’ Tucumcari, New Mexico got its start in 1901 as a rowdy railroad camp filled with saloons and outlaws. Soon, it became one of the many small railroad towns in the southwest with a flagging economy and diminishing population. Today, Route 66 is critically important, since it was the new businesses that were established along Route 66 which allowed Tucumcari to hang on, when other towns failed completely. Realizing that they have one of a handful of authentic roadside towns still intact and thriving has promoted a renaissance and revival among the gentlemen and businesses who just refused to let this wonderful piece of Americana and the American ‘road trip’ pass away entirely. Let the signs that read ‘Tucumcari Tonight!’ beckon you to this interesting place.

    Overnight – Tucumcari

    Day 7 Tucumcari to Albuquerque 180 miles

    Next up, Albuquerque – New Mexico’s capital city. Younger than its more northerly counterpart, Santa Fe, Albuquerque was founded in 1706 by a group of Spanish colonists who were granted permission by the King of Spain to establish a new city on the river. Old Town Plaza was the result of Spain’s Laws of the Indies which required setting a plaza at the center of any city. This Plaza still fronts the San Felipe Neri Church complex built in 1793 and the El Camino Real, the main route through town that connected Santa Fe and Albuquerque with Mexico City. The Santa Fe Trail also criss-crossed the region in 1821. Today, both routes are National Scenic Byways and All American Roads.

    Historic neon signs still glow on the old Route 66 through Albuquerque which is now Central Avenue. Alongside the vintage signs, you’ll see new versions put up by businesses that are continuing the aesthetic traditions of the old Route 66, adorning their shops with bright buzzing neon. The famous Route 66 continues to guide visitors through Albuquerque from the volcanoes on the city’s far west side past the Rio Grande Botanical Garden and the Albuquerque Aquarium through the historic Old Towns and Downtown business districts and continuing eastward through the University of New Mexico and trendy Nob Hill, where you’ll find many of the city’s best restaurants, distinctive shops and boutiques.

    Overnight – Albuquerque

    Day 8 Explore Albuquerque

    As you complete the self-guided Historic Walking Tour from Plaza to Plaza, you will be passing from Old ‘Villa Albuquerque’ in Old Town, to the Downtown Civic Plaza, created in 1972. In between, you will witness 300 years of history.

    It will be challenging to determine which other places to visit. Sandia Peak Tramway takes you over 2.5 miles to the 10,000 foot peak of the Sandia Mountains. Visit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque Museum and the National Hispanic Cultural Center to learn more about local culture and history. Petroglyphs at the Petroglyph National Museum and El Morro National Monument reveal the life of ancient peoples who inhabited the area. The National Atomic Museum and Trinity Site, the exact spot where the first atomic bomb was detonated tell the story of this momentous event in American history.

    Alternatively take a drive North East (approx 64 miles/1 hour) along Highway 25 to historic & cultural Santa Fe.

    Day 9 Albuquerque to Holbrook 230 miles

    On the way between Albuquerque and Holbrook, you’ll be entering the dramatic lands of western New Mexico and ultimately traveling through the Navajo Reservation. The New Mexico Mining Museum at Grants has replicated an entire uranium mine. Natural attractions include the El Malpais National Monument, the Continental Divide. The excavated Pueblo at Inspiration Rock dates back to AD 1200. Skirting the southern foothills of the Zuni Mountains, the drive along Highway 53 is likely the most scenic in all of New Mexico.

    Staying on this route brings you to Gallup, you can follow Hwy 40/Route 66 thru Gallup for about 9 miles until you reconnect with I-40. The Rex Museum in downtown Gallup offers local history including the WWII saga of the Navajo code talkers and Route 66 of course. Crossing into Arizona this part of the highway runs through a canyon with dramatic scenery. At Lupton you can see the Giant Tee Pee Trading Post whose Native American arts and crafts are made locally. Watch for the exits for Painted Desert and Petrified Forest before arriving to Holbrook. In Holbrook stop at the Wigwam Motel for a picture in front of the teepee motel rooms.

    Overnight – Holbrook

    Day 10 Holbrook to Williams 125 miles

    Just outside Joseph City you finally reach the famous Jackrabbit Trading Post whose iconic billboards are plastered 1000 miles along Route 66. Take your picture beside of or on top of the giant jackrabbit! At Winslow see the “Standing on the Corner” statue dedicated to the Eagles song “Take it Easy”. Reaching Flagstaff you leave Highway 40 for the Grand Canyon National Park. The Grand Canyon is not actually on Route 66 but you couldn’t miss an opportunity to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World! After experiencing the grandeur of the Grand Canyon continue back to Route 66 and your overnight destination Williams. Williams is a beautiful mountainside town where soda fountains, quirky motels and diners line the mother road as it was back in the day. Williams is proud of their nightly (7:00 pm) gunfight with the world famous Cataract Creek Gang, known for their raucous, rambunctious behavior, as they shoot it out in the streets of Williams.

    Overnight – Williams

    Day 11 Williams to Las Vegas 216 miles

    Ahead of you lays the longest unbroken portion of the “old road”. It runs from Seligman all the way to Topock, at the California border. Completely bypassed by I-40, it’s as unspoiled as any section of the road anywhere. The historic Route 66 runs North and curves back to the interstate in Kingman, where you can connect with Highway 93 to Las Vegas. The Route 66 detour is only about 15 miles / 24 kilometers longer, but it’s of course slower to drive than the interstate. The road passes through small towns like Peach Springs, Truxton and Hackberry in the Hulapai Indian reservation. As you approach Peach Springs, look to the north. There is a point where you can see all the way to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, which makes it closest approach to the highway in this area. Finish your day at Las Vegas, the neon oasis that never sleeps!

    Overnight – Las Vegas

    Day 12 Explore Las Vegas

    The Las Vegas Strip, now an All American Road and National Scenic Byway, is a sparkling fantasyland at the heart of the city. Its unique blend of exciting entertainment, scenic beauty, and lavishly landscaped resorts take you to a wide variety of exotic realms from a medieval castle to a Parisian sidewalk cafe, a lakeside Italian village, or a pyramid in ancient Egypt. Once you arrive on the Strip, however, you might be surprised to find that it’s also an enjoyable walking environment. Whether it’s pirates plundering, fiery volcanoes spouting or tropical gardens luring the weary, the Las Vegas Strip offers a variety of fascinating visual experiences. Las Vegas is home to some of the most spectacular shopping in the world. The Forum Shops at Caesars is Las Vegas’ premier luxury retail destination offering top retail, dining, entertainment, location and thematic Roman ambiance. And with two distinct locations together featuring 290 designer and name-brand outlet stores, Las Vegas Premium Outlets® is a must stop for savvy shoppers.

    Day 13 Las Vegas to Santa Monica / Los Angeles 290 miles

    Finally, after a journey through the Mojave Desert today, you’ll reach the bright lights of Hollywood. It may be hard to believe that the area around Barstow was once covered by immense lakes ringed with Native American villages. When silver was discovered in Calico, the area became a mining center that included borax mining. Route 66 is Main Street through Barstow. Just off Main on First Street, you’ll discover the original Harvey House which gave rise to hospitality complexes all over the southwest.

    Rainbow Basin about 15 miles north of Barstow is one of the lakebeds that existed between 10 and 30 million years ago. Calico Ghost Town is California’s official Silver Rush Ghost Town, preserving one of the few original mining camps in the Old West. One third of the town is original with the rest constructed in the ‘spirit’ of Calico’s Old West past. Today’s destination, Santa Monica is where the Mother Road meets the Pacific Ocean at the Pier. Many a dream has begun and ended on those beaches.

    Overnight – Los Angeles

    Day 14 Explore Los Angeles / Santa Monica

    The sky’s the limit in Los Angeles. Take a go-behind-the scenes tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, visit the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum which presents the work of unprecedented artists, the California Heritage Museum, the Autry National Center Museum of the American West, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Be sure to visit the new Getty Center perched high on a hill atop the city. The view doesn’t get much better than that. Or if none of those things suit you, you can always go to Disneyland! But be sure to call in at The Outlets at Orange 40 minutes from Los Angeles Airport and less than four miles away from Disneyland, to bag some last-minute bargains!

    Day 15 Depart Los Angeles

    Make sure you take some time to relax in the California sunshine before you catch your plane Savor your journey to the bright lights of California all the way home.

    Depart Los Angeles – 17:45 Arrive London Heathrow – 12:00 (Next Day) Journey time – 10 hours 20 minutes

    Additional Stops for Route 66 motorcycle 21 night itinerary

    Chicago, illinois – 1 extra night (2 in total).

    There’s so much to see in this iconic city – famed Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue, Watertower Place, the Navy Pier, the Merchandise Mart, Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum to name but a few!

    Springfield, Illinois – (Not to be confused with Springfield, Missouri already included) – 1 night

    Explore the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

    St Louis, MO – 1 extra night (2 in total)

    Try your hand at some science experiments, interact with butterflies or immerse yourself in a little arts and culture – it’s all in a day’s fun in St. Louis, Missouri. From sports and shopping – to tours and attractions.

    Santa Fe, New Mexico – 2 nights

    One of the original routings of Route 66 that was abandoned went through Santa Fe, the capital city of New Mexico which was established 13 years before Plymouth Colony was settled by the Massachusetts Company. The city began with a handful of European style dwellings constructed by Spanish settlers and soon became the seat of power for the Spanish Empire north of the Rio Grande River. It began to prosper when Don Pedro de Peralta settled in 1610, the same year that Hampton, Virginia, the oldest continuous city on the East Coast, was settled. Santa Fe served as the capital of the Spanish Kingdom of New Mexico, the Mexican province of Nuevo Mejico, and the capital of the New Mexico Territory.

    Once you arrive, it will be challenging to decide which locations to visit. Everything is focused on the Plaza, the center of the historic downtown. We suggest visiting the Palace of the Governors, the oldest public building still in use in America, constructed in 1610. It is now a southwestern history museum. The Museum of Fine Arts, next to the Palace, is older than the state itself. The extensive collection of southwestern art also includes paintings by Georgia O’Keefe, who called Santa Fe home for many years.

    There are cultural museums of many other varieties, including the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, and World Folk Art, with diverse works from artisans all over the world. If that’s not enough, there a huge list of art galleries, a myriad of restaurants and other interesting shops. Enjoy whatever you choose to do, there is more than enough to fill two days.

    Grand Canyon – 1 extra night (2 in total)

    Take a full day to explore the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. First stop should be the Visitor Centre located at the South Rim Village. Here you can pick up information on short hikes, special areas that you may wish to visit during the day and helicopter or airplane rides over the Grand Canyon. A visit to see the El Tovar Lodge if you are not staying there is a must, but we also suggest any of the scenic stops or even taking one of the guided coach tours that will explain the history and geology of the area. Another must is a visit to the IMAX Theatre located close to your hotel for a thrilling 3D show based around the Grand Canyon.

    We strongly suggest you that spend one of your evenings and maybe even an early morning at the Grand Canyon Rim to experience the spectacular sunrise and sunset.

    Los Angeles – 1 extra night (3 in total)

    There’s so much to see and do in this amazing city… Take a tour of Los Angeles and Movie Stars Homes, the Hollywood Trolley Tour, the California Science Center, the Music Center, the Japanese American National Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Grand Avenue, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and more.  

    Route 66 Motorcycle – 14 Night Itinerary:

    Route 66 motorcycle – 21 night itinerary:, your route 66 motorcycle holiday includes.

    • Scheduled flights
    • UK & US Airport taxes
    • Accommodation – 14 or 21 nights
    • Eaglerider Class A Motorbike (model based on availability – models can be requested but not guaranteed – click for details)  to include 14 (or 21 day) rental, Unlimited Mileage, Tax, Environmental Surcharge
    • Helmets provided for drivers and passengers
    • Motorcycles come equipped with saddlebags for storage of personal items
    • Client orientation which covers all aspects of safe motorcycle operation, the maintenance responsibilities, local and state laws.
    • Exclusive travel documentation package including EZ-66 guide, personalised maps, itinerary and  driver directions along with all applicable tickets and vouchers

    Additional Experiences

    Our holidays are completely tailored to suit you. We would be happy to help you choose from a vast array of additional experiences that will enhance your North America holiday adventure.

    These might include:

    • Helicopter flights
    • Sporting event tickets
    • Horseback riding
    • Restaurant reservations

    There are many more, often quite unique to your chosen destination so please do ask.

    Personalised Documentation

    We prepare every travel pack individually. We want this to be the perfect travelling companion for your adventure and to offer you all the information you need. Your personally prepared ring-bound travel itinerary booklet is detailed and is designed to serve as a wonderful reminder of your experiences for years to come when you return.


    Route 66 Motorcycle – Guided

    Guided by a professional tour leader this Route 66 motorcycle tour is different to the self-guided itinerary but equally as amazing.


    Route 66 holidays

    Route 66 Fly Drive

    The classic way to experience Route 66, here you will follow the route that still passes through small towns offering a wonderful taste of a simpler time.

    Fly drive - USA & Canada

    10 Reasons to do Route 66

    This post was written by our client Emma Clarke who travelled with Complete North America on a Route 66 trip in January 2014.


    Route 66 attraction

    Route 66 Facts & FAQs

    Over 30 questions regarding general Route 66 facts and Complete North America quirks and what you get booking through us!

    Route 66 classic car

    Ultimate Route 66 Photo Gallery

    This photo gallery includes over 100 photos taken by our clients and staff alike along their travels on the Mother Road!

    Old cars on Route 66

    The Mother Road – Day by Day Route 66 Blog

    Our client Sue Wright has written a Route 66 blog detailing her day to day movements on her Route 66 holiday booked through Complete North America. You can read Part 2 here and Part 3 here

    By the time Route 66 had become America’s Main Street, it was intended to be replaced entirely by the new Interstate highway system. Some of it has. But Route 66 refused to die so other places still have the wonderful old trading posts, filling stations, motels, tourist traps, and diners that have been there for decades. Preservation groups are working diligently to preserve what remains of the authenticity and icons of America’s golden age of road trips. As you travel you can enjoy the scents of new mown hay and hickory smoke drifting from the pit barbeque chimneys. Taste a real American hamburger and a rich creamy malt prepared they way they used to be. Experience Sky City where Native Americans live exactly like they did four hundred years ago. Pull over along a deserted stretch in the Mojave and listen to the hum of millions of wheels that have passed this way.

    We invite you to take a once in a lifetime road trip and drive a real piece of American history, while staying in a collection of completely unique accommodations related to Route 66 lore. Savour and enjoy this truly authentic American experience.

    Below is a video detailing what you will see in Illinois from Chicago to Springfield 

    • Eaglerider Class A Motorbike (model based on availability – models can be requested but not guaranteed) to include 14 (or 21 day) rental, Unlimited Mileage, Tax, Environmental Surcharge


    Motorcycle Hire USA & Canada

    Check out all the vital information for our USA & Canada rental motorcycles below. Everything from classic Harley Davidson’s to Slingshots.

    Click on the motorcycle you would like to complete the enquiry form & tell us where you’d like to ride.

    Comprehensive support from start to finish, ride the dream, feel the wind in your face and live for adventure.

    North America Motorcycles

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    YAMAHA XV250

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    BWM R1200GS

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    “Thank you and your team for your support with the logistics for our Route 66 Road Trip. 

    We had an absolutely wonderful time and are so grateful for the opportunity.  The flights and car hire you arranged provided a seamless way of our getting on the road and seeing some amazing things – a trip of a lifetime.

    Thank you again.  We are already planning another trip – this time to the Southern States and we shall not hesitate to use your services once more.”

    The trip itself was beyond our wildest dreams , everything was absolutely superb. All the accommodation was first class and everywhere was truly original . It was great when we arrived at each hotel/motel which all had great facilities.

    I just wanted to thank you and the Complete North America team for your work in arranging our Route 66 Holiday in the USA. I could not have asked for a more efficient and well-organised plan which worked perfectly for us. The itinerary booklet was and excellent baseline to work from and everything just clicked into place.

    Make an Enquiry

    Call 0115 9610590.

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    Motorradreisen Route 66 Dream

    Reuthers Route 66 Dream / USA Guided Motorcycle Tour

    Motorcycle Tour Route 66 Dream

    A real "Dream Tour" is our 15-day Route 66 Guided motorcycle tour, where you will be cruising on and along the legendary mother road Route 66. This road trip combines the best parts of Route 66 with popular highlights along the route. Discover the great freedom on the endless highways of the American west in the saddle of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Visit fascinating natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley with its bizarre rock formations, and the Petrified Forest. During the Route 66 motorcycle tour, cozy biker bars and owner-managed restaurants with delicious American specialties await you. Get to know the culture of the Native Americans for one night at a Navajo reservation, and try your luck at one of the casinos in the glittering metropolis of Las Vegas. This Route 66 Guided motorcycle tour by Reuthers fulfills all your dreams! ...get your kicks on Route 66 - from east to west = the historical direction!

    The Route for the Route 66 Dream Motorcycle Tours

    Day 1: Chicago


    Welcome to Chicago. After the individual arrivals and the transfer from the airport to the hotel we will start off with a welcome drink and dinner and set the mood for our shared motorcycle tour.

    Day 2: Chicago > Springfield, IL

    Gemini Giant, Launching Pad, Wilmington

    Early in the morning we will pick up our Harley-Davidson motorcycles at the rental station and after a few safety tips, our Route 66 adventure starts. Around midday we will reach Wilmington with the Gemini Giant, a large fiberglass figure of the 1960's era. After an obligatory stop at the Dixie Truckers Home, we will end our first day in Spingfield/Illinois which was for many years the chosen home city of Abraham Lincoln, the president of the United States during the civil war.

    Day 3: Springfield, IL > St. Louis

    Gateway Arch, St. Louis

    Today we want to dedicate our day to the "Gateway to the West": the pioneer town St. Louis. The town's landmark is the more than 190 m high steel Gateway Arch. Inside, we will take trams to an observation platform to the top of the highest monument of the nation. The afternoon in St. Louis is free to your disposal, for dinner we will meet in downtown Lakelade's Landing.

    Day 4: St. Louis > Springfield, MO

    Meramec Caverns

    We deliberately want to do without the unnecessary challenges of confusing streets in the city, bad road conditions and misleading signs to the "Mother Road". We will travel some distances of the tour on the Route 66 and others on the Interstate. Today's highlight and absolute must are the Meramec Caverns. The famous limestone caves have been a tourist classic since the beginning of the Route 66 and served the outlaw Jesse James as a welcome hiding place from his pursuers.

    Day 5: Springfield, MO > Oklahoma City

    Route 66 Round Barn

    The motto of the day today is: ride, ride and ride namely through three states: Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. The latter is known through countless thunderstorms, the particularly striking red earth and for all Route 66 fans the probably longest continuous route on the Highway 66.

    Day 6: Oklahoma City > Amarillo

    Pony Bridge, Canadian River

    We will start our day with a real photo highlight: A bridge with 38(!) huge arches spanning the Canadian River. And the Route 66 museum in Clinton that we will visit is a memorial that is different to all others: each room is dedicated to a decade of the "Main Street of America". A further highlight on our tour is the next stop and overnight stay at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo.

    Day 7: Amarillo > Santa Fe

    Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo

    We continue our adventure tour on the Route 66 to the legendary Cadillac Ranch. As a reminder of the golden days of the Route 66 ten Cadillac's are buried vertically into the ground. Next stop is Adrian, the geo-mathematical center of the old Route 66. This is as important as crossing the equator. Brunch at Russell's Travel Center with its world class Car Museum rounds up the morning. At the end of our eventful day, we will spend the night in historic Santa Fe.

    Day 8: Santa Fe

    St. Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe

    Today is free to relax in downtown Santa Fe, buying souvenirs and enjoying cafe's and restaurants. A must to see is the St. Francis Cathedral next to the Plaza.

    Day 9: Santa Fe > Gallup

    Maggie's Diner, Madrid / Wild Hogs Movie

    This morning we want to check out the original film location of Maggie's Diner from the cult movie "Wild Hogs" with John Travolta in Madrid. After taking a group picture our tour takes us past Mesas, cottonwood trees and continues on the gentle winding road to Laguna Pueblo where the Spaniards built the mission church, which we will visit. Just in time for dinner, we will reach the hotel El Rancho in Gallup after riding several more beautiful miles through Indian Territory. The heydays are gone, but there once was a time when famous Hollywood stars met up here. Ronald Reagan slept in room 103; Humphrey Bogart in room 213, Doris Day in room 109, Kirk Douglas stayed in 105, Gregory Peck in 111. The Marx brothers resided in room 118, John Wayne recovered in room 100 after a long days ride and for Hermann the German room 101 is regularly reserved for the night.

    Day 10: Gallup > Chinle

    Monument Valley

    After a hearty breakfast in the "El Rancho" we will drive the former Route 666 to the North, straight through Navajo country. After some 95 appealing miles, we will arrive after passing through Shiprock and Teec Nos Pos to the Four Corners, the single point in the United States, where the boundaries of four states come together: Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. Another highlight on this motorcycle tour is Monument Valley. We will spend the night appropriately in the Navajo reservation near the Canyon de Chelly in Chinle.

    Day 11: Chinle > Flagstaff

    Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona

    Starting off in Chinle, the first stage leads us to the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert. The more interesting of the two natural wonders is the Petrified Forest, which was formed millions of years ago by a freak of nature. The northern part of the park, the Painted Desert, consists of sedimentary rocks that change color depending on the exposure to the sun going from red to orange to purple. On our journey towards the west ("Go West", is our phrase of the day!), we will pass the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook and cruise on to Winslow, Arizona to Winslow Corner, known from the song by the Eagles. Today's destination is Flagstaff which is located between the two Indian reservations of the Navajo and Hopi on the legendary Route 66. We will end the evening at the Museum Club that the locals call "The Zoo" and which is probably the best dance club between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles.

    Day 12: Flagstaff > Seligman

    Grand Canyon

    Today's highlight is the gigantic Grand Canyon - if you wish, enjoy a spectacular helicopter flight. After lunch we will cruise over Williams to Seligman. Here the long loop of the old Route 66 begins right up to the Californian border. Even the very old street layout is navigable along this beautiful section. Arriving in Seligman, we will first visit the founder of the "Historic Route 66 Association" at the Route 66 Visitors Center. We will certainly have the opportunity to meet the "Guardian Angel", Angel Delgadillo and perhaps somebody might be in the mood to receive one of his famous barber shaves. By the way, in his barber shop, you can find many Route 66 souvenirs - a true paradise for bargain hunters. In the evening we will set up our sleeping quarters at a typical Route 66 motel in order to get to know something very simple and rustic.

    Day 13: Seligman > Las Vegas

    Las Vegas, Nevada

    We will have breakfast today at Westside Lilo's Cafe, an original 66 restaurant owned by an expatriate German, who ensures that all the guests in Seligman are well fed. Through Kingman we continue on to Las Vegas / Nevada and directly on to the Las Vegas Boulevard. The accommodation is booked in the legendary The Mirage which is an ideal starting point for a stroll right on the Strip. Do whatever your heart desires: dine in the Hard Rock Cafe, visit one of the many world-class shows or dive into the nightlife of the city, the afternoon and evening are of course at your disposal.

    Day 14: Las Vegas > Barstow

    Route 66

    After a long night, we will start today our "Desert Tour". We will roll past exclusive hotels on the last leg of the Las Vegas Boulevard, and then head off to our day trip in the direction of Barstow. From Needles, California we head back to our Route 66, many refer to this as being the most beautiful part of the route. Other stops are the Sahara Oasis and Roy's Cafe in Amboy. Before we arrive in Barstow we will turn a few miles north - if time allows it - to visit an old silver mine in the Mojave Desert in the ghost town of Calico. In the still inhabited and lovingly renovated original Western town over a thousand adventurers once sought their fortune. If you want to you can pick up your very own personal Western photo. A beautiful day and a beautiful trip ends in Barstow. By the way in 1886, the town was named after the president of the Santa Fe railroad company. Barstow also managed to end up in the refrain of the Route 66 classic "Get your kicks".

    Day 15: Barstow > Santa Monica

    Santa Monica Pier

    The last day "on the road" starts today. From Barstow we will cruise the last miles on the Route 66 to Victorville and then take the Interstate straight to Los Angeles. After we have dropped off our Harley-Davidson motorcycles at the rental station, we will be transferred to Santa Monica Boulevard. Our Route 66 motorcycle tour ends here at the Pier of Santa Monica, where we will spend our last night near the promenade. During our final dinner we will reminisce about our dream journey.

    Learn more about this Guided Motorcycle Tour:

    What's included - pricing - dates.

    What's included: * The Original Tour - developed and organised by Reuthers * Reuthers Tour Guide - trained and multilingual * Rental Motorcycle for the Tour including third party and comprehensive insurance * Reuthers POMZEC© (Peace Of Mind Zero Excess Coverage) for the rental vehicle * 15x Accommodation Middleclass Hotels/Motels in shared Double Room * Reuthers Partner Vacation Program© (Escort Vehicle for Companions) * Luggage Transportation during the Tour * Secured Payment Certificate (Sicherungsschein) * Reuthers Tour Book with Itineraries and Tips * Reuthers Travel Lecture (in English) * Reuthers Welcome Drink * Welcome Dinner in Restaurant * Farewell Dinner in Restaurant * Fuel for the Tour * Transfers Airport > Hotel > Rental Station > Hotel > Airport * Entrance and Parking Fees * Reuthers Rewards"> Reuthers Rewards Best Value - NO Hidden Costs > Why Reuthers ?

    There are still places available

    Pricing: Guided: Rider own Motorcycle = USD 4795 Guided: Rider Rental Motorcycle = USD 7995 Guided: Passenger Motorcycle = USD 4495 Guided: Passenger Escort Vehicle = USD 4615 Twin Room extra charge (2 separate beds instead of 1 common bed) = USD 235 Single Room extra charge (instead of shared Double Room) = USD 835

    Optional Bookings: Additional Accommodation prior tour start in shared Double Room (1 common bed) = USD 95 Additional Accommodation prior tour start in shared Twin Room (2 separate beds) = USD 105 Additional Accommodation prior tour start in Single Room = USD 185 Additional Accommodation after the tour in shared Double Room (1 common bed) = USD 195 Additional Accommodation after the tour in shared Twin Room (2 separate beds) = USD 195 Additional Accommodation after the tour in Single Room = USD 375 Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee - Sightseeing on Day 1 including additional Accommodation prior tour start in shared Double Room (1 common bed) = USD 315 Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee - Sightseeing on Day 1 including additional Accommodation prior tour start in shared Twin Room (2 separate beds) = USD 345 Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee - Sightseeing on Day 1 including additional Accommodation prior tour start in Single Room = USD 395 Chicago Best Of - Sightseeing on Day 1 including additional Accommodation prior tour start in shared Double Room (1 common bed) = USD 315 Chicago Best Of - Sightseeing on Day 1 including additional Accommodation prior tour start in shared Twin Room (2 separate beds) = USD 345 Chicago Best Of - Sightseeing on Day 1 including additional Accommodation prior tour start in Single Room = USD 395 Grand Canyon Helicopter Flight = USD 245

    All pricing payable in US Dollar . 3% Early Bird Discount (booking more than 12 months prior tour start) 2% Golden Ager Discount (age at least 60 years prior tour start) 10% Group Discount (from 8 registrations made within one week, one common Payment of Balance) 2% Harley Owners Group Discount 2% BMW Motorcycle Owners Club Discount 2% Indian Motorcycle Riders Group Discount 2% Riders Association of Triumph Discount Please note: The Total Discount for all applicable Discounts is a maximum of 10%.

    Paying in the above tour currency is the cheapest way. If you prefer another currency - simply select:

    Your selected Currency

    Important note about  >   Pricing

    Please select from the popular > Harley-Davidson touring models

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    Motorcycle Tours and Rentals | Orange and Black

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    Route 66 Original

    Usa self-guided motorcycle tour.

    THE MOST FAMOUS ROAD TRIP IN THE WORLD A journey of discovery and nostalgia, an opportunity to take the back roads into a bygone era and discover how America travelled in the 20th century before the Interstate Highways. We’ve been sending riders down Route 66 longer than just about anyone and our Route 66 tour is probably the most famous motorcycle tour in the World. Experience the flair and charm of the old route, from the start in Chicago, Illinois all the way to the end in Santa Monica, California. Stop at museums and unique attractions, and get a great insight into the people and history of the USA. Visit wonderful old trading post filling stations, motels, and diners along the scenic “Mother Road”. Take your time and enjoy the scents of new mown hay and savour the taste of smoked hickory barbecue. Travel through ever-changing landscapes of small town America, the never-ending expanse of the Texas panhandle, the desolation of the Mojave Desert and majestic Grand Canyon National park. Take on the challenge of finding your way across America on your motorcycle, through its diverse and colourful scenery. Discover a side of America many travellers never see or experience on this iconic and celebrated route through America’s heartland.

    All self-guided tours include a GPS unit and personal daily GPX files

    route 66 bike trip

    — Grand Canyon — Chicago: Adams Street Route 66 start, Art Institute, Willis Tower, the blues! — Mojave Desert — Santa Fe, New Mexico – oldest state capital in USA — Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert — Crossing the Mississippi River — Seligman, Kingman and Oatman historic towns — Santa Monica Pier- the end of the Road — Small town America — Los Angeles

    Book with confidence. Our £££ prices are guaranteed!

    Arrive Chicago

    Not enough days available for the full tour? Why not do Route 66 Hemi from Albuquerque to Los Angeles in just 9 days! See guided itinerary and ask us for the self-guided price.

    On arrival at O’Hare Airport, take the hotel shuttle to your hotel. After check in, take in the entertainment, shops and bars nearby, and maybe check out your motorcycle. If you want to discover the “Windy City” of Chicago with all it has to offer, we suggest you arrive a day early and explore at leisure:

    Famous blues clubs, Navy Pier, Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), fine dining restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Take a stroll to the starting point of Historic Route 66 at East Adams St and South Michigan Ave.

    Chicago – Springfield, IL

    (200 miles)

    After breakfast, make your way to the motorcycle pick up and retrieve your ride for your Route 66 Original self-guided motorcycle tour. Next thing you know you’re riding down Historic Route 66 through the cities, small towns and farmlands of Illinois. Follow the Pontiac Trail, as Route 66 used to be known here, to the state capital of Springfield.

    Springfield – Rolla, MO

    (220 miles)

    Today you ride through the picturesque scenery of small town mid-America into the rolling hills of the Ozarks. Your morning begins by meandering through picturesque farming towns and countryside until you arrive at the Mississippi river, the border between Illinois and Missouri. Stop here for the Chain of Rocks Bridge which became a part of original Route 66 in 1936. After lunch, stop at the Missouri Route 66 State Park to learn more about the history of the route in the state. Afterwards, enjoy the hills and valleys twisting through the Ozarks to Jesse James’ hideout at Meramec Caverns. Finally arrive in Rolla for dinner and a good night’s sleep, now you’re only 24 hours from Tulsa!

    Oatman Highway on Route 66 Original Orange & Black tour

    Rolla – Tulsa, OK

    (310 miles)

    This morning the road twists, dips, and climbs through dense forests of oak, elm, hickory and redbud. Soon the hills, valleys and twisty roads gradually fade away as you ride through (another) Springfield, Joplin and Carthage until you reach Kansas Be sure to stop in either Galena or Baxter springs, considering there’s just under 14 miles of Route 66 in Kansas. Check out the old train depot in Galena, or the Route 66 welcome centre in Baxter Springs. Then you’ll ride into the gentle bends and hills of Eastern Oklahoma, and finally Tulsa. Enjoy a good night’s rest, it’s been a long but enjoyable day on your Route 66 self-guided motorcycle tour.

    Tulsa – Weatherford, OK

    (190 miles)

    Oklahoma has more miles of Route 66 than any other state, and in better condition. The majority of the day is spent riding the “Old 66” through pasture and prairie. Stop at the Route 66 Interpretive Centre in Chandler, the Round Barn in Arcadia, Seba Station Motorcycle Museum in Warwick, and ride the longest remaining stretch of the original alignments of the route. Further west you’ll ride through El Reno, over the mile-long pony truss bridge near Hydro and end up at your hotel in the ranching and college town of Weatherford.

    Weatherford – Amarillo, TX

    Start today at the Route 66 museum in Clinton, where you can learn more about the route and its importance in American history, and do a bit of souvenir shopping. Then it’s back on the road, passing over the great plains, through vast cattle ranches and small farming towns as you enter the Texas panhandle. Stop at the iconic art-deco U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, featured in the film “Cars” as Ramone’s Body Shop. Then you’re off across the plains for a well-deserved steak at the Big Texas Steak Ranch in Amarillo. The challenge here is to eat, or attempt to eat, the 72-oz (2 kg) steak dinner in an hour or less. If so it’s free. Are you courageous or crazy enough to try?!

    Harley's at Elk City on Route 66

    Amarillo – Santa Fe, NM

    (300 miles)

    First stop, the Cadillac Ranch, an ever-changing art exhibit started in 1974 by a group of eccentric artists called the “Ant farm”. Be sure to bring a can of spray paint, and let your inner hoodlum out and leave your mark on one of the cars (encouraged by the artists).  Then it’s off to Adrian, home of the Midpoint Café and your halfway point. After stopping for a coffee and the best pie on the route, you’ll leave the great plains and head into the natural splendour of the southwest. Riding through the wide open spaces of the high chaparral deserts and prairie into the Rocky Mountains. On your way keep an eye out for Pronghorn Antelope, mule deer and other wildlife. Follow the old Santa Fe cattle drive trail through Pecos National Historic Park and into beautiful Santa Fe, where you will spend the next two nights of your Route 66 self-guided motorcycle tour.

    Today is a day of rest and relaxation in one of the oldest and the highest, (2194 m) state capitals in the USA. Explore Santa Fe’s numerous art galleries, speciality shops and museums, all within easy walking distance of our hotel. Or roam around the beautiful downtown plaza’s unique combination of Native American and Spanish colonial architecture. If you want a gentle ride, we recommend the short visit to Taos. Lots of bends to ride as you take the valley road there and the alpine forest road back. Taos is famous as an artist colony and some beautiful art and native American crafts awaiting you. Be sure to sample the local restaurants selection of New Mexican cuisine, a fusion of Mexican and Native American foods.

    Santa Fe – Gallup, NM

    Time to get back on the road and out into the deserts of the southwest. Ride down into the Rio Grande valley to your first stop for lunch in Old Town Albuquerque. Then head west alongside the Navajo sandstone mesas, through the splendour of New Mexico’s natural beauty, ending the day in the old railroad town and Native American stronghold of Gallup. Be sure to stop by the historic El Rancho hotel for dinner and a look around the property.

    Mid point on Route 66 original motorcycle tour

    Gallup – Williams, AZ

    (240 miles)

    Today on your Route 66 self-guided motorcycle tour you head into Arizona’s spectacular deserts. The first stop is Painted Desert & Petrified Forest National Park, take your time riding through the park, stopping to take in its natural geologic multi-coloured hues and colours. Afterwards it’s a short ride into Holbrook to see the Wigwam Motel’s tepee-shaped rooms. Then it’s time for lunch and some time to “Take it Easy” with the Eagles, and “standin’ on the corner” in Winslow, Arizona.  Finally, continuing onward to your hotel in the quaint town of Williams, last Route 66 town by-passed by interstate 40 and gateway to the Grand Canyon.

    (ride out, 120 miles )

    Today is Grand Canyon day! You can take the train from Williams or ride the 55 miles to the canyon’s south rim. Here you’ll have time to explore the national park’s numerous viewpoints and attractions, and be sure to go to Desert view on the Eastern edge of the park for the best views from the stone tower. We recommend a helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view and to appreciate just how massive it really is. Take a sunset ride back to your hotel. This will be a day you’ll always remember!

    Williams – Needles, CA

    (250 miles)

    Start the day by taking a short ride through the town of Ash Fork, down Crookton Road into the small town of Seligman for the best breakfast on the route at Lilo’s Westside Café. Be sure to give yourself some time for shopping at its many Route 66 shops. Afterwards, make your way to Hackberry and Kingman, the self-described ‘Capital of Route 66’, for lunch. Then comes what we like to call the ‘curviest’ part of the Route, Stigraves Pass via the Oatman Highway, a twisting & turning roller-coaster ride over the Black Mountains. Stop in Oatman to see one of the few remaining authentic old west gold mining towns. Bring some carrots or buy some alfalfa cubes from one of the local shops to feed the local burros, left behind when the miners abandoned their claims.  Get cooled off before descending into the scorching heat of the Colorado river’s Mohave valley and Needles, California.

    Petrified Forest on Orange & Black's Route 66 self-guided motorcycle tour

    Needles – Victorville, CA

    (175 miles)

    You start the day by riding around the Spirit Mountains into the dramatic & desolate hot Mojave Desert. Take a break in the oasis in Fenner before making your way to Amboy, located in the middle of nowhere, to check out Roy’s Motel and Café. Continue on to a lunch stop in Barstow and then onward to see Elmer’s Bottle Tree ranch. After a hot day riding through the desert your hotel’s refreshing pool beckons you to take a cool dip and relax before your last day of riding tomorrow.

    Victorville – Los Angeles

    (115 miles )

    Your big adventure comes to an end today with your ride to Los Angeles. Much of the road has been lost, but the end of the Mother Road, Santa Monica Pier, is worth the wait. Park your motorcycle, have some lunch on the pier, and then dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean, this really is journey’s end! Take your time going to the end marker plaque at Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, and then wander through downtown Santa Monica. All that remains, the ride to the motorcycle drop-off and saying goodbye to your bike for the past two weeks. Get to your hotel and enjoy a nice celebratory dinner and drinks and some well-earned rest, You made it all the way on your Route 66 self-guided motorcycle tour!

    Depart Los Angeles

    Time to pack your bags and head home, filled with the experiences and memories. We hope to see you back for another great tour. This is end of the road – for now!

    Total Distance c. 2700 miles

    Dates & prices, per person prices, motorcycle surcharges:.

    Band A add £zero per bike Band B add £355 per bike Band C POA per trike

    Surcharges may also apply to all above prices for public holidays, events and conventions.

    Don’t forget to book tour optional activities.. .

    Grand Canyon 45 minute spirit helicopter ride: ‘Breathtaking’, ‘an absolute must do’ and ‘definitely worth the money’ say our customers who have experienced this optional, but exceptional, 45-50 minute flight. Your Canyon Spirit tour departs from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon taking you over the beautiful Kaibab National Forest, home to the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest. Upon reaching the edge of the canyon, the South Rim gently drops away. The North Rim and eastern end of the canyon come into view. This is one of the most spectacular views in the entire canyon! Price: £290 per person.

    Harley-Davidson Museum: A fabulous interactive showcase of more than 100 years of Harley-Davidson’s rich motorcycle history. Price: £31 per person.

    Pre-bookable extras

    What's included & what's not.

    Optional pre-bookable extras: • Flights (we are an ATOL bonded, UK company) • Specialist Travel insurance for motorcyclists – • Optional CDW (VIP) & liability (SLI) motorcycle insurances • Roadside assistance • Motorcycle model guarantee • TriGlide trike • Other makes and models of motorcycle • Helmets and riding gear • Car/van hire • Excursions/activities • UK airport hotel and parking • Pre and post-tour accommodation and tours • Pre and post-tour motorcycle hire • Hotel/dealer transfers • US Airport/hotels transfer • Additional activities • Custom/private tours

    Our Accommodation

    Chicago, Crowne Plaza O’Hare Springfield, State House Inn Rolla, Best Western Coachlight Inn Tulsa, Best Western Plus Downtown Weatherford, Best Western Plus Amarillo, Holiday Inn Amarillo East Santa Fe, Courtyard by Marriott (2 nts) Gallup, Best Western Plus Gallup Inn & Suites Williams, Grand Canyon Railway Hotel (2 nts) Needles, Best Western Colorado River Inn Victorville, Comfort Suites Los Angeles, Holiday Inn LAX

    Our Motorcycles

    For our selection of motorcycles please see our  USA Motorcycle Rentals  page.

    Ask a Question?

    Please call us on 01256 771770  or email us using the form below:

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    Orange & Black, 16 High Street, Overton, Hampshire. RG25 3HA England

    Please call us on 01256 771770 or email us using the form below:

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    Route 66 Motorcycle Hire

    Interested in hiring a bike and riding The Mother Road?

    Route 66 One-Way Rental

    14 Days Hire  ·   Pick Up: Chicago  ·  Drop Off: Los Angeles Rate Varies Depending on Motorcycle Exchange rates have been very volatile – we strive to provide the most competitive rates on the internet!

    Basic insurance required for you to legally ride is included in the price above. Optional additional insurances which cover theft, damage to the motorcycle, rental reimbursement and addition incident coverage is available, click here for more details .

    The great thing about renting a bike and riding Route 66 is that you choose where you stop and for how long. There are so many things to see that it would take several months of riding 66 to take it all in. When you do a Guided Tour with a large group, stops are planned, but if you’re on a Route 66 Motorcycle Hire, you can be spontaneous. So if you see an abandoned fuel station and want to explore it, or want to relax for a few hours with a good book at a vintage diner, it’s no worry.

    There are a large variety of motorcycles to choose from: Harleys, Honda Gold Wing, BMW RT & GS, and several Triumph Motorcycles. And you can rent one-way, meaning you pick up in Chicago and drop off in Los Angeles, no round trip required. You can even choose to do a reverse 66, from Los Angeles to Chicago.

    We’ve ridden Route 66 with no accommodations booked, riding until we were tired or found somewhere cool. It’s a real adventure when you have no itinerary.

    Hire rates vary depending on the model of motorcycle, number of days rented, time of year and optional insurances chosen.

    We’ve also put together a 13 day hire special with EagleRider, plenty of time to enjoy Route 66 and take a detour to Las Vegas or perhaps the Grand Canyon. The Lost Adventure is an Official EagleRider Tour Operator, carrying EagleRider’s full line of rentals, as well as their Guided and Self-Drive Tours.

    route 66 bike trip

    View Route 66 Photos & Videos


    Check Guided Tour prices with EagleRider

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    Check Self Guided prices with EagleRider

    route 66 bike trip

    Check Bike Hire prices with EagleRider

    Read stories and riding tips for route 66.

    route 66 bike trip

    Get your eats on Route 66!

    route 66 bike trip

    50 Tips For Riding A Motorcycle Across America

    route 66 bike trip

    Keep Your Bike and Gear Safe While Touring

    route 66 bike trip

    Tips For Safe Group Riding

    The Route 66 on a Bicycle: Do It Now, Don't Wait Too Long!

    Katrin Humal

    Volker Schmidt alias voschix is one of the most notable Mapillary cyclists. Originally from Germany and having also lived in the UK and California, he currently resides in Italy in the city of Padova. He is currently retired and invests a lot of time in FIAB (the Italian Federation of Friends of the Bicycle), different bicycle tourism projects, and OpenStreetMap, where he mainly improves map data related to cycling.

    Volker also takes photos and videos of his cycling, being one of the early users of GoPro, combined with Garmin GPS devices. He uses Mapillary images to improve the detail and quality of OSM for cyclists. He appreciates that Mapillary imagery can be and is taken on roads where car-operated cameras don't go, and has a licence compatible with editing OSM. Details to add include type of road, estimated width of road, number of lanes, type of surface, smoothness of surface, illumination, obstacles, road crossings, road signs, danger spots, traffic density, etc.

    Photo Slide 3-1

    The Route 66 tour

    Volker calls himself "not a racer, but more an occasional tourist on two man-powered wheels". He took a liking to cycling relatively recently and preferred mountain hiking before that. The new hobby has led him to participate a number of bicycle tours in Tunisia, Norway, the Baltics, Western Europe, and California. In 2014, he used OpenStreetMap and some related tools to design a tour from Venice to Amsterdam. While the tour was a success for the group in general, Volker himself ended up with a dislodged shoulder 5 days in, that forced him to quit and also put him out of cycling for months.

    Last year, he really put his bicycle touring abilities to test by joining the Route 66 tour across the US, arranged by the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA). He knew about ACA already before and even helped them out by armchair-mapping routes as an OSM volunteer. The Route 66 tour attracted Volker because of being self-contained (that means no support cars, just autonomous riding during the day) and by offering a chance to go to totally new places for him.

    "Maybe one additional reason for signing up for this was my complete lack of personal experience of most of the territory of the USA. I had lived in Southern California, travelled in New Mexico and Arizona, and had been on several occasions to the East Coast, but the huge lands in between I had no idea about."

    So he geared up with tenting equipment and a new bicycle, and defied the slight nervousness he felt about his lack of training and experience from this kind of touring. But his solo test ride from Padova to the Dolomites (about 600 km) with this setup went really well. And thus, he was ready for the tour!

    Photo Slide 4-1

    Quick facts:

    • Self-supported group tour, organised by Adventure Cycling Association
    • Start: Chicago, IL, 11 September 2016
    • End: Santa Monica, CA, 5 November 2016
    • 47 riding days
    • 55 days total
    • 20 hostel/motel nights
    • 35 camping nights
    • Total riding distance 4,000 km
    • 81.4 km average per riding day
    • Accumulated ascent 22 km
    • Number of participants: at the start 15, at the end 10, plus tour leader
    • Composition (at the start): 10 USA, 1 NZ, 2 UK, 1 NL, 1 IT
    • Mapillary images collected: 312,760

    Highlights from Route 66

    When talking about his experiences from the tour, Volker notes, "It was very interesting and in many respects different from what I expected, both in the positive and the negative." Here is a selection of what he thought were the best things about the tour.

    • The Ancient Way Cafe and camp ground at El Morro in New Mexico

    Photo Slide 12-2

    • The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona

    Photo Slide 12-3

    • The mile-long freight trains that move like slow, gigantic snakes through the country (and hoot incessantly also throughout the night)

    Photo Slide 13-4

    • The diners with their unhealthy food and kind servers
    • The starry night skies in the desert
    • Unexpected wildlife of all sorts, among them spiders as big as your palm; luckily we did not see any bears, but we often heard the coyotes
    • The many friendly people whom we met along the way, travellers and locals

    Photo Slide 20-9

    Challenges along the way

    But there were, of course, also hardships on the way. "The biggest challenges were long stretches without supplies, aggravated by steady strong headwind. The tour leader changed the program to mitigate, but it was hard, nevertheless. A close second were some busy stretches of freeway we were forced to cycle on for lack of alternative roads. The worst were the I40 stretch around the Barstow military base in California (the old Route 66 goes through the camp) and the Cajon Pass on I15. Both relatively short stretches, but really dangerous because of the heavy and fast truck traffic."

    Photo Slide 15-6a

    "With the exception of the freeways, road surface quality was generally poor. Particularly annoying are potholes and transverse and longitudinal fissures (the junctions of the original concrete plates, which in many cases are still present or are hidden only under a thin layer of asphalt). The debris on the freeway shoulders resulted in a heavy toll in the form of flat tires plus the need to check three times per day the tires for the tiny needles that you pick up and which work their way through the rubber of your tires. Some of us had five and more flats per day. I was really lucky and had only two flats during the entire tour (with my brand-new €80-a-piece flat-proof tires)!"

    Photo Slide 15-6b

    "Not to forget the position of the camp sites. Because their main clients are the oversized American RVs, they are mostly located near freeway exits, i.e. near the freeway, and also near the railway, as the freeway was built alongside the railway. We often had the free choice of reasons why we could not sleep, because of the truck noise from the freeway, or from the hooting of the railway engines. Then there were long stretches of flat country with nothing in particular, which were simply long and just plain boring."

    "And there was one event that was beautiful and frightening at the same time: in Clinton, OK, we watched two nearby big thunderstorm systems that were at first beautifully illuminated by the evening sun and then, in the dark, were illuminated internally by fireworks of lightning strikes. The snag was that one of them was only 15 km away and had a nice tornado attached to its belly (so they said on the local TV station that I was unlucky enough to watch in a convenience store, buying a soda, with the effect that I did not sleep very well during that night)."

    Photo Slide 17-7

    The bottom line

    All in all, Volker notes that the tour really let him get to know the parts of America that he had not visited or lived in. He had expected it to be different, but he notes that the differences turned out to be even larger than he had thought.

    "I had seen the deserts of the West, but these huge stretches of nearly empty and, in many cases, abandoned land in the centre of the continent, I had not imagined in this form. I was surprised about the absence of people, of infrastructure, of structures of education and non-religious culture. I was also surprised about the number of churches of different denominations in even the smallest, half-abandoned settlement. The most exotic church I saw was a Bar-none Cowboy Church."

    He really appreciates the new experiences from the trip, such as touring with people that you don't know from before, travelling long stretches on your own but as part of a group, improving your riding technique and physical capabilities, and learning to really like your tent! Most of all, seeing a different side of America than what you are used to underlined how important it is to always be prepared to review your judgements.

    Volker's final suggestion is this: "Do it, if you have the chance, and do it now. Don't wait too long. You don't become younger. I realise now that I started bicycle touring a bit late (in 2008 at the age of 64 years)."

    Photo Slide 25-13

    The practical side of documenting a bicycle tour

    Volker covered his whole trip with GPS tracks and photos and hopes that in addition to the amazing physical tour maps that ACA provides, they will be able to use this material to further improve documenting and defining the future US Bicycle Route 66 which is part of the ambitious project of creating a fully signposted and documented US-wide long-distance bicycle route network.

    Route 66 Mapillary coverage

    • When using a smartphone, be prepared for mounting issues. A "sausage mount" or a chest mount might perform better than a standard handlebar mount in terms of shaking and vibration effects.

    Sausage mount

    • With such extensive use, a plastic mount is also likely to give in so have backups and secure your phone so it couldn't fall to the ground. You can also try reinforcing the Mapillary mount.

    Mapillary mount reinforced

    • Prepare your battery setup. Also consider that you might not have a recharging opportunity every night, and a normal charging device will not recharge a 15Ah battery pack overnight.
    • It may make sense to mount a second, rearwards-looking smartphone/camera on the bicycle to take photos facing forward and backward at the same time.
    • If you have the chance, using an action camera likely provides better photo quality as well as handles vibrations better. If it's mounted on the bicycle helmet it also gives you a higher viewing position and the possibility to point the camera easily in different directions. (Note that sometimes it might also be a pitfall that the camera always turns with your head.)
    • A separate GPS device often provides better GPX tracks than your smartphone.
    • Think about the suitable capture frequency for you to keep your storage space and power consumption within reasonable limits.
    • You can consider using the reduced file size option on the Android app, but remember that this comes on the account of lower resolution of the images which might make it harder to get all the details from them later.

    So, now you know all the tips—where will your next big bicycle ride be? Do you have any tips or experiences you'd like to share? Comment below or come to our forum . Happy cycling!

    The Route 66 ☰

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    Rent a Motorcycle

    Last Updated: 26.Jan.2024 . By Austin Whittall

    Motorcycle Rental for your Route 66 Road Trip

    All you need to know about renting a motorcycle : Riding along Route 66 on a motorcycle is a unique experience. If you don't own motorbike, you can rent one for your Biking road trip along US 66; this page has some tips and advice on motorcycle rental and provides some useful links to online reservation agencies so you can rent a bike.

    Rid your bike down Route 66 road from Chicago IL and Santa Monica CA!

    Motorcycle and behind it Roy’s Cafe neon sign

    Table of Contents

    Index to this page:

    Motorcycle Rental Agencies

    Tips and suggestions for renting a motorcycle, what do motorbike rentals include, costs and discounts, motorcycle rental requirements, additional comments.

    These are the leading U.S. motorbike Rental Agencies where you can find and rent your motorcycle:

    Rent your Motorbike

    Riders share.

    This is an interesting option as it is a peer-to-peer rental platform:

    Twisted Road

    Another peer-to-peer rental option is

    More options

    • Hertz Ride Motorcycle Rentals -
    • Eagle Rider -

    Read before you rent a motorbike is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

    Custom Harley motorcycle

    A Custom Harley Motorcycle.

    Embarking on a motorcycle ride along Route 66 is an adventure in itself. For most American and Canadian motorcyclists it is not too complicated, they can simply get on their bikes and ride.

    But for those Americans who don't own a motorcycle or for the international visitors longing to ride along U.S. 66, it means that they must rent a motorbike.

    Below we offer some tips on renting a motorcycle and understanding the options and choices that have to be made during the motorcycle rental process.

    Rental agencies offer different models of Honda, BMW or Harley-Davidson motorcycles, most of them are passenger friendly. In general, the rental services include the following (you should however check the details with each rental company):

    • A daily rental fee with unlimited mileage
    • Additional insurance and waiver coverage
    • Complimentary Helmets for rider and passenger (but if you can bring your own which should be DOT certified; it would be better for both fitment and comfort).
    • Cable lock and security locking system
    • A 24 ⁄ 7 Emergency contact phone number
    • Storage for your luggage
    • Shuttle service to and from the rental location.

    a Harley at sunset

    Reserve in advance to so that you can ensure the availability of your choice motorcycle make and model.

    These conditions may vary from one motorcycle rental company to another:

    Group Discounts

    Riding with your friends is a unique experience, and motorcycle rental companies offer Group discounts for groups of typically 3 or more bikes rented together.

    • Some companies allow you to reserve your motorbike and pay upon pick-up, while others require full payment at the time of booking.
    • Rents are calculated with unlimited mileage, on 24 hour increments. Rentals of 7 or more days may have a lower daily fee. Group rates are also offered.
    • Upgrades and additional insurance or extras can be added later and paid at the pick-up locations.
    • A Refundable security deposit at the time of rental is also necessary (think +$1,000). It is reimbursed to you when your return the motorcycle on time and free of damage.
    • Verify the Deposit and Cancellation policies of the motorcycle rental companies. You may not get a full refund if you cancel with less than a 30 day notice.
    • Also check the "no-show" policy, if you arrive late you may not find your bike as it may be rented to other takers.

    Return customers, members of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) or of AAA, as well as Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) are offered discounts by some rental companies (between 5 and 15%).

    Extra charges

    As with cars, One-Way rentals are possible but extra charges do apply.

    Late return of motorcycles with or without prior notice may incur in extra charges. You should notify your rental company if you will be arriving late.

    Insurance is fundamental, do not ride without it.

    Check with your insurance company to see if they cover your motorcycle rental. It is infrequent for automobile insurance policies to cover rented motorcycles. Credit cards that do cover car rental insurance do not cover motorcycle rentals. Maybe your motorcycle insurance covers rented ones. Do your homework or buy the extra insurance provided by rental companies.

    You can purchase Supplemental Liability insurance in addition to the Basic coverage offered by the rental companies. It covers the renter, passenger and offers third party liability coverage.

    Some theft and damage insurance or waiver options may cover some or part of Roadside Assistance Service. Check with the rental company.

    The limited liability waivers offer coverage if theft or damage takes place; in those cases the renter pays only up to a given limit per occurrence of theft or damage to the motorcycle. For instance $1,000 or $ 2,000.

    Roadside Assistance and Tire Puncture

    Check what type of coverage is offered. A dead battery because you left the lights on or a flat tire are a real headache, towing or mechanical breakdown can ruin your trip.

    International visitors should also consider taking Travel Insurance for personal medical, personal property and trip interruption coverage.

    Damages caused by negligence or illegal use of the motorcycle (i.e. driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) void waivers and may render insurance coverage invalid.

    a side view in black and white of a Harley Davidson motorcycle

    To be able to rent a motorcycle you must have a valid motorcycle license from your state or country of origin, and you must be over 25 years of age.

    There is no age limit for passengers, however the passenger must be able to reach the passenger foot pegs or floorboards of the bike. For passengers under 18, a Parent or Guardian must sign a liability waiver.

    A major credit card is needed, and it will have to be able to cover the security deposit.

    Big motorbikes

    You should be able to handle the motorcycle that you rent: large or heavyweight and powerful motorcycles are not for beginners. A minimum of 2 years riding motorcycles over 1,000 cc is necessary. Ask before renting. advertisement

    Restrictions to travel may apply (i.e. crossing international borders), check with the reservations agent.

    After hour drop off may not be possible. Check and make sure.

    Help I don't know this Motorcycle

    For those riding completely new or different motorcycles, there is usually an orientation course on braking, engine starting and cutoff, operation of the motorcycle and more.

    You should check if there is a cost for an additional driver, maybe you and your passenger want to switch places on the road.

    You receive your motorcycle with a full tank of fuel and must return it with a full tank, otherwise refueling charges may apply.

    Some rental companies have stores so that you can buy extra gear, check what is available and the prices before you start your trip, it may be convenient to buy some items upon arrival.

    Motorcycle clothing may or may not be available for rental or purchase, size availability may be limited. It is better to check in advance. Bring your sweatshirts, T-shirts, bandannas, gloves...

    GPS systems are usually available for motorcycles (If you bring your own electronic devices or GPS you may have to request permission to install them).

    Lockable saddlebags or storage are usually available (Do not leave valuables or items stored in your motorcycle overnight or when you are away from it for extended periods of time).

    Rain suits may not be available for rental. Helmets with communication devices may not be available either. Check with the rental company.

    Some companies will let you ship them your riding gear and can also ship it back to you (at a charge). They may also offer storage for the souvenirs you buy on the road.

    Luggage shipping service for One-Way Rentals may also be available.

    Safety always comes first, so you and your passenger must wear a certified helmet at all times while riding your motorcycle.

    If your motorbike has mechanical problems or if you get a flat tire, park in a safe spot, away from the road and call for help.

    a motorcycle with Road Trip gear

    More Useful Information about Route 66

    • How long is Route 66?
    • Where is Route 66?
    • Can you still drive the entire Route 66?
    • Where does Route 66 start and end?
    • Is Route 66 worth driving?
    • Brick paved segments on Route 66
    • Is Route 66 dangerous for tourists?
    • 10 Reasons to go on a road trip
    • Why is Route 66 so famous? advertisement

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    Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, California by Perla Eichenblat

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    Road Trip Bucket List: 12 Major Cities To Stop At Along Route 66

    • Route 66 offers a rich history and iconic attractions, from the skyscrapers of Chicago to the beaches of Santa Monica.
    • Major cities along Route 66, such as St. Louis, Springfield, and Tulsa, are filled with cultural landmarks and interesting museums.
    • Nature enthusiasts will enjoy stops like Amarillo and Flagstaff, which offer outdoor activities and breathtaking natural scenery.

    A journey along the legendary Route 66 is one of the most famous road trips in the US , offering a glimpse of the rich history and captivating allure of America's iconic highway. From the bustling streets of Chicago to the sun-kissed beaches of Santa Monica, the route is peppered with cities that are sure to make one pause, explore, and soak in their distinctive flavors.

    This article lists some of the major cities to visit along Route 66 to make one's journey even more memorable. So, get ready to hit the road and discover epic cities and towns through the heart of America, where the spirit of adventure meets nostalgia.

    UPDATE: 2023/12/01 16:48 EST BY NOAH STAATS

    There Are Even More Stops Along Route 66 To Visit!

    This post has been refreshed with two additional cities along Route 66 to visit, as well as things to do per existing city on this road trip. Remember to get gas before entering remote areas, pack plenty of water, and be safe!

    Related: The Best Stops Along Route 66, Ranked

    Chicago, Illinois

    The starting point of route 66 is a must for its iconic skyscrapers, world-class museums, and famous parks.

    Located in the northeastern part of Illinois, on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, the major tourist destination of Chicago, Illinois , is the starting point of Route 66 and the third-largest city in the United States. The city is known for its impressive skyline, featuring iconic buildings such as the Willis Tower, the John Hancock Center, and the Tribune Tower.

    Not only is Chicago where Route 66 starts, but the city is also home to many world-class museums and cultural institutions, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Field Museum of Natural History. Other popular attractions in Chicago include the Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and Wrigley Field, the historic home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

    • Things to do : The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, Wrigley Field, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Cloud Gate, Navy Pier

    St. Louis, Missouri

    See the gateway arch and tons of notable attractions, from botanical gardens to zoos and museums.

    Located in the eastern part of Missouri, St. Louis is one of the best stops on Route 66 and is the largest city in the state. The city is known for its iconic Gateway Arch, rising at 630 feet, and is the tallest man-made monument in the United States. Other notable attractions in the city include the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and the St. Louis Zoo, which is home to over 18,000 animals of 700 species.

    St. Louis also has a rich history and many cultural landmarks, such as the historic Union Station, which is now a shopping and entertainment complex; the Old Courthouse; and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, famous for its stunning mosaics.

    • Things to do : The Gateway Arch, St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, Forest Park, City Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, Citygarden Sculpture Park, Grant's Farm

    Springfield, Missouri

    Enjoy history, museums, and landmarks linked to route 66, including the route 66 car museum.

    Located southwestern part of the state, the city of Springfield, Missouri, is known for its rich history, museums, and landmarks that are linked to Route 66. One of the most popular attractions in Springfield is the Route 66 Car Museum, showcasing a collection of classic cars and motorcycles from the 1920s to the 1960s.

    Other Route 66 landmarks in Springfield include the Rail Haven Motel and the Rock Fountain Court, a restored 1940s-era motor court now used as a vacation rental. Another highlight of the city is the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield and Visitor Center, featuring exhibits and artifacts from the Civil War, offering visitors a 5-mile driving tour and several hiking trails.

    • Things to do : Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, Dickerson Park Zoo, Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, Discovery Center of Springfield, Fantastic Caverns, Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden

    Related: 10 Things You Would Never Think To See On Route 66

    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Known for art deco architecture, tulsa offers historic landmarks, museums, and cultural attractions.

    Tulsa, Oklahoma is worth visiting when considering places on Route 66 to stop at; it's a vibrant and dynamic city known for its rich history, cultural attractions, thriving arts scene, and art deco architecture, which can be seen throughout the city. One of the most popular attractions in Tulsa is the Philbrook Museum of Art, housed in a 1920s-era mansion and featuring a collection of over 14,000 works of art from around the world.

    Other cultural attractions in Tulsa include the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and the Woody Guthrie Center, which celebrates the life and legacy of the famous folk singer and songwriter. Tulsa is also home to several historic landmarks and museums, such as the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, showcasing the history of the city and the state.

    • Things to do : Center of the Universe, Golden Driller Statue, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Zoo, Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium, Woodie, Guthrie Center, Tulsa Performing Arts Center

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    See old west attractions and historic landmarks reflecting this city's role as a prominent route 66 transportation hub.

    Nestled in the central part of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City is among the best cities along Route 66 to visit; it's the state capital, offering a mix of urban attractions and historic landmarks reflecting its role as a major transportation hub on Route 66. One of the highlights of the city is the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, which celebrates the history and culture of the American West.

    Oklahoma City is also home to several historic landmarks and museums, such as the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and the Oklahoma Railway Museum, showcasing the history of rail travel in the state. Additionally, the city offers a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues.

    • Things to do : Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, Oklahoma City Zoo, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Factory Obscura: Mix-Tape, Museum of Osteology

    Check out the many other attractions and things to do in Oklahoma City when making a stop here along Route 66.

    Amarillo, Texas

    Stop at the second-largest canyon in the us and see one of the quirkiest attractions on route 66, cadillac ranch.

    Amarillo, Texas, is a unique and interesting city on Route 66, famed for its unique attractions, western heritage, and outdoor activities. One of the most popular attractions in Amarillo is the Cadillac Ranch, a public art installation featuring ten Cadillacs buried nose-down in the ground.

    Another popular attraction in Amarillo is the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the second-largest canyon in the United States, offering hiking, camping, and mountain biking opportunities. The city also hosts the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo every September, including livestock shows, carnival rides, and a PRCA rodeo.

    • Things to do : The Big Texan Steak Ranch & Brewery, Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo Botanical Gardens, American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, Amarillo Museum of Art, Texas Air & Space Museum, Don Harrington Discovery Center

    Related: The History Of Route 66, And Why You Should Be Visiting Its Museums

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    See spanish colonial homes and take a scenic ride to the top of sandia peak for mountain and desert views.

    Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico, popular for its vibrant culture, unique architecture, and scenic natural surroundings. The city is yet another one of the U.S Route 66 major cities to visit, home to several historic landmarks and museums, such as the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the Albuquerque Museum, featuring exhibits on the art, history, and culture of the region.

    One of the most popular attractions in Albuquerque is the Sandia Peak Tramway, taking visitors on a scenic ride up to the top of Sandia Peak, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and desert landscape. Albuquerque is also known for its unique architecture, particularly its adobe buildings and Spanish colonial-style homes.

    • Things to do : ABQ BioPark Zoo, Petroglyph National Monument, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Explora Science Center and Children's Museum of Albuquerque

    The ultimate guide to Albuquerque is an ideal read for those stopping in this city along Route 66 and who want to make an adventure of their stay.

    Flagstaff, Arizona

    Surrounded by coconino national forest and the san francisco peaks, this historic town is an outdoor haven.

    Located in northern Arizona, surrounded by the Coconino National Forest and adjacent to the San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff is a city with plenty of things to do and is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, stunning natural scenery, and historic landmarks. One of the highlights of the city is the Lowell Observatory, allowing visitors to take guided tours of the observatory and view exhibits on astronomy and space exploration.

    Flagstaff is one of the top cities on Route 66 to visit for road trippers. Still, it's also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with numerous opportunities for hiking, camping, and mountain biking in the surrounding mountains and forests. The city is also home to the Arizona Snowbowl, a ski resort offering downhill skiing and snowboarding in the winter and scenic chairlift rides in the summer.

    • Things to do : Lowell Observatory, Museum of Northern Arizona, Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Downtown Flagstaff, Coconino National Forest, Arizona Snowbowl

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Enjoy art galleries, mexican and native american culture, and mountain views.

    One major city to stop in as the state capital of New Mexico is Santa Fe. Known for having stunning mountain views, art galleries lining the streets, and delicious Mexican cuisine, Santa Fe is truly a hidden gem. When getting off Route 66, you'll be welcomed by endless hotels, shopping, hiking, and Native American / Mexican culture to keep everyone busy.

    New Mexico is also in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, giving it a backdrop worth snapping a photo of. After all, they don't call New Mexico The Land of Enchantment for nothing. Santa Fe is a must-see while driving this Wild West route.

    • Things to do : Santa Fe Plaza, Meow Wolf Santa Fe, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture

    Las Vegas, New Mexico

    Explore ancient puebloan settlements, spanish colonial buildings, a historic old town, and nature parks.

    Las Vegas in New Mexico (not to be confused with Vegas in Nevada) is a charming historic city with many attractions and cultural landmarks, known for its 19th-century architecture and thriving arts and culture scene.

    One of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas in New Mexico is the Historic Plaza, a tree-lined square surrounded by buildings dating back to the 1800s. In fact, the Plaza Hotel in this historic square has been used frequently as a filming location. Visitors can take guided tours of the area, view exhibits on local history and culture, and visit numerous art galleries.

    New Mexico's Las Vegas is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with several parks and natural areas, such as the Pecos National Historical Park, featuring ruins of ancient Puebloan settlements and Spanish colonial-era buildings.

    • Things to do : City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial, Roughrider Antiques, Storrie Lake State Park, Dwan Light Sanctuary, El Zocalo Gallery

    Related: The Best Attractions On Route 66 That Are Worth Stopping Off For

    San Bernardino, California

    Stop in this californian city with desert vibes blended with lakes, forests, and modern metropolitan appeal.

    The next big city to stop in while traveling along Route 66 is San Bernardino, California, which offers a desert energy mixed with a metropolitan area. The city is east of Los Angeles and boasts San Bernardino National Forest and Big Bear Lake. These are both nature spots that beckon travelers from across the world, so there's no reason not to come to visit.

    Summer can be warmer here, so it's best to check out San Bernardino towards fall, winter, or spring. In the worst case, make a quick detour to Los Angeles and see the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

    • Things to do : San Manuel Stadium, San Bernardino National Forest, San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum, Joshua Tree National Park, Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernardino County Museum

    Santa Monica, California

    The end point of route 66 has beaches and the iconic santa monica pier filled with family attractions.

    Last but not least, Santa Monica, California, is another one of the major Route 66 cities to visit. In fact, it's the end point of the route, and it's clear the road has saved what is perhaps its most epic destination until last since Santa Monia is one of the best stops on a Route 66 road trip , found just west of Los Angeles. The city is known for its beaches, oceanfront parks, and lively pier, making it a popular destination for visitors from around the world, especially families with children.

    One of the popular highlights of the city is the Santa Monica Pier, dating back to 1909, featuring an amusement park, arcade games, and numerous restaurants. Additionally, Santa Monica is home to various beautiful beaches and oceanfront parks, such as Palisades Park and Tongva Park, offering stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding hills. On a Route 66 map, this is the final point, but travelers can also do it in reverse and start in Santa Monica, too.

    • Things to do : Santa Monica Pier, Downtown Santa Monica, Palisades Park, Pacific Park, Annenberg Community Beach House, Tongva Park, Santa Monica State Beach

    Road Trip Bucket List: 12 Major Cities To Stop At Along Route 66

    route 66 bike trip

    • Regions  
    • Russia  
    • Moscow Oblast  


    Cycling routes in

    Find the right bike route for you through Elektrostal, where we've got 327 cycle routes to explore. The routes you most commonly find here are of the hilly type. Most people get on their bikes to ride here in the months of June and August.

    Find cycle routes in Elektrostal:

    Flat routes | Hilly routes | Uphill routes | Downhill routes | Quick rides | Long tours | Top rated routes

    Join the fast growing global cycling community

    Are you ready for the full cycling experience.

    See how the reverse distance goes.

    Elektrostal — Rodionovo distance, route on the map

    • Route on the map

    Distance by plane

    Flight time, direction of movement, difference in time, interesting facts, the cost of travel, distance by car.

    Distance between Elektrostal , Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation and Rodionovo , Moskovskaya oblast', Russian Federation by car is — km , or miles. To travel this distance by car, you need minute, or h.

    Route on the map, driving directions

    Car route Elektrostal — Rodionovo was created automatically. The road on the map is shown as a blue line. By moving the markers, you can create a new route through the points you need.

    If you decide to take a trip Elektrostal Rodionovo by plane, then you have to fly the distance — 154 km or 95 miles. It is marked on the map with a gray line (between two points in a straight line).

    Estimated flight time Elektrostal Rodionovo by plane at cruising speed 750 km / h will be — 12 min.

    Russian Federation, Elektrostal — right-hand traffic. Russian Federation, Rodionovo — right-hand traffic.

    Elektrostal and Rodionovo are in the same time zone. Between them there is no time difference (UTC +3 Europe/Moscow).

    Information on alternative ways to get to your destination.

    The length of this distance is about 0.4% of the total length of the equator.

    Calculate the cost of the trip yourself using the fuel consumption calculator, changing the data in the table.

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    route 66 bike trip

    Elektrostal' Travel Guide

    Experience elektrostal'.

    The Moscow Kremlin

    The Moscow Kremlin

    Krasnaya ploshchad'

    Krasnaya ploshchad'

    St. Basil's Cathedral

    St. Basil's Cathedral

    State Historical Museum

    State Historical Museum

    Moscow Metro

    Moscow Metro


    Great Moscow State Circus

    Moscow State University

    Moscow State University

    Bolshoi Theatre

    Bolshoi Theatre

    Moskva River

    Cafe Vostochny Express

    Kroshka Kartoshka

    Kroshka Kartoshka


    Fabrika Obedov


    Beer Club Tolsty Medved

    Cafe Antresole

    Cafe Antresole

    Coffee Shop Usy Teodora Glagoleva

    Coffee Shop Usy Teodora Glagoleva


    Quest-Cafe 4 Komnaty

    Prima Bolshogo

    Prima Bolshogo

    Other recommended cities.

    route 66 bike trip

    Popular Types of Attractions in Elektrostal'

    Popular attractions in elektrostal', popular restaurants in elektrostal', popular destinations, recommended attractions at popular destinations, more things to do in elektrostal'.

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    21. Cycling routes in Elektrostal

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