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How long does it take to travel

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How long does it take to travel

Postby swa » Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:29 pm

Last updated on May 14th 2012


It takes 4 days to drive it end-to-end but this really isn't experiencing Route 66. Actually, you'll miss it all. However it's the basis to calculate the time you need to travel Route 66 (see further).
If you plan to drive a shorter section of Route 66, do use an on-line site such as google maps to find out how many days it would take you on the Interstate.

This number of days is your base further on and can be used to plan your drive back to your starting point if you plan on doing that.

Driving a Route 66 alignment

Driving a typically modern alignment, that goes through towns, but avoids unpaved sections, and just driving it: DOUBLE the amount above.

This will give you the very minimum to drive Route 66 and get started with touching on the experience.

Enjoy yourself

Stopping, taking pictures, talking to people: It depends a lot on how much you like to do it, but count at least an additional time the original amount, and lots more if you like long talks.

Side trips
Side trips can take up loads of time. Popular side trips are:
  • Grand Canyon (1 day minimum, if you'd like to hike down to the canyon, count a few days at very least)
  • Las Vegas (1 day to get back and forth from Kingman, AZ, and the rest depends on how long you can stand it, or how much you can stand to loose). Tip: try to aim to miss the weekends, hotels gets a lot more expensive in the weekends.
    Contrary to what some travel agents seem to believe, driving there to/from Los Angeles cannot be done in a day on Route 66: if you plan on driving Route 66, you cannot make it from Las Vegas to Santa Monica in a day. On Route 66: you will need a few more stops depending on where you pick up Route 66 (Kingman, AZ (via US-93)- so get to Oatman -highly recommended), or Needles, CA (via US-95).
  • Monument Valley (Utah), extremely beautiful, but it will eat a lot of your time.
  • ...
They have one thing in common: they are hungry for your time.


If you have less than 10 driving days: try to focus on a shorter section, you'll have more fun.
Similarly, about 10 driving days and a full plan of side trips tend to be a recipe for completely running out of time.

If you do get stressed for time: plan ahead: there are sections where the remaining alignment is the frontage road, check if there's nothing that you want to stop for till the next exit and you can increase your progress on the Interstate. It does ruin the 2 lane experience, but running out of time isn't fun either.

Anything starting at 14 driving days is quite possible to enjoy. The more time you have the more you can do things such as getting to know the people living there. Exploring the different city alignments, finding old abandoned alignments, driving on unpaved sections, or start some side trips ...

3 weeks to a month give you the ability to have a trip of a lifetime.

Some true roadies could spend the rest of their life on Route 66, slowly traveling back and forth, so there is no upper limit for the true fan.
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