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Route 66 - Eastern Arizona

Road Trip

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Shutterstock.com/Ryan DeBeradinis
For desert lovers, Arizona's most striking Route 66 scenery lies between Flagstaff and the New Mexico border. Chiefly, you'll travel I-40 as not much remains of old 66 in eastern Arizona. Along the drive you'll see a petrified wood forest, a gorgeous “painted” desert and a massive meteor crater. You want classic Route 66 towns, too? Buckle up and hit the blacktop.
Flagstaff, AZ to Holbrook, AZ
Leaving Flagstaff, the lofty San Francisco Peaks give way to desert expanse as you skirt the Navajo Indian Reservation's southern border. A short detour leads to an impressive, nearly mile-wide meteor impact crater. Up ahead are the towns of Winslow (of the Eagles' “Standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona” fame) and Holbrook, both rife with Route 66 nostalgia.
Holbrook, AZ to Gallup, NM
This leg's primo stop, Petrified Forest National Park can easily occupy a half-day. Take the park's scenic drives to see colorful pockets of fossilized wood. Along I-40 near the state line, fans of Route 66 kitsch will find a collection of exceptionally cheesy trading posts (rubber tomahawk, anyone?). On the horizon is Gallup, gateway to the “Land of Enchantment.”