We will be regularly producing articles in our blog about things to see or do along Route 66.
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Come join us at the following event!
City to Reclaim Road History
On Saturday Feb 25 the City of South Pasadena will dedicate at least one of three Route 66 road signs to be stenciled onto Fair Oaks Avenue to commemorate the 90th Anniversary year of U.S. Highway 66. Fair Oaks was part of two different alignments of the iconic highway that traversed our city from 1926 to 1982.
A brief ceremony will take place at 11 am on Feb 25 at the corner of Fair Oaks Av and Mission Street. Several California and community champions of local heritage, including Mayor Pro-tem Dr. Richard Schneider and State Senator Anthony Portantino will help dedicate the historic emblems. The signs will be painted on the pavement adjacent to Fair Oaks Pharmacy, Comerica Bank and the Rialto Theater. Glen Duncan, president of the California Historic Route 66 Association explained the reason behind stenciled emblems: “typical metal signs along the roadside tend to disappear, becoming collector’s items, but no one will steal the road.”
The Association will offer memberships, memorabilia, and refreshments and exhibit a wealth of historical information about America’s historic “main street.” The public is invited to participate, learn about Route 66 heritage and be a part of its history.
- All new individual members will receive a free Route 66 hat
- New business members will get appropriate signage to attract heritage tourists:
- Route 66 hats and maps and books will also be available for sale
Brad Colerick, South Pasadena’s local maestro of Americana music will also be on hand to dedicate his next album entitled “91030” which will feature a cover photo of Brad at one of the Route 66 commemorative signs.
The segment of Route 66 that stretches between Victorville and Barstow, which passes through the towns of Oro Grande and Helendale, is a great 38 mile (60 km) experience of rural and original Route 66 driving that is finally outside of the metropolitan area of L.A. Exit the busy freeway in either Victorville or Barstow and follow the signs for Historic Route 66 and get back on I-15 when you encounter it 38 miles later. It’s a great little break from any hectic road trip and there’s plenty of nostalgia and pop-culture to see along the way.
Scenes along the road from Victorville to Helendale:
About the Trip
Between Los Angeles and Victorville, many of the original segments of Route 66, along with the nostalgic buildings, have been erased forever. Starting in Victorville and going north however, much of what Route 66 used to look like back in its heyday still exists. It might take a little bit of effort to find, but with the help of this webpage, you can spot some historical sites.
The driving instructions on this webpage travels Route 66 northbound from Victorville. If you are traveling southbound from Barstow, then you can certainly travel it this direction too.
When driving this portion of Route 66, MAKE SURE that you are careful and mindful of the traffic along the route when you decide to pull over to take a closer look at the various sights. Between I-15 and Helendale, the road is very busy with traffic because of a large community near Helendale named Silver Lakes. Furthermore, there is a lot of truck traffic that uses the road to access a large cement factory in Oro Grande.
Route 66 Museum
If you have some time while you are in this area and want to learn more about Route 66, we recommend that you visit the fine folks at the museum in Victorville. The museum is well stocked with historic and interesting items related to the Mother Road. Read more about the museum on our section on the California Route 66 Museum.
Starting at the museum in “Old” Downtown Victorville on D Street, head northeast towards I-15. Make sure to watch the virtual video tour below to learn where you will see points of interest along this segment of the road.
Much of Route 66 that passes through California is also known as National Trails Highway. In some cases, it’s even known as National Old Trails Highway. This is what it was originally named before it got it’s official U.S. 66 highway designation. Keep this name in mind when referring to maps and street signs.
Cement Plant to Steel Bridge
After passing underneath I-15, you can’t miss the large cement plant on the right. The roots of this large factory began around 1910. Mining limestone around Victorville has been a key part of the local economy here for over 100 years.
Originally, this was called the Southwest Portland Cement Company. It mined limestone from several quarries nearby, but now its main quarry is north of Apple Valley. It is serviced by a private railroad. This mine is now owned by a large Mexican company named Cemex.
Not far after the cement plant, you’ll spot Hollandburger on the left. This famous eatery has been in operation for decades, including the time when Route 66 was in full swing (before the I-15 age). It is still owned by the same family today and is still a favorite among Route 66 travelers. The eatery has been showcased on several TV shows.
If you are planning on making this road trip, try to schedule your trip for a breakfast or lunch stop here. You won’t be disappointed and the waitress might just spill some mustard on you.
Shortly after Hollandburger, you’ll notice a lot of power lines. The oldest of these power lines were built in 1930 and are the main lines between Hoover Dam and Los Angeles. Since 1930, many other lines have been built to help with increasing demand in Los Angeles.
The steel bridge that Route 66 crosses over roughly 3 miles from the museum is unique in many ways. For one, it’s design is unique whereas the steel trusses meet at odd angles because of the way the bridge was built over the Mojave River. It is also the only bridge of this type that Route 66 crosses in California. The railing along the roadbed exemplifies ornate ironwork that was common when the bridge was built in 1932.
Below is a now and then comparison of the steel bridge:
Click and move mouse back and forth to see a 1940 to 2011 comparison of the steel bridge.
After the steel bridge, 1.5 miles of pavement later will land you in Oro Grande. This is the oldest town in the Victor Valley. It is the home of antique shops and another large cement plant. Like Victorville, Oro Grande, which means “big gold” in Spanish, has been a mining town since roughly the 1880s.
Read more about Oro Grand on the Towns page.
Roy Rogers Ranch
Three miles after passing underneath the railroad tracks at Oro Grande, Roy Rogers and Dale Evens’ Double R Bar Ranch can be reached by turning left on Bryman Rd. It is a 1.2 mile round from Route 66 to see the old ranch where Roy and Dale boarded their animals. Still today, there are festivals held at this ranch commemorating Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
Virtual Video Tour
The below video “virtually” takes you on Route 66 from Victorville to Helendale.
Yep, we are updating our website and we will be back with a much more interactive website and new features!
Be sure to check back often for updates, as we will be continuously adding content. Want to know when we update? Follow us on Twitter @Route66CA and be one of the first to know!
See you soon!