Route 66 - The Mother Road from Chicago to Los Angeles
Tour ProfileDuration: 17 days Distance to drive: approx 2794 miles (4495 km) Level of difficulty:
If you always wanted to ride the breathtaking Route 66 on the saddle of a Harley Davidson, then you are just right here at the "Route 66 - The Mother Road" tour.
Route 66, known worldwide as the "Mother Road" or the "Mainstreet of America," is approximately 2340 miles (3988 km) long and runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. It crosses three time zones in eight states of the USA. Route 66 is not just a road - it's a way of life and a cult. The old road builders of the West planned and built "US Highway 66" as early as 1926, and finally it was completely paved in 1938. In the meantime, the mass exodus to the west had started when thousands of cars, including their families, had all their belongings, Bumper to bumper looking for their luck there.
Some of them have returned in frustration. A sad-romantic history, endless landscapes through the most diverse areas of the USA, historic hotels, motels, gas stations, classic diners, restaurants and car wrecks are everywhere whaiting for you.
Some of the classic routes and historic sites have been lovingly restored and left in their original condition of the 1950s. Sections are now interstates to bridge large distances faster.
It does not matter whether you want to participate as a single or as a couple to this dream. This tour will be an unforgettable experience for you! Guaranteed!
If you want to extend your stay or have other requests, please contact us.
DAY1: ARRIVAL IN CHICAGO
Flight from your country to Chicago, IL. Your guide will wait for you at the airport and take you to your well-situated mid-range hotel in the Chicago area. There you will have a welcome drink and be informed about the plans for the next day. The rest of the evening is free for you to do what you like.
Otherwise we recommend that you flight one day earlier and do a short trip to Milwaukee, visiting the birthplace of the Harley Davidson® and the famous Museum of Harley Davidson®. Overnight stay in the Chicago/St. Charles/Rosemont area.
DAY 2: CHICAGO
In order to get the best impressions of the "Windy City", as Chicago is also known, you have the option to take part in a guided city tour in the morning. Experience the city on a guided tour in a double-decker bus and visit the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, from which you will have a fantastic view over the city. The rest of the evening is free for you to do whatever you like. Overnight stay in Chicago.
DAY 3: CHICAGO - SPIRNFLIELD ( approx. 300 Km/187 miles)
In the morning your luggage will be loaded into the escort vehicle and your personal "Route 66" tour experience will begin. Afterwards we will organise the transfer to the rental station and take over our motorcycles. You will see the first few parts of the old Route 66, which can be found next to the new route. We will drive along the Pontiac Trail through the coal-mining areas of Illinois. There are so many attractions on the current route that we will have to limit ourselves to selected highlights such as the Launchpad Drive Inn in Wilmington or the famous Dixie Truck Stop, as well as other sights along the road. In the afternoon we will reach Springfield, the capital of the state of Illinois, where we will spend the night.
DAY 4: SPRINGFIELD - ST. LOUIS (approx. 165 Km/100 miles)
Today some sights of Route 66 are on the programme again. Two of the most important stops are the "Lady of the Highway Statue" and the Ariston Café in Litchfield. Passing the historic "Chain of the Rocks" bridge we will continue to St. Louis on the Mississippi River. The landmark of the city is the Gateway Arch, from which you can get a good view. The ride on the elevator (optional) high into the arch and the Lewis & Clark Museum are worth a visit. A steamboat trip (optional) over the Mississippi is also recommended. Overnight stay in St. Louis.
DAY 5: ST. LOUIS - JOPLIN (approx. 485 KM/301 miles)
We leave St. Louis and drive westwards to the so-called "Middle of Everywhere" in Rolla. From Rolla we will drive along the northern Ozark mountains. None of these mountains is particularly high, but one gets a breathtaking view of the steep slopes. These are densely overgrown with oaks, elms, hickories and the beautiful Redbud trees, which offer a very special atmosphere in the autumn. We will visit sleepy but nevertheless well-known places, like Lebanon and Conway, in deepest Missouri before we reach Springfield. Here you will have the possibility to visit the very interesting stalactite cave of the Fantastic Caverns with the so-called Jeeptrain. Afterwards we will drive through Carthage with its beautiful courthouse, as well as through the mining town Webb City and arrive in Joplin, the place where we will spend the night today.
DAY 6: JOPLIN - OKLAHOMA CITY (approx. 350 Km/217 miles)
Today's route leads us first through the sunflower state of Kansas, which has the shortest distance of the 66 at only 20 km. The March Rainbow Arch Bridge is one of the attractions in Kansas. Arriving in Oklahoma, we will visit the old city of Miami and see the famous "Coleman Theater". The US star Will Rogers (1879-1935) performed here regularly and is considered one of the fathers of Route 66 in Oklahoma. On the way to today's destination of Oklahoma City we will see a lot of old petrol stations and motels which are typical for the Motherroad. Overnight stay in Oklahoma City.
DAY 7: OKLAHOMA CITY - AMARILLO (approx.430 Km/267 miles)
There is a lot to admire again today. Oklahoma is rightly called "America's Heartland" and for all Route 66 travellers it is definitely worth taking a few impressions with you. Here we will visit the very interesting "National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum". We will then pass Clinton - the "heart and soul" of Route 66. In Texola we will cross the border into Texas. The U-Drop Inn, one of the old original Route 66 petrol stations and motels in the oil town of Shamrock, the Devils Rope Museum in McLean, the leaning water tower as well as the largest cross in the western hemisphere in Groom, at 58 m, are some of the many highlights of today's stage before we reach Amarillo. The hungriest among you can taste a famous Route 66 speciality here: a "Texas-style" steak such as the 4 1/2 pound T-Bone in the Big Texan Steakhouse. Of course food for normal appetites is also on the menu. Overnight stay in Amarillo.
DAY 8: AMARILLO - SANTA FE (approx. 450 Km/279 miles)
In the morning we will leave Amarillo to stop first at the famous Cadillac Ranch. This monument, which reminds us of the glorious history of Route 66, is represented by 10 Cadillacs anchored in the ground. The angle at which the vehicles are buried supposedly corresponds to the angle of inclination of the pyramids of Giza. Passing the endless cattle farms we will reach the border of the state of New Mexico at Glenrio in the morning. From Tucumcari we will drive through the High Plains of the Comanche territory and on to Santa Fe, where we will spend the night.
DAY 9: SANTA FE (approx. 0 - 255 Km/158 miles)
Today we can take things a little slower and go shopping in Santa Fe, for example. Alternatively, for those who still want to drive, we offer a tour to the old Indian pueblo of Taos, which lies along the Rio Grande river valley. On the bridge over the Rio Grande Gorge we will get a great view of the river. Return journey to Santa Fe where we will also spend the night.
Day 10: SANTA FE - GALLUP (Approx. 350 Km/217 miles)
Today we will drive through New Mexico, which is also called the Land of Enchantment. The dominant colours of the beautiful landscapes along the way are purple and blood red. In the morning we will first make our way to Madrid, the small town which became famous thanks to the film "Wild Hogs" with John Travolta and Tim Allen. Just in time for lunch we will reach the historic Plaza of Albuquerque. Albuquerque is famous for its annual balloon festival in October. Afterwards we will cross the famous Rio Grande. Over long roads we will reach the final destination of today's stage, the old railway and Indian town of Gallup in New Mexico. Overnight stay in Gallup.
DAY 11: GALLUP - WILLIAMS (approx. 410 Km/255 miles)
We will soon reach the New Mexico-Arizona border and a little later we will reach the entrance to the beautiful Petrified Forest National Park, with a lot of interesting photo stops. Not far from the southern exit of the park is Holbrook, where you can also admire the Wigwam Motel. Afterwards we will stop at the old "Jackrabbit Trading Post", then we will visit Winslow, which the Eagles sang about in their hit "Take it Easy". Passing Twin Arrows and Flagstaff, we will then reach the end of today's stage, the town of Williams. Williams still has a lot of the old western flair, with the historic houses and the old entertainment district directly on Route 66. The next two nights are in Williams. Steak lovers are guaranteed to get their money's worth.
DAY 12: WILLIAMS - GRAND CANYON - WILLIAMS (approx. 210Km/131 miles - 365Km/227 miles)
Today we will either put our feet up and enjoy ourselves in Williams or enjoy the Grand Canyon. In the morning you can take a helicopter flight over the breathtaking Grand Canyon before we drive from Williams to one of the seven wonders of the world. Here you are spoilt for choice, either the longer tour over the southern edge of the Grand Canyon, Cameron, Flagstaff and back to Williams or back to Route 66 after a short visit to the National Park. Overnight stay in Williams.
DAY 13: WILLIAMS - SELIGMAN - LAUGHLIN (approx. 310 Km/193 miles)
Early in the morning we will leave Williams on Route 66 to cross the Interstate to Crookton Road, a newly restored section of Route 66. In the small village of Seligman we will visit the barber shop of probably the most famous hairdresser in the world, Angel Delgadillo. Angel is also one of the co-founders of the Historic Route 66 Association and is considered the father of today's Route 66. Afterwards we will drive through the Hualapai Indian Reservation and visit the General Store in Hackberry, with its oldtimers. We will spend our lunch break in Kingman, where we can also visit the interesting Route 66 Museum. Via Cool Springs and the Sitegreave Pass we will reach the small western town of Oatman, which is a favourite destination for many motorcyclists, along a winding road. Apart from the tourist traffic, it seems as if time has stopped here in the wild west. The wild donkeys there, as well as the real cowboys, are looking forward to your visit. In the afternoon we will reach the Colorado River and the gambling town of Laughlin, which is located in Nevada.
DAY 14: LAUGHLIN - BARSTOW (approx. 295 Km/184 miles)
In the morning we will once more drive through the Mojave Desert and back onto the old Route 66. Via Goffs we will reach the famous Roys Café in Amboy, where a stop is an absolute must. Many of the small towns, here on Route 66, have now disappeared. We will drive via Ludlow and visit the Bagdad Cafe on the way, the location of the cult film "Out of Rosenheim". Our destination for today is Barstow, where we will also stay overnight.
DAY 15: BARSTOW - LOS ANGELES (approx. 335 Km/208 miles)
Finally, today we will have one of the most beautiful motorcycle routes on the tour ahead of us. The road leads us along the famous Angel's Crest Highway through the San Gabriel Mountains. This route has over 80 km made up almost exclusively of curves, which winds over mountains and through canyons. We will have our lunch break at the Newcombs Ranch, the famous biker meeting place of the region. Topanga Canyon is another highlight on our route before we reach the famous coastal road, Highway 1. We will pass Santa Monica, where the end (or beginning) of Route 66 is marked, before reaching the final destination of our trip in Los Angeles. We will deliver our vehicles to our local Eaglerider®/Harley Davidson® rental station and organise the transfer from there to your hotel. Overnight stay in Los Angeles/LAX.
DAY 16: LOS ANGELES
Today is free for you to do what you like. In the morning you have the opportunity to take part in a guided city tour (optional) with a local guide (advance booking required). You will then be picked up by bus from the hotel and start your city tour. From Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, via Hollywood and back to the hotel. Overnight stay in Los Angeles.
DAY 17: DEPARTURE
Today you can choose if you like to depart or if you like to extend you stay in the USA. Today you can choose if you like to depart or if you like to extend your stay in the USA. We can offer you a few activities to do like rent a car and go to different places.
- Program subject to change. -
Minimum participants: 12 people, passengers included
We have never had to do it, but just in case:
If we don’t reach the minimum number of participants, we reserve the right to cancel the tour up to four weeks prior to departure.
Alternatively, if the math works in our favor, we can also opt to offer the tour despite not meeting the minimum, but only with one tour guide in the support vehicle.
Historic Route 66 Hackberry
Typographical errors or changes are subject to change.