Route Development > Bicycle Route 66

Welcome to Bicycle Route 66!

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Hi, three of us have had a great time cycling parts of Route 66.  We've covered the first half- between Chicago and Vega, TX (just west of Amarillo).  We are planning this year's trip between Flagstaff and Vega.  Still mapping out our route - and have used the Route 66 route maps for New Mexico.

I sure would appreciate any tips about cycling this part of Route 66!

Plan to finish up next year with the remainig part between Flagstaff and Santa Monica.  Very disappointed to hear that the Adventure Cycling maps/helps won't be out until the end of the year.

We have been having a great time.  But we are concerned with all the interstate sections as we get further out west.

Hello DMGingrich,

Glad to hear you've enjoyed your adventure thus far on Route 66. I wish we could have the maps ready for you sooner. Right now, the information is still pretty rough. It sounds like you found the New Mexico information ok, we are following a lot of what you see here:

It is planned that we will choose routes off of the interstate (even if it's not the actual Route 66) as much as possible though there will be times when interstate is the best/only option. We want a great bike route with the Route 66 history, however, sometimes routing will trump history.

For next year's trip out of Flagstaff, you might want to peruse this blog that covers the distance from Flagstaff, AZ to Barstow, CA:

Best wishes on the rest of your journey!


A really fun section of Route 66 seems to be missing from the New Mexico Touring Society Route 66 maps mentioned in other posts. I have ridden the old Route 66 from where NM 6 intersects I-40 just west of the Rio Puerco, (about 20 miles west of Albuquerque) all the way to Thoreau, NM. Basically old 66 is the frontage road for I-40 from Grants to Gallup, NM, but the most interesting sections are where it goes away from I-40 near NM 6 and Laguna Pueblo. So here is how to find it:
E-W: From Albuquerque there is an I-40 frontage road to Rio Puerco (take West Central Ave. out of town. Cross I-40 at the top of the big hill and ride along the north side of I-40). You have to get back on the Interstate west from Rio Puerco. Get off I-40 at the NM 6 ramp. Turn left and cross over the I-40 overpass heading south on NM 6. Turn right about a half mile at the first road you come to which crosses a bridge over the BNSF RR tracks. This road has bad pavement with some gravel areas, but it gets better in a mile or two. This is the old, undisturbed Rte 66! You can see the faint center stripe, and the old telephone poles are still present in some areas. Also it is pretty far off I-40, so you get the feel of the old road. After several miles a natural gas pumping station appears on your left, then old 66 crosses over I-40 again and meanders roughly parallel to I-40, passing through Laguna Pueblo, and Cubero, NM. Cubero has an ancient motel where Ernest Hemingway allegedly wrote parts of 'The Old Man and the Sea.' Keep west on this road and it eventually crosses I-40 again, and runs past the lava beds of El Malpais, crossing I-40 again and heading into Grants, NM where it is the main street. Keep on it out of town and stay on the north side of I-40. You will come to Thoreau after some miles. 66 continues as the frontage road from here but I have not ridden it, so I don't know if it's continuous or not.

The problems with trying to retrace Route 66 are that it is discontinuous and often chock-a-block up against I-40.
(And that's when I-40 hasn't been built on top of it.)

I still believe riding from Cuba via Crownpoint, Window Rock, Second Mesa, and Tuba City -
Gives you a far better feel for what the Route 66 scenery and culture was like on an open road.

Thanks for your ideas on Route 66!  Suggestions from riders who have been to the area are big considerations for us as we choose a route.   

Mcallawa, the route you described was actually considered as research was done, but because of some of the reasons you mention here (bad pavement, discontinuous frontage road, in addition to unsafe riding conditions), we agreed on the route you see on the New Mexico Touring Society website, after doing research and collaborating with that group.
Jamawani, your suggested route sounds beautiful!   However, when conditions allow, we are trying to keep the route as close to Route 66 as possible.
In general, for our Bicycle Route 66, we are trying to follow Route 66 as much as possible, as long as it would provide a good long distance bike tour.  The route will, however, veer off in places where we feel like Route 66 no longer makes a good bike trip (keeping our members and customers in mind).   Things that we consider are safety, traffic, pavement condition, shoulder width, visibility, available services, scenery, and historical points of interest.
If you have other ideas/suggestions, please keep them coming.  We definitely value your input.


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