Rock the Route:
Rte. 66 Check-in Challenge
At nearly 100 years old Route 66—the Main Street of America—evokes memories of roadside attractions, rock on the radio, and road trips with the family where the journey was as much fun as the destination.
In Arizona remains the longest stretch of the original Route 66 in the U.S., where you’ll find a wigwam-shaped motel, a petrified forest, kitschy shops, a street corner dedicated to an Eagles song, and so much more. Now, it’s your turn to visit these and other unique landmarks with the Route 66 Check-in Challenge Passport and interactive map.
As you visit each location, be sure to check in and be automatically entered to win cool prizes from the Arizona Office of Tourism and the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. Every check-in counts as an entry, so the more places you explore the better your opportunity to win:
4 Check-ins = A Route 66 Sticker Pack
7 Check-ins = A Retro Route 66 Magnet
While you’re exploring Route 66, be sure to share or upload your photos using #RockTheRouteAZ and we may float a Random Act of Sunshine into your DMs.
Winners of prizes will be notified via the passport app.
Rock the Route: Rte 66 Check-In Challenge
- Mobile exclusive
- Instantly delivered via text and email
- No apps to download
- Explore key landmarks along the famous Route 66!
How this Pass Works
Step 1 - Get Your Pass
Step 2 - Receive Text
Step 3 - Redeem
Route 66 - West
A visit to the Arizona Route 66 & Electric Vehicle Museums is a must for Mother Road fanatics. It's not just a collection of memorabilia but a comprehensive look at the historical evolution of Route 66. Not to miss: life-size dioramas depicting America's westward migration, from early pioneers to Dust Bowl refugees; over 30 vintage and significant electric vehicles; photo displays; and a 60-minute Route 66 film.
Once a booming railroad town, Ash Fork lost about half its population when the Santa Fe Railway moved the line north in 1960. The Route 66 Museum shares details of the town's railroad history, stone mining industry and Route 66 culture with interactive displays, dioramas, artifacts, even a scale model of Ash Fork's Harvey House, Escalante.
Cool Springs Station once offered Route 66'ers a much-needed place in the middle of nowhere to gas up, check the oil and grab a bite to eat. Then I-40 bypassed this stretch of the Mother Road in 1953, and the station was abandoned. Reopened in 2005, Cool Springs Station now offers modern travelers a Route 66 gift shop, snacks, drinks, vintage Mobil gas pumps (for display only) and a small museum. Plus, great photo ops of the surrounding mountains.
Inspired by a temporary drive-through shield erected each year for the Arizona Route 66 Fun Run, this newly built, permanent structure gives travelers the perfect photo opportunity to commemorate their Mother Road adventure.
Meet Giganticus Headicus. In 2004, local artist Gregg Arnold built this towering pseudo-tiki sculpture out of metal, wood, chicken wire, styrofoam and cement. At the location, formerly Kozy Corner Trail Park, you can also see more of Arnold’s imaginative artworks.
The Grand Canyon Caverns plunge nearly 300 feet below the earth. Check them out on one of four cave tours, from a short 25-minute trip to a longer 2.5-hour tour. Stick around for lunch or dinner at the on-site restaurant, then overnight at one of the Cavern's lodging offerings, including The Cavern Suite—a guest room 22 stories underground and accessible via elevator.
Even though the Hackberry General Store no longer serves as a fuel stop, you can still see an impressive collection of vintage gas pumps, as well as original Burma Shave signs, hundreds of old license plates, classic cars parked around the property and other Route 66 odds and ends. The store also sells sodas and snacks.
Keepers of the Wild is a nonprofit sanctuary for abandoned, neglected or retired wildlife. The organization opens its doors to the public, welcoming visitors to embark on a guide-led safari where they can meet the animals and hear fascinating and heartfelt stories about how each came to find a new home at Keepers of the Wild.
Photo Credit: IG @idriskthefall
The Kingman Army Airfield was founded at the beginning of World War II as an Aerial Gunnery Training Base. It was one of the Army Air Corps largest—training some 35,000 airmen. The 54-foot tall tower monitored planes in flight, along with takeoffs and landings from 1943 to 1945 at the Kingman Army Air Force Flexible Gunnery School. The tower still stands today.
The former mining town of Oatman sports all the hallmarks of its Gold Rush past: plank sidewalks, burros descended from those brought by miners in the 1800s and Old West buildings, including the Oatman Hotel. Though celebrities from Hollywood's Golden Age used to lodge here during Route 66's heydey, the hotel is no longer open for overnight accommodations, but visitors can dine in the restaurant and saloon, or tour the on-site museum.
Photo Credit: IG -@laurent.montrade
The motel and sign have been featured on and in books, magazines (from travel publications to National Geographic), videos, and is still photographed daily by tourists from all over the world.
Photo Credit: IG -@laurent.montrade
Cast against a deep green wall on the side of this market, a mural spells out the town's name: "Seligman." Within each letter you'll see Arizona-specific, Route 66 landmarks. Park here, pop inside the market to browse its wares of food and souvenirs, then take a photo in front of the mural before walking around town.
Shaffer Bowl Spring is home to one of the prettiest views in the area. A remote enclave sitting right off one of the most popular roads in America, the hidden spring houses a watering hole stocked with goldfish. From the 1940s through the 60s, Route 66 travelers would stop to cool themselves—and their cars' radiators—at the cool pool. Find it at mile marker 30, at the top of about 30 stone steps.
The mountain gap of Sitgreaves Pass crests at more than 3,500 feet above the valley floor and offers sight-lines all the way to California and Nevada. The winding drive ribbons through the Black Mountains, inspiring drivers to slow down—not just to take in the scenery but also for safety on the steep, sharp road. From Kingman, plan for about 40 minutes though the route is only about 26 miles.
Topock 66 offers travelers a waterside respite. Situated on the banks of the Colorado River, the destination features a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner—a perfect refueling stop for the tummy no matter the time of day. If you have a few hours, relax on Topock 66's patio, complete with an outdoor pool, swim-up bar and river views galore. This is also an ideal location for seeing the Old Trails Arch Bridge. It's no longer open, but you can enjoy the sight from afar of this architectural marvel located on an original alignment of the Mother Road.
Route 66 - Center
Dotch Windsor and his wife, Alberta, opened the Painted Desert Trading Post in the early 1940s as a gas station, but it closed by the late 1950s after a new alignment bypassed it. The building fell into disrepair until 2018. Thanks to the grassroots efforts of volunteers, plus hundreds of hours of labor and a $20,000 cost-share grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, restoration of the trading post was completed in 2021.
Photo Credit: Route 66 News
Canyon Padre Trading Post opened in 1937 on Route 66 sans the iconic arrows. But when the store was purchased in the 1950s, the new owners added the gigantic yellow-and-red arrows (aka, telephone poles) to attract Mother Road motorists. It worked to great success, but when I-40 bypassed Route 66, the trading post saw fewer customers and eventually closed. Today, just one arrow remains.
Photo Credit: IG @idriskthefall
Audio instructions are delivered to your phone on this self-guided tour of destinations on the original alignment of Route 66. Starting at the Flagstaff Visitor Center, you’ll hear oral histories, discover hidden messages in local street art and learn about unsolved mysteries and urban legends.
In Williams, a cherry-red ATSF boxcar spans a drainage channel in Glassburn Park, finding a second life as a covered pedestrian bridge. The train car was donated by BNSF Railway and sits right on Route 66.
Route 66 - East
The jackrabbit is one of several Mother Road mascots beloved by Route 66 fans. An early owner of the trading post painted 30 jackrabbits on the building's roof to catch the attention of passersby. This evolved into a billboard campaign stretching more than 1,000 miles—from here to Springfield, Missouri—featuring rabbits. Today, you can take your picture by a huge fiberglass bunny in front of the trading post, then "hop" inside to shop.
When you enter the cool interior of La Posada, you're stepping inside a stunning example of Southwest architecture and design rivaled only by the hotel's rich history. The structure served as a Harvey House, a high-end stop for railroad passengers to dine, and was also a coveted destination for 1930s Hollywood glitterati like Howard Hughes, Mary Pickford, Jane Russell and Clark Gable. Today, join a tour led by an original Harvey Girl—women who worked at Harvey Houses on the railroad—wander the gardens, eat at the restaurant or spend a night in the well-appointed guest rooms.
A 550-foot-deep bowl is all that remains of a meteor weighing several hundred thousand tons that crashed into Earth 50,000 years ago. Meteor Crater not only preserves the site but lets you walk the rim on an informative guided tour. Other attractions at the center include a 4D immersive experience, a space museum and discovery center, an Apollo 11 space capsule, a short film and a gem and mineral store.
Route 66 trundles through the heart of Winslow, and at the center of town you'll find this corner park. A life-size statue of a man with a guitar perches in front of a two-story mural that pays tribute to the popular 1970s song. In September, Winslow hosts a Standin' on the Corner Festival featuring Eagles cover bands. The town estimates that 100,000 people stop by every year simply to stand on its corner.
The first Wigwam Motel—part of a chain called Wigwam Villages—was built in 1937. More soon followed in Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, California and Arizona. Only three remain open today, including two on Route 66. Each guest-room is a standalone, surprisingly large "teepee." In a nod to the motel's Route 66 location, parked among the 15 teepees are colorful vintage cars in pristine condition.