From Goldroad to the summit of Sitgreaves Pass all indications are that Route 66 and the National Old Trails Highway followed the same twisted course. Then what are the origins of a half mile roadway on the other side of the canyon above Goldroad?
That was the question that compelled us to take Saturday afternoon and again walk this intriguing old road.
If one were to drive west through Goldroad and continue straight rather than follow Route 66 you would find yourself on this road. A half mile further it doesn’t end as much as flow into Route 66.
In between are guard rails of cable and timber, as well as bridges constructed of dovetailed and bolted timbers, and stone pillars. The old roadway, in some places, hugs a shelf blasted from the canyon wall. The majority of the roadside garbage as well as construction details indicate a post 1910 date. There is also ample evidence to indicate it was designed for automotive usage.
The top photo is of the guard rail construction. If you look just below the top cable you will see a silver vehicle on Route 66 just above the Goldroad town site.
In the second photo you will notice Route 66, as indicated with red text, is well above the mystery roadway. It should also be noted there is a shaft, possibly for mine ventilation, and concrete slab immediately below the Route 66 roadway. The third photo is of the upper bridge. This bridge is of heavy stacked stone construction and features a boxed culvert of heavy timbers. Route 66 is seen in the right middle of the photo.
The fourth photo is of the railing, now laying on its side, on the upper bridge. It is constructed of heavy timber, dovetailed and bolted, with braided cable.
With the exception of the bridges the roadway is wide enough to accommodate two way traffic. The grades, however, are steeper at the upper end than those rising above Goldroad.
The next step in solving this Route 66 mystery will be to visit the archives at the Mohave Museum of History & Arts.