Kingman, Arizona, is well known among fans of Route 66. It was enshrined in the famous song about the iconic highway, it is a place most every traveler has broken down in at least once, and it is often an overnight stop before moving on to the destination.
Few, however, stop to take in the myriad of wonders found all around Kingman or the various little Route 66 treasures. In the latter category the list is quite lengthy and includes walking the historic district, the Fourth Street alignment of that highway or Chadwick Drive, another remnant that is ideal for a morning walk.
As a quick note here is the trivia item of the day. Martin Swanty Chrysler is built on the site of the former Hobb’s Truck Stop. The Penske Truck Leasing office is housed in the former cafe from that truck stop.
For fans of the two lane who want to discover some stunning western lanndscapes, a ghost town or two, and even a wonderful old cafe, I suggest a delightful loop drive that begins and ends on Route 66 in Kingman.
We start on the corner of Stockton Hill Road and Andy Devine Avenue, Route 66. As a point of reference the Dambar is on the south corner and the new Walgreens, on the site of the City Cafe, is on the north.
Continue north on Stockton Hill through the urban sprawl that laps at the foothills of the Cerbat Mountains past Mountain View Cemetery, the site for the first airfield in Kingman. If time allows for a little exploration wander among the simplistic markers in the back corners by the office.
Within a few miles of Walmart, the auto dealerships, and the generic restaurants, the landscapes begin to open revealing vast desert plains.
The little valley studded with cedar trees, now a fledgling housing development, was the site for Stockton Hill, a mining camp that dates to the 1860s. At the north end of this valley just as Stockton Hill Road tops a small rise there are a couple of dirt roads that lead into the foothills of the Cerbat Mountains. Both are excellent for long or short walks and both are portals to vesitiges of the areas mining history as well as opportunities for discovering breathtaking view points. We prefer the northen most road, the one that climbs the flank of the mountains.
Stockton Hill Road hugs the Cerbat Mountains as it skirts the Hualapai Valley and drops to the valley floor at Red Lake, a dry lake bed that may soon be transformed into a solar energy facility.
Shortly passed Red Lake the road enters one of the largest forest of Joshua trees in the state of Arizona. These other wordly shaped “trees” make for interesting photo opportunities, especially with the stunning landscapes that surround them as a background.
At the junction with Pierce Ferry Road a right trun will take you to Lake Mead, Meadview or Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk. On this adventure we turn left and continue through rolling hills into Dolan Springs, a forlorn little community that appears as a strange, sad, low income imitation of American suburbia.
At U.S. 93 turn left, south, towards Kingman. Welcome back to the world of the four lane.
Do not be to discouraged as we have one more little surprise. It is found with a short four mile detour on a paved road.
There is adequate signage so you will have ample notice before making the turn to Chloride, a circa 1860’s mining town that is now a delightful blend of quiet retirement community and quintesential western ghost town cradled in beautiful western scenery.
No stop in Chloride is complete without a lunch or dinner at Yesterday’s, a wonderful little restaurant housed in a vintage motel complex. As a side note the road in front of the cafe is the original highway, U.S. 466, and is a good graded gravel road that can be followed for several miles to the south before rejoining U.S. 93 via Mineral Park Road.
Even regular visitors to Chloride miss the old railroad depot, a real photo op. There is a Route 66 connection here as the spur line from Chloride connected with the main line at McConnico, roughly the location of Crazy Fred’s Truck Stop on Route 66. That spur now deadends just north of I40

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