In the summer of 1915, Edsel Ford and more than 10,000
motorists rolled west toward California over the National Old Trails Road in western Arizona, blissfully unaware that they were passing within yards of the entrance to a stunning natural wonder. Vestiges of that pioneering highway are still found in a canyon east of the entrance to Grand Canyon Caverns, but the road was long ago overshadowed by Route 66, and the caverns themselves.
The caverns as an attraction, as a destination evolved with Route 66. From 1927 to the modern era, this complex has mirrored the ebb and flow of the storied highway itself. When the road boomed so did the caverns, as evidenced by the four lane divided highway at the entrance. At the time of its construction, this was the only four-lane segment of U.S. 66 between Albuquerque and Los Angeles out side of an urban area. In fact, aside from the Grand Canyon itself, this was the most popular attraction in the entire state of Arizona. (more…)