A question often asked is what is the best time of the year for a Route 66 adventure. For my money I prefer late September or October, even though on last years trip I hit some nasty weather (cold, wind, sleet, snow) – in Arizona and New Mexico. Desert temperatures are tolerable with few exceptions (see above), and there is the fall foliage in the mountains of Missouri and in Illinois that add a sense of magic to the overall adventure. There are also some great fall festivals such as Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri.
Even the snow encountered added to the trip as seeing a dusting of white on the ruins of Two Guns, Arizona made for a great photo stop. I should note that even in the high country around Flagstaff, Arizona snow that early in the year is a relative rarity. Chances are that you will encounter rain, and some very brisk mornings but the crowds have thinned a bit. And that means the classic mom and pop motels will most likely have room availability. And personally, I enjoy a hot cup of coffee with a slice of pie better on a fall day that I do in July in Needles, California when the temperatures often exceed 120 degrees.
A couple of years ago on a Jim Hinckley’s America research trip, my dearest friend and I made a few side trips. We were not disappointed. As an example, Maramec Spring Park located a few miles south of Cuba or St. James, a highly recommended loop drive, is stunning any time of the year but when the park is enshrouded with bright colors … A one eyed blind man would have trouble getting a bad photograph.
So, in answer to your question, I suggest that a Route 66 odyssey be planned for the last weeks of September or the first weeks of October.