How Long Does It Take to Drive Route 66?

How long to drive route 66

How long does it take to drive Route 66? Honestly speaking, several factors come into play when determining the total time needed to get an incredible drive from the start point to the end of Route

Planning for any route trip or vacation starts with determining your schedule. The Historic Route 66 tour is no exception. From the title of this article, your being here is a complete signification that we get you covered. So don’t move an inch.

How long does it take to drive Route 66? Honestly speaking, several factors come into play when determining the total time needed to get an incredible drive from the start point to the end of Route 66. It is more of what you have at hand and the scope of services you want to get along the journey. With no resting, four days are enough for the whole journey. But even with that, you will need to cover the interstates. Otherwise, 2 weeks is preferable more so when you want to have a small package of services that come along the way.

However, two weeks is not absolute. With an excellent free time, a month or two can enable you to get a full package of luxurious services from star-five hotels, motels, ranches and parks found along the mother road. Here are the three key factors to take into consideration when doing your timing.

1. The number stops you are going to make

Route 66 covers quirky roadside attractions, vintage dinners, historic buildings, natural wonders and more. It is no doubt that, even with the limited time, you will need to make stopovers to enliven your tour fantasies. Oftentimes, you will need to walk out of your automobile and stretch your feet or have snacks and drinks. The number of stops you make can adversely affect your timing. So before turning on your engine, the first thing to keep in mind is the number of stopovers you are going to make.

With a four-day schedule, you will need to rubbish the thought of making stopover anywhere throughout the journey. It means, you must be prepared fully with your drinks and snacks in the boot and hardly stopping to peer at intriguing roadside features. Your tour will be more of motorsport. Only that, in this context, you will be competing against time.

On the other hand, with a two weeks’ schedule, you can make stopovers in fundamental roadside features such as the Acoma Pueblo, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. These natural ornaments should not miss out on your tour checklist.

Lastly, with a one-month schedule, the range of sites to enjoy is wide. You can reserve a space in the iconic Wigwam villages and spend a night there. Or enjoy the ritzy beds of El Rancho Hotel in Gallup—the same beds Hollywood stars, John Wayne, Spencer Tracey, Gregory Peck and more—spent their nights filming movies. Otherwise, go for this option whenever you are travelling in the company of your family members.

Route 66 sign in illinois

2. Whether you will take a side trip

Many people will tell you that two weeks is more for the journey across the American Mother road. However, if you go deeper into their narrative, you will find that they hardly made a side trip. Or, they traversed the interstates hence not enjoying the whole package of scenic beauty left behind of the once iconic road.

To fully have a glimpse of all Route 66 is here to offer, there is no doubt that you will need to branch and make side trips.

Probably one of the first thing that rings in your mind when you think of Route 66 is the Grand Canyon. This is followed by the Las Vegas casino city and Monument Valley. To be honest, the bulk of fantasies that comes with route 66 tour lies with these three scenic features.

Related Article: Route 66: The Most Popular Tourist Attractions State By State

Four days will limit you from branching to have a glimpse of even one of these scenic beauties. For each, you will need at least two days. That is roughly one-week making side trips. And, mark you, the list doesn’t stop there. Therefore, you will need at least two weeks whenever you feel like having some side trips to popular scenes along your journey.

Grand Canyon Route 66

3. The alignments

Route 66 follows a series of complex road networks. This is mainly due to the developments that occurred during its decommissioning.

Therefore, whether you will have an epic drive tour or not simply depends on how you approach the route. Oftentimes, you will find yourself on the interstate road while missing the original route merely fifty feet away. On the other hand, you can find yourself crisscrossing the interstate and footage routes. This may not only affect the overall morale four the tour but also your timing.

If at all you want to stay exclusively on the original path throughout your tour, then even two weeks may not be enough. Bearing in mind that some places on Route 66 are dilapidated, you will need close to three weeks to cover all its parts. However, you will realize that some of the parts of this road are out of bounds from general public use.

Alternatively, you can use the variants highlighted in EZ6 Guide. Under this tour alignment, you will only need to traverse the generally accepted paths. With this option, you can surely cover the whole route in two weeks without hurting your feet.

Lastly, you can purchase the EZ66 Guide and have a glimpse of its alignments. According to the guide, there are times when you can flexibly sneak your way into the interstates without risk of missing some of the gems in your journey.


Route 66 tour should be a fun-time life experience. It should not be cumbersome or energy-draining. To remain at par with the timing and still explore the scenic beauties that come with it, we recommend going for a moderate pace.

Generally, the route measures approximately 2278 miles. In a fortnight, you can stand a good chance of having a glitz experience while covering 163 miles a day. That is when you are driving at an average speed of 45 MPH for about 3 hours 37 minutes every single day. Otherwise, this calculation does not take into consideration the personal preferences, detours and alignments that come with this journey.

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