As the cost of vacations is on the rise, so are the number of people opting for cross country road trips. When looking for an epic journey, one of the most iconic trips one can take in America is down historic Route 66. Honored in songs of legend, Route 66 stretches from Chicago, Illinois all the way to Los Angeles, California.
About Historic Route 66
Established on November 11th in 1926, the roadway quickly rose to stardom as one of the most famous roads in the USA, having originally ran from Chicago, IL through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona until reaching its final destination in sunny Santa Monica California. In totality, the highway spanned a whopping 2,448 miles across the best America had to offer.
Known as the “Main street of America”, Route 66 goes by a number of names including:
- S. Route 66
- S. Highway 66
- US 66
- Route 66
- Will Rogers Highway
- Mother Road
The Weather Along Historic Route66
While considering such an adventure, keep in mind that weather plays an essential roll in the planning phase of every trip. Route 66 stretches through seven states, each with its own unique topography and climate conditions throughout the seasons. Depending on the weather, sometimes sections of the road may be closed due to hazardous conditions. This is why one of the key aspects of planning your trip down Rt. 66 should include planning for the weather ahead by using online weather sites This site is favored by travelers near and far for accurately predicting weather forecasts and adjusting travel accordingly.
Below we’ve included a month by month breakdown of the weather conditions commonly found along Route 66.
Not-Recommended Months of Travel
These three months fall under the worst to travel Route 66 due to winter weather conditions. There are several mountain roads to wow the senses along this route, but slippery conditions can make it a dangerous trip. Some sections may be shut down in these months because they are deemed too hazardous to drive.
Some individuals enjoy driving Route 66 in the month of December due to Christmas displays in the more rural areas of the trip. Mountain ranges are quite beautiful once they become snow-capped, but there is also heightened danger at this time. It’s not to say the journey cannot take place during these three months; it just isn’t recommended when the weather can be so unpredictable.
Months of Travel That Are “Ok” but Not Great
Here are five months where the travel on Route 66 is okay, but still not peek. Sure, some states have thawed out and are experiencing spring-like weather. That doesn’t mean all roads are clear. If you are looking to travel all of Route 66, from Illinois to California, these months may still dampen your journey plans.
There is still snow and ice present in the areas of higher elevations in the months of March and April. If you choose to hit the roads around then, be prepared to take your time through some trouble areas. It isn’t out of the question for parts of Route 66 to be shut down due to late season icing.
Peak Travel Months Down Route 66
An adventure down Route 66 can be savored and enjoyed if taken in any of these four listed months. The weather will be warm and breezy, as snow and ice will be a thing of the past. Even though the cold weather is over, it is still wise to be cautious of rain. Some heavy storms move through at this time of the year. Allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination safely.
Another thing to consider is the heat. The west coast, as well as the south, can be quite hot during peak travel months. It is a wise choice to take a vehicle that will allow for AC use while driving through more humid areas. Staying hydrated is also crucial in the heat, so keep water on you at all times.
The Journey of a Lifetime
Route 66 makes for an adventure you won’t soon forget. The entire trip is possible to complete in as little as two weeks. This time frame still allows for sightseeing at some of the popular attractions along the route. Extending the trip for a whole month is recommended for those looking to stop and see everything this iconic road has to offer. Nothing can beat the freedom of the open road and making memories so few will ever have.
The weather can change on a dime, so make sure and pay attention to the local emergency weather stations while you travel. Avoid the months that will make the drive less than enjoyable and stick to the time of year ideal for road travel. Be prepared for hotter days in the summer months and cooler temperatures in the winter ones. This trip is both fun and awe-inspiring, so don’t put it off any longer.