Day 1: Chicago Arrival
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You arrive at Chicago International Airport and transfer on your own to your hotel. In Chicago you are in the biggest and most exciting of the Great Lake cities. Chicago has a skyline to rival any city - a gamut of top-rated museums, restaurants and cafes, and innumerable bars and nightclubs that pay homage to the city’s strong jazz and blues heritage. Tonight you will enjoy a great Welcome Dinner and celebration with your fellow riders, and a great night of luxury in one of Chicago's finest hotels before kicking off your dream Route 66 journey in the morning.
Day 2: Chicago - Springfield, IL
187 mi / 301 km
This morning you pick up your bike and are off to the ultimate American road trip. The legendary Route 66 begins at the doorstep of our EagleRider location, cutting through the state of Illinois before running all the way to the Pacific Coast. From Chicago you head south along the Pontiac Trail, the original name for this bit of the road here, passing through Joliet, checking out the Launching Pad Giant, checking out the RT 66 Museum in Pontiac and generally getting a feel for the rubber on the Mother Road
Day 3: Springfield, IL - St. Louis, MO
116 mi / 187 km
Today we head towards St. Louis! We will stay primarily on the 2-lane sections of the Mother Road, traversing cornfields and small towns that represent the heartland of America. Our arrival into St. Louis will be over the Chain of Rocks Bridge, the original bridge where RT 66 crossed the Mississippi River. Enjoy the short ride today into the "Gateway to the West," St. Louis. This amazing city rests along the shores of the mighty Mississippi River and is home to some of the best live music and BBQ ribs in the country. Our hotel tonight is the beautiful Hampton Inn, which offers incredible views of the St. Louis Arch.
Day 4: St. Louis, MO - Joplin, MO
335 mi / 539 km
Try to get up early to walk across the street today and enjoy an early morning view of the St. Louis Arch and Mississippi River before we hit the road. We quickly leave the city in mirrors as we settle in to enjoy the rolling Missouri hills that make this area so beautiful and fun to ride in. We will stop and see the famous World’s Largest Rocking Chair in Fanning, wind our way on the twisting roads of Devil’s Elbow and eat some of the best BBQ you will ever sink your teeth into! We will stop to meet Gary at Gay Parita’s, himself a Route 66 icon. Tonight we will enjoy a stay in Joplin, a city that was hit very hard in 2011 by a massive tornado. We'll hang with the locals in the small downtown area and hear some amazing stories about what it was like to be in the eye of a massive tornado!
Day 5: Joplin, MO - Oklahoma City, OK
255 mi / 411 km
Today is all about the ride! From Joplin we head west through the rolling hills and horse country that is Oklahoma, passing through the towns of Miami, Claremore and Catoosa, where the legendary Blue Whale resides, and stopping for lunch in a Tulsa diner. We will also pass through the lands of several Native American tribes. In the 1830’s all this land, held to be useless by the Federal Government, was set aside as Indian Territory–a convenient dumping ground for the tribes that “blocked” white settlement in the southern states. The Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek and Cherokee are some of the tribes that make up the state’s large Native American Indian population. Further west you ride through El Reno – over the mile-long bridge, near Bridgeport and into Oklahoma City, the heart and soul of Route 66 country. ! Enjoy your stay tonight in the heart of Oklahoma City's Bricktown Neighborhood, full of lively restaurants, bars and shopping.
Day 6: Oklahoma City, OK - Amarillo, TX
266 mi / 428 km
This morning we travel along some of the oldest stretches of Oklahoma’s Route 66. Once the land of vast buffalo herds, this section of 66 traverses some of the great cattle trails which were used in the 1860s to drive herds of cattle from Texas up to the railhead in Abilene, Kansas. We will ride along a section of the Chisholm Trial, which passes through Yukon and El Reno, and stop at the amazing Route 66 Museum in Clinton. After lunch we cross the border into the Texas Panhandle, the southernmost portion of the Great Plains. Our hotel tonight is the famous Ambassador Hotel in Downtown Amarillo. Our good friends from "The Big Texan Steakhouse" will pick our group up at the hotel in a fleet of old Caddies graced with the horns of Texas Longhorns across the hood and take us to enjoy the absolute best steaks in Texas!
Day 7: Amarillo, TX - Santa Fe, NM
303 mi / 488 km
Today you leave Texas and are on your way into “The Land of Enchantment”, New Mexico – after passing through the world famous Cadillac Ranch. How about the ghost town of Glen Rio, where you can stand with one foot in New Mexico and the other one in Texas? From there we enter the land the Comanche Indians, where mesas, mountains, cactus and pines define the landscape as head up into the High Plains and altitude of Santa Fe in central New Mexico. Santa Fe is one of America’s oldest and most beautiful cities, and will be our base for the next two nights. Enjoy our hotel in the heart of Old Town Santa Fe, and just steps from the historic town square and mission.
Day 8: Santa Fe, NM
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Today is at leisure to rest and enjoy the distinctive flavor of this nearly 400-year-old city. The blend of cultures here becomes evident in the southwestern architectural style so closely associated with New Mexico’s capital city. Perhaps you would like to take a ride along the river valley to the old Native American Indian town of Taos, enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon ride, or play cowboy for a day on a horseback ride along a mountain or canyon trail. Santa Fe provides all of these opportunities and more.
Day 9: Santa Fe, NM - Gallup, NM
200 mi / 322 km
This morning you head south, down to Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, with a third of the state’s population. Albuquerque is sprawling at the heart of New Mexico, where the main east - west road and rail routes cross both the Rio Grande and the old road south to Mexico. You cross the Rio Grande and head west – out into the open country and the hues of the Navajo wilderness. You are skirting mesas and bluffs on into Laguna. Further on ride through Grants and along Cibola National Forest towards the famous Route 66 town of Gallup – an old railroad town and Indian stronghold. Enjoy your stay tonight with a host of fellow riders from around the world at one of the many biker friendly hotels in Gallup.
Day 10: Gallup, NM - Grand Canyon, AZ
283 mi / 456 km
Today is another huge day, full of spectacular scenery and iconic Route 66 stops. We cross the border into Arizona and ride to Petrified Forest National Park, a fossilized prehistoric forest of gigantic trees that has been unearthed by erosion. Here you will have the time to explore this stunning landscape and take a moment to get lost in the expansiveness that defines this area. Leaving Petrified Forest NP, we travel further west to the Wigwam Hotel in Holbrook, and stop to stand on the corner in Winslow! While most groups stop in Flagstaff or Williams, Arizona, we will ride on to spend our night just one mile from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon! Tonight you will sit with a cold drink in your hand and enjoy the sunset over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The dream is coming true!
Day 11: Grand Canyon, AZ - Kingman, AZ
256 mi / 412 km
For those looking to get a real "Bird's Eye View" of the Grand Canyon be sure to let us know and we will arrange a morning helicopter ride over the heart of the South Rim. Later, we will have plenty of time to ride along the rim and stop for amazing vistas and photos. We will leave the Grand Canyon and pick Route 66 back up in Williams, Arizona before heading stops in the famous 66 towns of Seligman, Peach Springs, and Hackberry.
Day 12: Kingman, AZ - Las Vegas, NV
184 mi / 296 km
Today is a quick ride for a little detour to take in the incredible sights and sounds of Las Vegas...but first we ride through the Old West Ghost Town of Oatman. We spare no expense in Las Vegas as we are treated to a first class experience at some of the most famous hotels on The Strip. One thing is for sure, your time in Vegas may be short, but it will sure be sweet! Try to get a little bit of sleep because we pick up Route 66 tomorrow right where we left off yesterday.
Day 13: Las Vegas, NV - Victorville, CA
282 mi / 454 km
Today we cross the border into our final State on Route 66 – California! One thing is for sure, today is a day like no other as we traverse the Mojave Desert which offers some of the most dramatic scenery in Southern California. You can imagine what it must have been like for early Route 66 travelers making their way across this huge expanse of desert, dotted with Joshua Trees, cactus, volcanic rock and sand!. Tonight, we celebrate our last night on the Mother Road.
Day 14: Victorville - Los Angeles
124 mi / 200 km
Today we head off for our final destination – the end of the road on the Santa Monica Pier! To get there, however, we first get to ride the 66 miles of the Angeles Crest Highway through the mountainous terrain of Angeles National Forest. This highway is considered one of the top motorcycle rides in southern California and rises to over 2300 meters. Next we descend the Crest into the Los Angeles Basin and heading towards the Pacific Ocean. Riders always have mixed emotions as they stand at the "End of the Trail" sign on the Santa Monica Pier. There is a sense of joy and elation at having completed a journey most people only dream about, and a sense of sadness at the thought of the ride having come to an end. Tonight we celebrate the miles we’ve ridden and the friends we made as we party together for our Farewell Dinner!
Day 15: Los Angeles, CA Departure
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Today your exciting trip will conclude in Los Angeles. Please be sure to let us know if you need an extra night or two in L.A. to enjoy the sights. We can even arrange a discounted motorcycle rental! See you next year! EagleRider