Day 1 - Welcome to Chicago
Welcome to the Windy City! Nicknamed the ‘Paris of the Prairie’, Chicago is the biggest and most exciting of the Great Lake cities. It includes a stunning skyline along Lake Michigan, and an array of top-rated museums, restaurants, cafes and innumerable bars and nightclubs that pay homage to the city’s strong jazz and blues heritage. Tonight, you will get to meet your fellow riders and Tour Guides at an orientation meeting held in your hotel, followed by a great welcome dinner to kick-off your dream Route 66 journey!
Day 2 - Springfield (187 miles)
This morning you will be picking up your bike and then you’re off on the ultimate American road trip. The legendary Route 66 begins at the doorstep of the depot and cuts through the state of Illinois before running all the way to the Pacific Coast. From Chicago you head south along the Pontiac Trail, passing through Joliet, checking out the famous Launching Pad Giant, stopping at the amazing Route 66 Museum in Pontiac and generally getting a feel for the ‘Mother Road’.
Day 3 - St. Louis (116 miles)
Today you’ll head towards St. Louis! Staying primarily on the 2-lane sections of the Mother Road, you’ll be traversing cornfields and small towns that represent the heartland of America. Your arrival in St. Louis will be over the Chain of Rocks Bridge, the original bridge where Route 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.
Day 4 - Joplin (335 miles)
It’s worth getting up early this morning to enjoy an early view of the St. Louis Arch and the Mississippi River before it’s time to hit the road again. Leaving the city in your mirrors, settle in to enjoy the rolling Missouri hills that make this area so beautiful and fun to ride in. You will stop and see the famous World’s Largest Rocking Chair in Fanning, wind your way on the twisting roads of Devil’s Elbow and stop at other Route 66 icons throughout the day. Tonight, enjoy a stay in Joplin, a city that was hit very hard in 2011 by a tornado. Maybe tonight you’ll get the chance to hang with the locals and hear some amazing stories about what it was like to be in the eye of the storm!
Day 5 - Oklahoma City (255 miles)
From Joplin, you’ll be heading west through the hills and horse country of Oklahoma. You’ll be crossing Miami, Claremore and Catoosa, home of the legendary Blue Whale before passing through Tulsa. On the ride today you’ll also be travelling through the reservations of several Native American tribes. In the 1830s, much of this land was considered ‘unusable’ by the Federal Government, so various Indian tribes were ‘settled’ thereafter colonisation, including the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek and Cherokee. This evening will be spent in Oklahoma City, the heart and soul of Route 66!
Day 6 - Amarillo (266 miles)
This morning you will 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 that were used in the 1860s to drive herds of cattle from Texas up to the railhead in Abilene, Kansas. You will ride along a section of the Chisholm Trail, which passes through Yukon and El Reno and stop at the amazing Route 66 Museum in Clinton. After lunch, cross the border into the Texas Panhandle, the southernmost portion of the Great Plains. At the Big Texan Steakhouse in Amarillo, you have the opportunity to enjoy the best steaks in Texas, guaranteed!
Day 7 - Santa Fe (303 miles)
Today you leave Texas and are on your way into ‘The Land of Enchantment’, New Mexico. After passing through the world-famous Cadillac Ranch, you’ll stop at the midway point of Route 66 in Adrian, Texas! From here you enter the land of the Comanche Indians, where mesas, mountains, cactus and pines define the landscape as you rise up into the High Plains of Santa Fe in central New Mexico. Santa Fe is one of America’s oldest and most beautiful cities and will be your base for the next two nights.
Day 8 - Santa Fe
Today is yours to rest and enjoy the distinctive flavour 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 maybe play cowboy for a day on a horse ride along a mountain or canyon trail. Santa Fe provides all these opportunities and more.
Day 9 - Gallup (271 miles)
This morning you head south, down to Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city. 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. After crossing the Rio Grande, head west out into the open country and the hues of the Navajo wilderness. You are skirting mesas and bluffs on your way 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 - Grand Canyon (283 miles)
From Gallup it’s only about half an hour to the Arizona border. Once you enter Arizona enjoy a very scenic ride through the Petrified Forest, a fossilized prehistoric forest of giant trees that has been unearthed by erosion. Just west of Petrified National Forest you get to Holbrook and Winslow, two old Route 66 towns that are kept alive by transcontinental truckers. Tonight you will stay in Flagstaff, the northern Arizona community on historic Route 66 and is the regions hub for visits to the Grand Canyon.
Day 11 - Laughlin (256 miles)
For those looking to get a real ‘Bird’s Eye View’ of the Grand Canyon, a morning helicopter ride over the heart of the South Rim can be arranged for you. Leaving the Grand Canyon, you will pick up Route 66 again in Williams, Arizona before heading to stops in the famous Route 66 towns of Seligman, Hackberry and Kingman as well as Oatman, before arriving at your Laughlin hotel on the shores of the Colorado River.
Day 12 - Las Vegas (129 miles)
Today is a quick ride for a little detour to take in the incredible sights and sounds of Las Vegas! The journey this morning will take you through your first real taste of the Mojave Desert and across the famous Hoover Dam. Although Las Vegas is a 24-hour city, it’s worth trying to get a little bit of sleep because you’ll pick up Route 66 tomorrow right where you left it.
Day 13 - Victorville (282 miles)
Cross the border into your final State on Route 66 – California! One thing is for sure – today is a day like no other as you 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 travellers making their way across this huge expanse of desert, dotted with Joshua Trees, cactus, volcanic rock and sand as you stop in the tiny ‘waystations’ of Amboy and Ludlow. Tonight, you will get the chance to celebrate your last night on the Mother Road.
Day 14 - Los Angeles (124 miles)
Today you’ll head off for your final destination – the end of the road on the Santa Monica Pier! To get there, however, you first get to ride the 66 miles of the Angeles Crest Highway through the mountainous terrain of the Angeles National Forest. This highway is considered one of the top motorcycle rides in southern California and rises to over 2300 metres. Next, you descend the Crest into the Los Angeles Basin and head 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, you can celebrate the miles you’ve ridden and the friends you’ve made as you all party together at a farewell dinner!
Day 15 - Farewell from Los Angeles
Today your exciting Route 66 trip will conclude in Los Angeles. You could of course choose to stay here a little longer if want to, or you could even move on to another exciting adventure, the choice is yours! However, if it is homeward bound for you, make your way to the airport for your scheduled flight back to the UK.
15 day Guided Motorcycle Tour - from £3845
With flights from £4445
- Add extra nights in Chicago or Los Angeles
- Add Inclusive Insurance from £53 per day
- Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class