The Route and the Trail Trip

8 Days following Route 66 and the Santa Fe Trail

On this trip, you can get your kicks on a major portion of old US Route 66 (that's the "Route" part), and experience the landscape forged by pioneers along the Santa Fe Trail (the "Trail" part). The trip can take 7-10 days, depending on how fast or slow you want to travel. I did it in 8 days.

Day 1

Starting in St. Louis

On this day, I arrived in St. Louis, then visited a few attractions along Route 66 in Missouri and Illinois.

Day 2

Starting down the Route: across Missouri

On this day I headed westbound, following Route 66 into numerous small towns across Missouri. It's a big state that requires a lot of time and plenty of stops in small towns.

Day 3

Missouri into Kansas and Oklahoma on Route 66

On this day, I left Missouri, touched the corner of Kansas, and then continued into Oklahoma.

Day 4

Oklahoma, and into Texas on Route 66

This day included a stop at the Oklahoma City bombing memorial, and numerous other small towns, then headed into the Texas panhandle.

Day 5

From Texas into New Mexico on 66

This day finished the drive on Route 66, taking me from Amarillo into New Mexico, and ending in Santa Fe.

Day 6

From the "Route" to the Santa Fe "Trail"

I left Route 66 behind and began the return trip to St. Louis, this time following the Santa Fe Trail into Colorado.

Day 7

All the excitement that comes with a drive across Kansas

  • Council Grove, Kansas

    You could make a good argument that the town with the richest history in Kansas is Council Grove.  In the ...
  • Strong City, Kansas & Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

    As you drive up the road from Cottonwood Falls to Strong City, you begin to get the feeling that Kansas ...
  • Cottonwood Falls, Kansas

    From the intersection of US 50/KS Rte. 150: drive north on US 50 for one mile, to the town of ...
  • McPherson, Kansas

    After traveling for an entire day, and never once coming within sight of an interstate highway, McPherson finally gives you ...
  • Lyons, Kansas

    If Lyons hadn’t placed its courthouse along US 56 (Main Street), I probably wouldn’t have stopped in town.  But the ...
  • Pawnee Rock, Kansas

    It might not look like much today, but 150 years ago, this lump of sandstone was an exciting landmark for ...
  • Larned, Kansas

    US 56 doubles as Broadway Street through downtown Larned, Kansas.  Judging by the empty parking spots, there’s not a lot ...
  • Garfield, Kansas

    Simply blinking your eyes could cause you to miss tiny Garfield, Kansas.  The town is just a few blocks wide, ...
  • Kinsley, Kansas: Midway USA

    After driving for miles over the flat landscape of Kansas, you might swear you’re in the middle of nowhere.  Then ...

A gloomy, cloudy Kansas isn't terribly exciting, but I found all the interesting places along the Santa Fe Trail.

Day 8

Finishing the trip, across Missouri

This day was gloomy and rainy, and required a lot of miles. But I still found a few interesting places along the way.