Finding Your Way on Historic Route 66

  • The Oklahoma Route 66 Association Trip Guide – this is available for free from our Business Members or directly through us for the cost of shipping. It outlines all of the towns along Oklahoma Route 66 and provides maps to help ensure you don’t miss a thing!
  • The EZ-66 Guide for Travelers – Oklahoma’s own Jerry McClanahan has been publishing the most comprehensive turn-by-turn guide for Route 66 since 2005. It’ll take you from Chicago to Santa Monica and back again! If you have a guide, be sure to check for updates at his website here:
  • Route 66 Adventures App – developed in partnership with the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership, this free app uses your phone’s GPS to provide turn-by-turn directions. Custom itineraries are being developed and an Apple iPhone version is coming soon!
  • The Oklahoma Route 66 Passport – Developed by TravelOK, this passport is a great companion to our Trip Guide! Collect all stamps and the State Tourism Department will send you some goodies!

Oklahoma has about 400 miles of Route 66. Oklahoma also has more miles of original alignment (path or routing) left than any other Route 66 state—in other states, the interstates have obliterated entire sections. In addition, nice stretches of the original cement paving laid down in 1932-1933 in western Oklahoma still remain.

Over time, the pathway of 66 changed, especially as paving was introduced. This was done to eliminate sharp turns, bypass some smaller communities, eliminate railroad crossings, and to shift routings in major metropolitan areas to avoid traffic congestion. Of the original 2400 miles that made up Route 66, about 80-85% is still driveable. We are fortunate that, in Oklahoma, virtually all of the Route remains intact.

In Oklahoma, you can travel almost all of old Route 66 without getting on the interstate system, with just a few spots where you must either jog over, under, or briefly merge onto and then exit again. Some sections parallel the interstate system, other sections wander totally away into the countryside. In some areas, Historic Route 66 is marked on the Interstate to help ensure travelers stay on the road.

Will Rogers Turnpike exit with new 2021 signage

Current state maps do not show the routing of Route 66, as it was de-certified in 1985. Oklahoma was the first to attempt marking the Route with brown and white Historic Route 66 signs. Over the years, many have been stolen, blown down, struck by cars, or severely weathered. Although a new initiative in 2021 replaced many signs and added new ones, we highly recommend you supplement your journey with a travel guide or an app to help with wayfinding.

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A pavement shield on the eastern edge of Tulsa

Some spots across the state, such as Vinita, Tulsa, and sections in western Oklahoma, have 66 shields painted on the road surface. But they are sporadic in placement and disappear under wear and tear or road resurfacing. Therefore, you MUST use a specially prepared Route 66 map of some kind if you want to travel it through the entire state, such as the Oklahoma Route 66 Association Official Trip Guide. The need for the 66 traveler to acquire special maps also applies to traveling through the other Route 66 states. (Note: Illinois has a good sign marking system in place—they were also the last state to install their signs.)

Oklahoma State Highway 66 – NOT ALWAYS Historic Route 66

The easiest-to-find sections in Oklahoma are those still marked as State Highway 66. These areas are (east to west):

  • just west of Vinita to Catoosa (east of Tulsa)
  • Sapulpa (west of Tulsa) to I-35/2nd Street exit (Edmond)
  • west Oklahoma City on 39th Street (just west of the junction of SH 66 and I-44) to the east side of El Reno

Do not follow SH 66 signs in Tulsa proper as those lead to I-44. All other sections of 66 are called by county names, city street names, or other U.S. or State Highway numbers. In western Oklahoma, following the Business Loop 40 signs will guide you through the larger towns as Business 40 reflects the last alignment of 66 through those communities. However, as you leave each town you must carefully watch for where the old highway jogs off so you don’t end up on I-40.

In addition to the information above, there are several resources that we consider invaluable to all those who seek to travel Historic Route 66: