Running the route

The blog of the Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association recently posted this video about the Route 66 Trail Biking Loop, which contains old alignments of the Mother Road on Ash Fork Hill west of Williams, Ariz.

The group’s blog said:

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, my Kaibab National Forest co-worker Teri Cleeland had the foresight to create a mountain bike loop trail out of the 1921 Old Trails Highway section and 1931 Route 66 alignment. She also had successfully nominated them to the National Register of Historic Places.

For more than twenty years I thought this would make tough 10K, but it wasn’t until today that NATRA gave it a spin. The run was every bit as challenging for runners (and David on his Mountain Bike) as it was from the truckers heating up their engines climbing I-40 just to the south of us. We ran the loop counter clockwise so that we could retrace the steps of the runners that competed in the 1928 Footrace Across America, 84 years ago this March! Running westward on the broken pavement of the 1931 Route 66 alignment we had a blast and encountered a recently stenciled Route 66 marker in the old pavement. The vistas to the west were stunning and the run was pretty much downhill – we were feeling pretty fast….but what goes down…

Here’s a detailed map of the trail. Going up 300 feet in elevation in less than a mile must be brutal.

UPDATE: Jim Hinckley points out that the Johnson Canyon Railroad Tunnel is near the trail, close to the Welch Road exit on Interstate 40.

4 thoughts on “Running the route

  1. I’ve mountain biked this one. Going down wasn’t too bad, but the stretch east up hill on the asphalt was a killer climb. I can’t imagine running it!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.