Tuesday, December 26, 2017

US 89 Arizona Route

US 89's route through Arizona in 1935.
Here's the beautiful Arizona Department of Highways map logo.
Nogales to Tucson.
Tucson to Florence
Florence to The Valley
The Valley to Wickenburg
Wickenburg to Prescott
Prescott to Ask Fork & SR 79 to Flagstaff
US 89 joins Rt. 66 from Ash Fork to Townsend.
Flagstaff to Cameron
Cameron to Fredonia.

These map clips were taken from a public domain map produced in 1935 by the Arizona Highway Department.  The map can be found and downloaded here:


US 89 Utah Route

US 89 traverses portions of five states.  However, only a very small section of US 89 crosses the southeast corner of Idaho.  The other four states contain the vast majority of the spectacular scenery.
It's tough to pick which state has "the best" scenery.  Proponents of each state's charms could easily present  persuasive  points why their favorite state should be at the top of the Most Scenic List.

While Utah might not put on display scenes as spectacular as the Grand Tetons, Utah has some mighty attractive scenery from top to bottom.  No matter  where you look, there something to capture your imagination and attention!
US 89 comes into Utah just a few miles south of Little Hollywood (AKA: Kanab).  Great distant views of ZIon are seen on the way to Mt. Carmel Junction.  The Elk Heart Cliffs present a riveting tableau on the east flank of US 89 as it makes its way north through Long Valley to Panguitch.
Leaving Panguitch, US 89 winds its way between two massive volcanic fields as it passes through Butch Cassidy Country.  Big Rock Candy Mountain is a major attraction site along the way to the Sevier Valley which begins at Cove, Utah.
From Cove, old US 89 is still intact though Elsinore and Central to Richfield. The old road also remains to connect Richfield with Salina.  US 89 is easy to follow from Salina to Gunnison.
Just north of Gunnison, S 89 takes another one of its patented sharp turns to the right and heads northeast into the Wasatch Valley through Manti, Ephraim, Mt. Pleasant and Fairview.  This portion of US 89 to Thistle is the last of the Utah rural stretches of the highway.
After dropping down from Thistle to Spanish Fork, US 89 is firmly in the grasp of the sprawling metropolis that covers the east sides of Utah and Salt Lake Valleys.  From 1926 to 1932, US 89 ended at Spanish Fork.  The route from Spanish Fork to Canada was designated in 1932.
 Here's a glimse of US 89's complicated route through Salt Lake City circa 1940.
Once past Brigham City, US 89 takes an odd, out-of-the-way route to Logan before going up and over Logan Pass to Garden City on Bear Lake.  The Idaho state line lies just a few miles north.
We added close ups of Salt Lake City and Ogden.  It is our goal to find much better street maps tracing the precise route of US 89 through these cities.

US 89 Idaho Route

There isn't much of US 89 in The State of Idaho.  In fact, you can fit it all on just one map clip.  US 89 arrives at Bear Lake in Garden City, Utah, a popular summer destination.  Turning slight northwest, US 89 heads along the west short of Bear Lake to the tiny communities of Fish Have, St. Charles, Bloomington, Paris and Ovid before arriving in busy Montelier.

Afvter passing through Geneva, Idaho, 15 miles east of Montpelier, US 89 turns north and parallels the Idaho line for a a few miles before crossing the Wyoming state line.

Don't let US 89's short distance in Idaho fool you.  There's plenty to do and you can easily make a day or more out of your time in Idaho.

The two top attractions are in Paris and Montpelier.  Paris is famous for the LDS Bear Lake Stake Tabernacle there.  It is a "must see" structure.  The workmanship in this old building is the finest we've ever seen.

Meanwhile, US 89 crosses the famous Oregon Trail in Montpelier. There's a very substantial, top notch Oregon Trail Visitor Center located there.  It's another one of those "must see" interpretive facilities you simply can't miss.

Eventually, we will add some additional linkages and maybe photos here.

US 89 Wyoming Route

The US 89 Route in Wyoming takes the highway through some of its most spectacular roadside scenery.
After US 89 finally crosses into Wyoming, the first order of business is climbing 1,500 feet to the to of Salt River Pass.  This is the headwaters of the Salt River which flows north through Star Valley located beyond the crest of the pass.  Afton is the main community in Star Valley.  Be sure to check out the famous antler arch in Afton.
After leaving Afton, US 89 continues north through the remainder of Star Valley, arriving at a junction with US 20 in Alpine.  Here the route turns northeasterly  and travels through the Snake River Canyon.  Today's highway crosses the Snake at Hoback and turns north toward Jackson.
The map above shows the old route prior to construction of the Hoback bridge.  We think this route to Moose is still easily passable in the summer season.
Once at Wilson, Wyoming, US 89 turned to go to Jackson, the commercial and resort center of  Far Western Wyoming. Tourist services have been abundant here for over 100 years.  US 89 makes one of its patented 90 degree turns north at the Jackson Town Square and proceeds into Grand Teton National Park.
The modern US 89 stays far to the east of the Grand Teton Range, although still providing perhaps the most spectacular view on the entire highway from Mexico to Canada. The old US 89 crossed the Snake River at Moose and then followed what's now considered the "old Jenny Lake Road."  It's difficult to drive this road without backtracking because of one-way traffic controls.  Don't worry.  The difficulty is well worth the effort.  We will be writing a short separate guide about how to get maximum mileage out of old US 89 in this portion of Grand Teton National Park.

After cross the Snake River once again below Jackson Lake Dam, US 89 arrives back at the main road near Moran.  Old and current US 89 proceed north to the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway and thence to the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park near historic Flagg Ranch.

Once inside Yellowstone National Park, US 89 stops being US 89 (wink, wink) and is simply a National Park Service road with directional signage to the next nearest  destinations and attraction sites.  Proceed to West thumb and follow the signs to Old Faithful.  Old Faithful would have been (and continues to be) one of the major single site destinations on the entire highway from Mexico to Canada.  While many other National Parks and Monuments beckon travelers along US 89's route, Old Faithful has been packin' 'em in by the millions over many generations.
After leaving Old Faithful, follow the signs to Mammoth.  The Mammoth Hot Springs spawned building of numerous commercial, administrative and tourist facilities since Yellowstone was created in 1872.  There's must to see and do there.  After leaving, follow the signs to Gardiner, Montana. Just before reaching Gardiner, the road exits Wyoming and enters Montana. As soon as you cross the Yellowstone NPS boundary, POOF, you're back on US 89!  While in Gardiner be sure to check out the Roosevelt Arch.  Old US 89 once went right through this fabulous , historic arch.  US 89 is now in the fifth and final state of its vertical route across America.

We will soon be adding additional resources to this page.

US 89 Montana Route

The first leg of US 89 route through Montana travels from Gardiner to Livingston following the Yellowstone River along the way.
The second leg of US 89's Montana odyssey goes north to White Sulphur Springs.

White Sulphur Springs to Great Falls.
Great Falls to Choteau and Dupuyer.
Dupuyer to Browning to St. Mary to Babb to Piegan.