Route 66 Monument and 1932 Studebaker In The Painted Desert

Old Studebaker at the Route 66 Monument at Petrified Forest National Park

Sitting in what may seem like the middle of nowhere, in the Arizona Painted Desert rests the body of a lone 1932 Studebaker, a nod to times past and old romance of Route 66.

The Studebaker is part of a Route 66 Monument that also includes a vintage car themed concrete bench and a line of historic telephone poles showing the original Route 66 alignment.

The old, rusty car body is a popular icon for photographers and visitor alike, marks where a section of historic Route 66 crossed Petrified Forest National Park.

A sign at the monument reads:

You are standing near old Route 66. The line of the roadbed and the telephone poles in front of you mark the path of the famous “Main Street of America” as it passed through Petrified Forest National Park. From Chicago to Los Angeles, this heavily traveled highway was not only a road, it stood as a symbol of opportunity, adventure, and exploration to travelers.

The Route 66 exhibit, including the 1932 Studebaker was added to Petrified Forest National Park in 2006, just north of the highway overpass that separates the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert areas of the national park. The car was donated to the National Park Service by Frank and Rhonda Dobell, owners of Arizona Automotive Service in Holbrook, Arizona.

Petrified Forest And Route 66

Petrified Forest is part of a natural travel corridor that has been used for over 10,000 years and historic Route 66 is its most famous road!

Stretching from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California, Route 66 was one of the original highways in the United States. Established in 1926, the famous Highway was dotted with roadside attractions and was a destination of its own. In 1956 however, the more direct interstate highway system bypassed Route 66 and the road was decommissioned in 1985. Petrified Forest is the only National Park to preserve a section of this road.

Know Before You Go

  • The Route 66 Monument and 1932 Studebaker is located where Highway 40 crosses over Park Road in Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona’s Apache County. The easiest way to reach the monument is to enter the park at the north entrance near the Painted Desert Visitor Center.
  • Download the Petrified Forest National Park Map.
  • Petrified Forest National Park actually closes! The park is open daily year-round from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. When staff permits, extended hours go into effect from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm — and they’re not kidding. The park gates actually close and rangers drive the main park road around 4:30 telling you to wrap it up and start heading out of the park.
  • The Petrified Forest landscape is an extremely dry, high altitude desert so pack lots of water, even for short day hikes, to avoid heat exhaustion.
  • Petrified Forest is one of the most animal friendly national parks. You can bring your leashed pet any place you are allowed to go except into buildings.
  • Removal of petrified wood or other materials is against the law. Do not collect or take home pieces of the wood from the National Park.

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