In Oklahoma, Route 66 covered 432 miles. After traveling through Illinois, Missouri and Kansas, the Mother Road entered Oklahoma near Commerce, and headed southwest to Tulsa, Oklahoma City and into Elk City. In general, it followed the route of present-day Interstate I-44. From Elk City, Route 66 continued west to Erick and then into Texas.
Elk City is located in Beckham County and has a population of over 12,000 residents. It lies about 110 miles west of Oklahoma City and 150 miles east of Amarillo, Texas.
Elk City was named after Elk Creek, which in turn had been named after an Indian Chief, Elk River, who lived in the area years before.
The National Route 66 & Transportation Museum
Today, Elk City is a popular stop for travelers on Route 66 and is home to the famous National Route 66 & Transportation Museum.
Visitors to the Old Town Museum Complex can also visit a pioneer school, doctor's office, livery stable and chapel, take in the Beutler Brothers Rodeo Collection and plow through the Farm & Ranch Museum, featuring the Blacksmith Museum and a windmill collection.
The National Route 66 & Transportation Museum focuses on the people who lived, worked and traveled the “Mother Road”. It offers visitors a classic walk through all eight Route 66 states, highlighted by realistic murals and vignettes depicting the eras of the road and the interesting places that made Route 66 so famous.
It is located at 2717 West 3rd in Elk City. Phone 580.225.6266
More Scenes Around the Museum Complex
MKT Depot in Elk City
The historic MKT Depot, built in 1901, continued as an active railway station until the early 1970s. Today, it houses the popular Prairie Fire Grille, located at 422 South Main Street.
Elk City has many recreational activities and tourist destinations – both indoors and out – to satisfy any taste. Outdoor fun includes hiking, biking and horseback riding along with fishing, boating and waterskiing; while indoor fun can be had at any number of museums in the area.
The Elk City Parks Department work year-round maintaining and enhancing Elk City’s parks and Elk City Lake. Ackley Park is one of Elk City’s featured attractions. It is home to the Centennial Carousel with its 36 hand-carved wooden horses, Old Town Miniature Golf and the Choctaw Express Miniature Train.
The Parker Drilling Company Rig #14 was built in the 1960s to drill shafts for atomic bomb testing and is one of the tallest rings in the world. It is 181' tall, one of the world's tallest and one of the deepest drilling. Before drilling for natural gas, it drilled a world record nuclear test hole in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska - 10' wide and 4,500' deep. Today, it is a popular roadside attraction in Elk City, visible from I-40. The rig is located on the grounds of the old Casa Grande Hotel which now is the site of the Anadarko Basin Museum of Natural History and Route 66 World News headquarters. Visit the site at 107 E. 3rd. Street, 1 block from 3rd and Main, in downtown Elk City.
|Map of Historic Route 66 in Oklahoma showing the location of Elk City
More Information about Elk City and Route 66
MORE OKLAHOMA ROUTE 66
Oklahoma Route 66 Passport
The Oklahoma Route 66 Passport from the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department helps Route 66 travelers find new destinations to explore and document their progress along the way. A new updated passport (yellow) is being offered beginning in 2023.
The Route 66 Passport, which is available free at TravelOK.com, features 66 of the state’s memorable Mother Road attractions. It includes iconic stops like Catoosa’s Blue Whale, Stroud’s Rock Cafe and Clinton’s Oklahoma Route 66 Museum along with many newer favorites.
Get your passport stamped at each stop, then take it to a Tourism Information Center to be verified and earn an exclusive Route 66 coin.
Both the new yellow and previous red Route 66 Passports are now available in a digital format. Download the official TravelOK Trip Planner app on the Apple App Store or Google Play to get started. When you get to each stop, you'll find a code displayed that you can enter to digitally check in.