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Arrowhead Trail (auto trail): Wikis


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The Arrowhead Trail or Arrowhead Highway was the first all-weather road connecting Los Angeles to Salt Lake City by way of Las Vegas. Built primarily in the late 1910s and viable roughly contemporaneously with Route 66, the road has since been supplanted by U.S. Route 91 and subsequently Interstate 15. Small portions of the route in California and Las Vegas, Las Vegas Boulevard, are sometimes still referred to by the name, or as Arrow Highway.


Starting in 1915, Charles H. Bigelow drove the entire route many times to generate publicity for the road.[1]

The Arrowhead Trail initially took a longer route via present US 95 and former US 66 between Las Vegas and Needles, as the more direct Old Spanish Trail was in very poor condition.[2][3] The "Silver Lake cutoff", which would save about 90 miles (145 km),[4] was proposed by 1920,[5] and completed in 1925 as an oiled road by San Bernardino County.[6][7] The Bureau of Public Roads and the state of Nevada both urged its inclusion in the state highway system, the former as part of the federal aid highway connecting Salt Lake City and Los Angeles,[8] and the state legislature did that in 1925,[9] with it becoming an extension of Route 31. (Across the state line, State Route 6 continued through Las Vegas to Arizona.) The initial plan for the U.S. Highway system simply stated that Route No. 91 would run from Las Vegas "to an intersection with Route No. 60" (which became US 66 in 1926),[10] but in 1926 the cutoff was chosen, ending at US 66 at Daggett, just east of Barstow.[11][12] (The roadway south from Las Vegas later became part of US 95.) The route was added to the federal-aid secondary system in 1926,[13] which helped pay for a mid-1930s widening and paving, including some realignments (parts of the old road are now known as Arrowhead Trail). The new routing generally followed the present I-15, except through Baker (where it used Baker Boulevard) and into Barstow (where it followed former SR 58 to First Avenue, ending at Main Street, which carried US 66).[14]

The Clark County, Nevada sections of the trail are marked by Nevada Historical Marker 168 and Nevada Historical Marker 197.

Current route names


  1. ^ "Arrowhead Trail (1914-1924)". Retrieved 2007-03-17.  
  2. ^ Official Automobile Blue Book, Volume Eight, 1917, p. 501
  3. ^ Clason Map Company, Touring Atlas of the United States, 1925
  4. ^ Van Nuys News, Auto Club News, December 21, 1923
  5. ^ Los Angeles Times, Brice Canyon, Zion Canyon National Park, Utah, December 26, 1920, p. VIII1
  6. ^ Eric Charles Nystrom, National Park Service, From Neglected Space To Protected Place: An Administrative History of Mojave National Preserve, March 2003
  7. ^ Los Angeles Times, State Takes Over Cut-off to Nevada Line, October 25, 1925, p. G12
  8. ^ California Highway Advisory Committee and Arthur Hastings Breed, Report of a Study of the State Highway System of California, California State Printing Office, 1925, p. 97
  9. ^ "An act authorizing and directing the California highway commission to acquire necessary rights of way, and to construct and maintain a highway, which is hereby declared to be a state highway, extending from a point...on the boundary line between the state of California and the state of Nevada...which said highway is commonly known and referred to as the Arrowhead trail.", 1925 chapter 369, p. 670
  10. ^ Report of Joint Board on Interstate Highways, October 30, 1925, Approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, November 18, 1925
  11. ^ United States System of Highways, November 11, 1926
  12. ^ American Association of State Highway Officials, United States Numbered Highways, American Highways, April 1927
  13. ^ Los Angeles Times, Silver Lake Cut-off to Get Federal Aid, February 14, 1926, p. G5
  14. ^ United States Geological Survey, Barstow (1934, scale 1:125000), Avawatz Mountains (1933, scale 1:250000), and Ivanpah (1942, scale 1:250000)



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