Surrounded by national forests, the high desert town of Ash Fork is located at the junction of state Highway 89 and I-40 (mile markers 144 or 146). Historic Route 66 continues as the main thoroughfare through this small community, the proclaimed Flagstone Capital of the world. Flagstone was first quarried for the railroad in the early 1880s to build bridges, and other railroad-related structures. Soon after private industry began shipping stone for public buildings, churches and office buildings and as they say… the rest is history. Route 66 enthusiasts will enjoy the historic buildings built from the local flagstone as you traverse the Route.
For the full Ash Fork Route 66 experience, follow the Burma Shave signs to the Ash Fork Historical Society’s Museum/Tourist Center. Inside you will find stories of Ash Fork’s first settlers, historic photos, artifacts and exhibits of Ash Fork’s colorful past including a scale model of Fred Harvey’s Escalante Hotel. Tour groups are always welcome (easy bus and RV parking is available).
In addition to points of interest on Ash Fork’s stretch of Historic Route 66, the Tourist Center’s volunteer staff is ready to guide you to the surrounding area’s points of interest including the Settler’s Cemetery, Cathedral Caves which are approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of town off Arizona Road, the remnants of Beale Road (the first federally funded highway) just 15 miles (24 km) to the north of Ash Fork, the steel and stone dams, petroglyphs, and the China Tunnel.