We imagine you’ve heard by now how beautiful of a drive Arizona Highway 89A can be if travelling from Prescott to Flagstaff. Did you know how this highway came about? What is was for? For the quick lesson on the history of Highway 89A, keep reading.
89A The Beginning: A Mountain Mining Road
The first section of what would eventually become Arizona Highway 89A was built in the early 1900s. At that time, the area was being developed for mining operations and there was a need for a reliable route to transport supplies and equipment up and down the mountain. The original dirt road was only a single lane, making it difficult for vehicles to pass one another.
In 1926, the highway was paved and expanded to two lanes. At that point, it ran from Prescott to Clarkdale as SR79. By 1929, it reached north of Sedona, and then was eventually expanded into Flagstaff. By 1939 the entire road was paved from Prescott to Flagstaff.
In 1941 the route was redesignated from SR79, to US89A. Since this was well before the I-17 was built, the only way to Flagstaff was US89 (through Chino Valley to US66 then east) or US89A (a now more direct route from Prescott).
Sedona Becomes a Popular Destination
During the 1950s and 1960s, the popularity of Sedona as a tourist destination began to grow. In response, the Arizona Highway Department made improvements to the highway in order to make it more accessible and safe for visitors. These improvements included widening sections of the road, constructing guardrails, and adding pull-offs so that motorists could enjoy the scenic views.
I-17 is Built
Highway 89A was one of the two main ways to get to Flagstaff before Interstate 17 was built. However, upon the completion of I-17, Highway 89A became less used for commercial traffic. Instead, it became a more popular route for leisure travel and scenic drives. The highway winds its way through beautiful red rock canyons and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It is also a popular route for cyclists and hikers, as there are several trailheads along the way. Although it no longer sees as much commercial traffic as it once did, highway 89A remains an important part of the communities between Prescott and Flagstaff.
An Arizona Tourist Must-See Today
Today, Arizona Highway 89A is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state. Every year, thousands of people come from all over the world to experience the breathtaking beauty of this scenic highway. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely drive or an adventure-filled road trip, Arizona Highway 89A is sure to disappoint. Thanks for reading and happy travels!
Take a road trip!
In one day you can travel the length of Arizona 89A and have a lot of fun. Our customers like to take visiting family and friends on a day trip that way. Countless shops to visit, good restaurants to eat at, and breathtaking views to gaze at the entire way.
But before you go – make sure your vehicle is in great shape and road-ready. Call us today to schedule your service or inspection.
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