The following are sections from shaded relief maps for water resources in the Mohave Desert. Source: Relief Map of Part of Mohave Desert Region, California
. Water-Supply Paper 490-B (and later reused for Water-Supply Paper 578). USGS. David G. Thompson. 1921 (surveyed 1917-1920).
For our purposes they shows the National Old Trails Road as the primary road through the desert. The former highway is also indicated. I'm not including the whole maps, just the parts relevant to Route 66.
Water symbols are: Red dot ●
— Flowing well; Red circle ⚪
— Nonflowing well; Red circle with smaller circle inside ☉
— Nonflowing well with pumping plant; Black vertical line through circle ϕ — Abandoned well or dry hole; Red triangle ▵
— Natural reservoir or "tank"; Red dot with stream ●~
— Spring; Red square □
— Cistern or other artificial reservoir.; Red T T
— Sign post erected by U.S. Geologic Survey.
Rialto to Barstow
Nebo to Klondike
The map shows the highway leaving Barstow
on the north side of the tracks. It seems to be about 1/3 of the way from the west side of the survey township. Looking at the 1950s topo there seems to be a crossing at the section line between sections 8 and 9. This is approximately where the Tom's Burgers parking lot is now. It may have been farther east, however. This is the same route shown on the 1922 era ACSC strip map.
The road goes through the Nebo
Marine Corps Supply Center....
The old Stoddard Well road meets the Barstow-Daggett Road approximately at the township border, which is actually the San Bernardino Meridian. This is right where the road bends west of Daggett and where it approaches close to the rail line. The 1922 strip maps seems to show the Stoddard Well Road merging in at about the same point. In fact, all of the maps show the road joining just west of Daggett. I see no trace of this road. It must have been near Nebo Street. It looks as if it is heading southwest down a canyon, and the only likely candidate is what is called Cape Gloucster Avenue, shown as a jeep trail on the topo map below.
Ord Mountain Road merges in from the south, a road that does not go through due to the freeway. A remnant of this road, called Ponnay St, does exist north of the freeway. The NOTR crossed just west of Ord Mtn Rd, on current Daggett-Yermo Road.
It headed east on Santa Fe Street though Daggett
The road crosses the railroad spur to Yermo Marine Corps Supply Center, passes Gale siding
, and seems to pass Hidden Springs Rd. Minneola Rd is exactly in the middle of the survey township, but the highway rail crossing is farther west of center. Looking at the way a dirt road curves eastward from the crossing, it seems analogous to the road shown in the topo map below. That would put the crossing at the point in Minneola
shown on the topo just just west of the line between sections 28 and 29. The crossing was here
. This makes sense, as east of this point the road on the north side of the tracks becomes irregular.
The initial curve into Newberry Springs
(aka Newberry) is the same today as on this 1921 map and on the 1955 topo. The springs are shown on both sides of former Mountain View Road, now a dirt track to nowhere. The one on the east is marked as "Newberry Spring (dry)." At this point the road started heading southeast, where a road (Echo Ranch Road) is shown on the modern topo map skirting the east side of the promontory. This is not continuous, though Google Maps calls it Magney Lane, but becomes "Old National Trails Highway" when it meets Newberry Road at the line between sections 3 and 4. The road did not
continue along this road far. It curved southward immediately west of the next "Newberry Road" farther east. This curve still exists. It then curved onto Magney Lane, which makes sense since the road west of the main Newberry Road is also called Magney Lane. The road passes by a house at Earll Road, then gets cut by some sort of former dry tank depression, then continues on the east side of Caspian Road. It merges into Old National Trail Hwy near a driveway to the north. This track is shown on the 1955 topo, but not the current one. Upon reaching Athol Lane, more than one road curves southeast. Both are labeled Old National Trails Hwy in places. Perhaps they both were the highway at different times. The one bending almost SE at 45° head straight to a connection with Sweet Rock Lane and Cneter Road (the east end of the old highway). So its logical it was an NOTR alignment at some point. However, this map and the auto club map from 1922 show the road heading at a less then 45° angle, then heading south just west of the township line marked by Fort Cady Road. it then headed south with a well in the Loman Ranch property to the right. Using the 1955 topo to search for the well, I believe it's here
. This makes me believe that the more northerly of the diagonal roads is the one shown on this map. The road south of Loman Ranch is shown here as slightly angled, but is roughly equivalent to Sundoen Lane/Center Road. There is a road extending west-northwest from "Sweet Rock Lane" (Center Road extension), but it curves too much compared to this map. Once on Center Road, there are no more properties and things are obvious all the way to Route 66. There is even evidence of asphalt paving in places. The road coming in from the southeast (also on the strip map) is still present today.
Once you run into Route 66, the road crosses right at the property south of the freeway rest areas. It bends northeast as it crosses the freeway, and crosses a lava malpais region. it then curves northeast and parallels the south side of the rail line. It begins to head southeast at 34.804937,-116.474181
. A road continues east to Hector siding
as shown on this map. A trace of a road does head southeast from Hector siding as shown. Proceed southeast on the NOTR track. An alternate wash crossing seems to exist in this area
. The road continues to the former rail crossing to the northwest of Pisgah siding
. There isn't a crossing here now, but one exists just to the northwest. A detour has to be made. A road used to connect from the old crossing southwest to Route 66. The road on the other side leads northeast to Black Butte Mine. Both these roads seems to have had some sort of paving. After crossing the railroad, the highway heads southeast until it runs into the freeway near a wash. A small remnant also appears to the east between the freeway lanes. I think it likely that this big loop north was primarily to avoid the worst of the Pisgah volcano lava flows.
Once on the other side of the freeway, the NOTR crossed over Route 66 at 34.752169,-116.34014
. This is just after 66 crosses over to the north of the rail line.
The road eventually bends a little more east, and parallels Route 66. At a point on this road, the older NOTR veered southeast on what I call the Lavic Loop. This was bypassed by the 1926 strip map, and so was likely never US 66. I believe the other part I've been following was actually US 66 for a few years, and seems to have paving. Actually, I've driven the Lavic Loop, and it seems to have had a primitive level of paving as well. There are two tracks that diverge at 34.741923,-116.321542
. The more northerly one is our older NOTR. The southerly one leads to Lavic Siding
. This loop has the exactly wiggles shown on the ACSC strip map. The later NOTR merges with current Route 66, and they both actually disappear under freeway lanes for a time. What remains is actually modern frontage for the freeway crossing. A trace of 66 exists north of the freeway just to the west of the overpass bridge. 66 resumes once near the freeway again. When the road veers away again, 66 once again when under freeway lanes, but reemerges on the south side as a trace and the east end of the Lavic Loop. Out older NOTR rejoined the later Route 66 NOTR alignment just near the wash. The NOTR and Route 66 are actually between the freeway and the rail line, but it appears to be all chewed up now. This is near Argos siding
The road then went back under the freeway to emerge back onto the north frontage road after the wash crossings. Heading east, the road crossed the old Tonopah railroad that went south to Ludlow and Stedman at 34.723564,-116.170995
This map and the 1922 era strip map curved southeast into the main part of Ludlow
near the tracks along Main Street. There is a diagonal road that just misses the northeast side of the old railroad loop that may have been the NOTR. main Street merges with later 66 to the east of Ludlow.
When the railroad veers southeast away from later 66, the NOTR stayed with the tracks. It crossed over later 66 near its railroad crossing, continuing east. The NOTR crossed the tracks at 34.721617,-116.110058
. Once on the other side, later NOTR continued southeast, which is shown as a track on this map.
Our road however, bends east along the tracks, then veers east and southeast at 34.72085,-116.105621
. It wanders close to present 66 for a bit, then veers away. It merges for a time with the road to Ash Hill siding
. It crossed the rail line somewhere near here
. Then it headed almost due east. It winds a bit more than this map indicates through washes and hils, then head straight southeast past Klondike siding
. End of this map.
Siberia to Goffs
Homer to Topock