(Old Route 66)
Arizona Ghost Town
About 25 Miles SW of Kingman, Arizona
About 50 Miles SE of Oatman, Arizona
About 38 Miles E of Needles, California
Population: 282 (2000)
Book Hotel Here > Arizona
in a Pecan Shell
Yucca began life as a true “jerkwater town” where railroad steam engines
stopped for water. The railroad was originally the Atlantic and Pacific
Railroad – although the name was a slight exaggeration since it originated
in St. Louis and Needles, California was its terminus.
During World War
II, the site was chosen for an Army Air Corps pilot training facility
and in the 1950s it became the site for the 4,000 acre Ford “Proving
Ground” which has since been acquired by the Chrysler corporation.
Residents of Yucca may have been content to live in the slow lane,
but progress found it in 1952. An improvement in the legendary Route
66 drove traffic through Yucca (at the cost of Oatman’s economy).
Yucca thrived for the next twenty years or so from on the increased
exposure and the postwar economy. Several cafes, a “classic” motel
and a truck stop provided jobs and the town’s future looked bright.
But progress again raised its ugly head and the building of I-40 made
Route 66 obsolete, allowing travelers to reach their destinations
faster and depriving them of the charm of small town rest stops. Although
no population figures of Yucca’s high-water mark are available, the
town retains essential businesses and its own post office.