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Topock, Arizona (Route 66)

Topock, Arizona, is a small unincorporated community and census-designated place in Mohave County, with a rich connection to Route 66 and significant historical roots. The population of Topock, almost entirely residing in the nearby Golden Shores CDP to the north, was 2,104 according to the 2010 census. Topock is notably positioned between Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, and southeast of Needles, California, along the California–Arizona border. It’s known for its boating community and the Old Trails Arch Bridge, an iconic Route 66 structure featured in “The Grapes of Wrath.” The Colorado River crossings at Topock, including the Old Trails Arch Bridge, have also been showcased in the movie “Easy Rider”​​.

Historically, Topock’s origins trace back to the establishment of a railroad station and steamboat landing named Mellen, after Captain “Jack” Mellon, a notable figure in river steamboat navigation. It became a critical point for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, which constructed the Red Rock Bridge across the Colorado River in 1890. Eventually, the settlement’s name changed to Topock, possibly deriving from a Mohave word meaning “water crossing” or “bridge.” Over time, Topock evolved from a crucial river crossing into a significant point on Route 66, helping to bridge Arizona with California​​.

Route 66, famously known as the Mother Road, significantly influenced Topock’s development. Topock lies near Golden Shores, a resort town known for attracting retirees and serving as a haven from colder climates. This area enjoys a mild climate during winter and offers proximity to Lake Havasu and the gambling opportunities in Laughlin, Nevada. Golden Shores and Topock both benefit from their location by the Colorado River and the variety of outdoor activities available, including boating and fishing. The historical significance of Topock and its connection to Route 66 is further emphasized by the transportation and structural changes over the years, particularly the construction of bridges to facilitate travel across the Colorado River​​.

Topock’s historical and cultural legacy, coupled with its scenic beauty and the allure of Route 66, continues to attract visitors and residents alike, preserving its place in the broader tapestry of American history and the legendary Route 66.

Topock, Arizona, is a picturesque desert town nestled along the Colorado River, known for its stunning riverfront views and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Sources: legendsofamerica.com/az-topock/ wikipedia.org/wiki/Topock,_Arizona

Route 66 Attractions in Topock, Arizona

  1. Old Trails Bridge (1916 – 1947 US 66 Bridge)
  2. Topock 66 Bar and Restaurant with a gift shop and Marina with boat and jet ski rentals

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