"Needles~Route 66" Needles by Yaqui

Needles Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 38 photos

Long before the arrival of the white man, Needles was home to The Mojave - Aha Macav, or Pipa Aha Macav, - the people by the river. The people by the river were farmer who grew crops of beans, corn, and pumpkins and used irrigation to water their crops. They were expert fishermen by using nets and catching small games with traps. They were expert pottery makers by using the clay from the river. They were known for their body decoration of tattooing that included all members of the tribes. Now they live on the reservation called Fort Mojave Indian Tribe. Their descendants have lived here for at least a thousand years.

The Colorado River brought settlements and in the late 1850's Lt. Edward F. Beale recommended that a fort be established in the area for protection of travelers from Indians. Fort Mojave was established in 1859 and was soon a route along the old Mojave Road, traveled extensively by the military, settlers to the gold fields of California.

In 1883 the railroad arrived established the settlement called Needles due to the sharp peaks at the south of the valley. In 1890 the Red Rock steel cantilever bridge was built to replace the old wooden one.

The El Garces Harvey House and Train Depot

Built 1908, The El Garces Hotel/Santa Fe Depot was once one of the crown jewels of the Harvey Houses with its lovely ornate structure that served as a train station, restaurant, and hotel. It stopped serving passengers around 1949, but was still being used by Santa Fe till 1988. She sat abandon and derelict until in 1993 when the Friends of El Garces and the City of Needles saved her. The city bought her from Santa Fe for $130,000 and now she is being completely restored.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A very historical city, lots to see and do here!
  • Cons:It gets really hot here in summer!
  • In a nutshell:Treasures in the desert!
  • Last visit to Needles: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (7)

Comments (10)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    Nice little page! I'd love to see what the El Garces Harvey House looks like when the restoration is completed. Very interesting about the Harvey Houses and Girls -- I actually have a book on it! Lovely opening photo too!

    • Yaqui's Profile Photo
      Nov 4, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      Thank you! We drove by there and it is still a project inwork. At least it is getting the attention it needed.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Nice little page! I would love to see what the El Garces (Harvey) Hotel will look like when the restoration is complete. I have a book on Harvey Houses and Girls!!

  • Tugboatguy's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    We landed at Needles Airport in Aug. 2008 returning from Oshkosh just for a pit stop. WOW! Was it HOT! 105 degrees-no shade. Wonderful take on the place with useful tips for venturesome travelers. Doug

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Other than being really hot, I never knew anything about Needles. Thanks for the info.

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    Looks like you have found another historical gem here. I'd like to see the hotel when it is finished!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    Love the dramatic scenery of your opening shot, and all the history attached to that old hotel. And one day I want to drive the length of Route 66 - have done little segments but it's not the same!

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    Oy vey, what a name. It makes me think of doctors...LOL

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    On Route 66, I used to watch the TV series years ago. Railway hotels were always somehing special when built, good to read the City is restoring .

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    I think that you enjoy Route 66 as much as I do. Another little "gem" that you bring to light.

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:24 PM

    Nice little page = thanks for sharing

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