End of US highway 70

View a map showing this route.

Additional research and/or photo credits: Joe Babyak; Mike Ballard; Chris Elbert; Andy Field; Alan Hamilton; Levente Jakab; Karin and Martin Karner; Dennis McClendon; David Montgomery; Adam Prince; Mike Roberson; Kevin Trinkle

Approx. time period East terminus West terminus
1926-1932 Beaufort, NC Holbrook, AZ
1932-1934 Atlantic, NC (old) El Paso, TX
1934-1935 Atlantic, NC (old) (near Mecca, CA)
1935-1965 Atlantic, NC (old) Los Angeles, CA
1965-1969 Atlantic, NC (old) Ehrenberg, AZ
1969-1976(?) Atlantic, NC (old) Globe, AZ
1976(?)-present Atlantic, NC (new) Globe, AZ

US 70 was an original 1926 route; its west end was in Holbrook AZ (you can view photos from there on this page). That's right: Holbrook. West of Clovis NM, US 70 followed an incredibly tortured route to get there. Perhaps that's why in 1932 the west end was truncated at Clovis and instead extended to El Paso TX (more info on this page).

The east end of US 70 during those early years was in Beaufort NC. At the time, traffic came into town on Ann Street (which is two blocks south of today's US 70). The US 70 designation ended at the intersection of Live Oak Street. In the photo below, we're looking west from Live Oak along Ann:

Karners, Apr. 2014

Straight ahead was the original east beginning of US 70. Two blocks to the right is where modern US 70 turns from Cedar Street to Live Oak.

In 1932 US 70 was extended further east, to Atlantic NC. Below is a photo of its current endpoint there:

Hamilton, Aug. 2000

There, Alan had just finished driving the entire highway from end to end; you can visit his website to see more photos from the trip. More recently, a "Road Ends" sign has been added:

Babyak, Jan. 2008

For decades, and until about 1976, US 70 used to continue another half-mile or so further ahead on Seashore Drive, including a bridge across Little Port Brook. (Click to see a 1.5 MB map animation that compares the historic setup to the current situation.) The route ended at what was then called Old Cedar Island Road:

Karners, Apr. 2014

That was the original Atlantic endpoint of US 70, and the highway's maximum extent to the east. From here traffic could continue left, northward to the Cedar Island-Okracoke ferry landing. (Today the road to the left becomes Old Cedar Island Road, but the name of the short segment between here and Shell Road has been changed to Core Sound Loop Road, reflecting the fact that this area is more of a dead-end now. My guess is the bridge was removed when the marina was created, and I suppose replacing it was deemed an unnecessary expense, since there's another bridge over Little Port Brook [Shell Rd], and that is how traffic is directed to reach Cedar Island today). The photo below shows the same junction, approaching from Cedar Island:

Montgomery, Oct. 2010

It used to be that US 70 began to the right. Today if you turn that direction, you're immediately greeted with a "Dead End" sign...

Karners, Apr. 2014

...but you can see how the road aligns with another road on the far side of the marina:

Montgomery, Oct. 2010

Before the marina, it was just a creek that ran through there, and there used to be a bridge that carried US 70 traffic across. Today, however, you have to go north to Shell Rd, which you can then take west across Little Port Brook. At the intersection with NC hwy. 1380 (known locally as School Drive), the sign shown below is posted:

Montgomery, Oct. 2010

That's how Cedar Island traffic is directed to US 70 today. About a quarter-mile to the left, the current east beginning of US 70 is posted thus:

Montgomery, Oct. 2010

The photo below shows not only that sign, but also the "End" assembly we've already seen above:

Karners, Apr. 2014

You can see how close this endpoint is to Core Sound, and on the horizon you can barely make out the Core Banks. On the same post as the "West 70" sign there's also a sign for Cedar Island traffic, shown close-up below:

Babyak, Jan. 2008

If you make that right turn, you're immediately greeted with a confirming assembly marking the east beginning of US 70:

Babyak, Jan. 2008

Globe, Arizona: 2385 miles.


In 1934, the US 70 designation was removed from the segment between Alamogordo NM and El Paso (today's US 54) and re-routed through Las Cruces and beyond: along a path that closely resembles modern US 70... except it continued past Globe, all the way through Arizona, ending at US 99 near Mecca CA. The photo below shows that perspective:

Elbert, Mar. 2005

That's looking west on old US 70 (now 66th Avenue) at old US 99 (now CA hwy. 86, or Harrison Street). This is about five miles west of Mecca, at a crossroads that some maps refer to as "Valerie" or "Valerie Jean".


One year later (in 1935), US 70 was extended further west - thereby becoming what we now think of as one of the grand old coast-to-coast routes. It was co-signed with US 60 from Mecca through Palm Springs to Beaumont (which today is part of greater Los Angeles). From there, the two routes split, but continued to braid with each other all the way into downtown L.A. (you can get more info and view photos from there on this page).


In 1965, the party ended when the US 70 designation was removed from California. For about four years its west terminus was at the CA line just outside Ehrenberg AZ (if you'd like to see a photo, there's one on my US 60 page). Then the multiplex with US 60 in Arizona was deemed unnecessary, and in 1969 the west end of US 70 was truncated to its current terminus in Globe. The shot below was taken from westbound US 70, approaching its endpoint:

Elbert, Apr. 2008

Just ahead is the "End" assembly shown below:

McClendon, 1999

US 70 comes into Globe northwest from Safford; it is routed onto East Ash Street. Meanwhile, US 60 comes in southwest from Show Low. Where it intersects Ash, US 60 traffic is directed to turn right, continuing along Ash into downtown Globe. That's the spot where US 70 now ceases to exist:

The photo below is from eastbound Ash:

Ballard/Field/Jakab/Trinkle, Nov. 2006

US 60 traffic continues by turning left; straight ahead is the west beginning of US 70. The signage ahead at the intersection is shown close-up below:

Ballard/Field/Jakab/Trinkle, Nov. 2006

Not far beyond that is the first eastbound confirming assembly:

Elbert, Apr. 2008

The photo below shows the overhead signage from westbound US 60...

Elbert, Apr. 2008

...which continues to the right on Ash. To the left is the west beginning of US 70:

Elbert, Apr. 2008


US 70 has some pretty complex split routes (as well as an alternate route) in Tennessee. As a matter of fact, it's the only remaining US highway that splits into north and south routes.