Route Description from 1925 State Highway Map:
Beginning at the Arkansas state line west of Siloam Springs, via Kansas, Locust Grove, Choteau, Inola, Tulsa, Sperry, Skiatook, Avant, Barnsdall, Pershing, Pawhuska, Burbank, Ponca City, Tonkawa, Lamont, Pond Creek, Nash, Jet, Cherokee, Ingersoll, Alva, Freedom, Buffalo, Gate, Forgan, Hooker, and Guymon, to Boise City.
Route 11 was the single longest highway designated in the original 1925 plan. It began at the Arkansas state line directly east of Tulsa, then jogged north to become the main arterial running along the very top of the state and the only highway serving the panhandle in the original system. Residents in what was once known as No Man's Land had but this one "good road" connecting them to the rest of the young state. Like most of the other secondary crossings, a goodly portion of Route 11 has been taken over by various US routes, but the old numbering remains along a small portion of its original path. The following is an approximation of the original path of Route 11 using modern highways.
If the original Route 11 existed today, it would begin at the Arkansas state line on US 412 and travel west, splitting off and following "US 412 Scenic" (Old State Highway 33) through Kansas, OK and on toward Locust Grove. After rejoining US 412 to cross the Grand River, Route 11 would take the business loop through Choteau, then merge back onto the mainline for the run toward Inola. For information on the historic routing in this area, please see the forthcoming SH 33 Tulsa to Siloam Springs page.
Route 11 would remain concurrent with US 412 as it continued toward Tulsa, picking up I-44 for a few miles, then following I-244 briefly before splitting off by itself to head north out of Tulsa on what is still to this day SH 11. The original routing continued west almost into what is now downtown before turning north, but we have chosen to show a theoretical full modern route following the modern alignment, assuming it would have been relocated similarly. After modern SH 11 turns north on Peoria Ave, excepting a bypass around Avant, the highway follows almost exactly its original 1925 routing until it reaches SH 99. At said junction, Route 11, like its modern counterpart, turns north with SH 99 into Pawhuska, then joins with US 60 traveling west toward Ponca City.
Traveling west from Pawhuska, Route 11, like its modern counterpart, remains concurrent with US 60. Just east of Burbank, the modern SH 11 veers off to the north, but a theoretical modern version of original Route 11 would remain with US 60 heading toward Ponca City. After taking the business loop through Ponca City, Route 11 would rejoin the mainline for the journey toward Tonkawa and I-35. For the historic route in this area, please see the (coming soon) US 60 Tonkawa to Bartlesville page.
Route 11 would remain concurrent with US 60 continuing west until just after Pond Creek, when US 60 would leave to head toward Enid and US 64 would instead join Route 11 for the journey west. This is also the point where a theoretical modern version of original Route 1 would join Route 11, beginning a lengthy concurrence of the two original highways.
After jogging north through Cherokee and then traveling west through Alva and some very interesting terrain, Route 1 would turn north just before the Cimarron River, but Route 11 would continue concurrent with US 64 as they make their way west toward the panhandle.
Route 11 and US 64 would continue their journey together, passing through Buffalo and entering the Oklahoma panhandle near the aptly named Gate. From there, the highways continue west, slowly gaining elevation.
Route 11 continues following US 64, jogging south with US 83 through Turpin, then picking up US 54 for the run from Hooker to Guymon.
After following the old Rock Island tracks into Guymon, Route 11 and US 64 turn back north, then west for almost 50 miles of arrow-straight road heading toward Boise City.
At the end of the straight section, Route 11 would remain with US 64 as the highways pick up US 56 for the final run into Boise City, the western terminus of original Route 11.
Route 11, the longest of the original state highways, only existed in its full glory for a scant 5 years. The number was truncated back to Pond Creek in 1930 due to US 64 taking over the path further west, then truncated further back to Ponca City with the coming of US 60 in 1931. The number was given to a new northern extension between Kildare and Medford in 1932, restoring some length, but it was no longer on the original path. In 1934, the segment from Tulsa east to Arkansas was renumbered as part of SH 33, further reducing what had once been the most expansive of the original state highways. That a small part of the highway is still on its original route after all this time is a small comfort, but we feel that this special highway deserves more recognition. Thanks for taking the time to learn about the original northwest passage in Oklahoma.
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Base Map Data Copyright DeLorme USA, http://www.delorme.com
State Highway Shields created by Ken Parker of Oklahoma Bridge & Highways Group.