Tucked away behind the famous 66 Motel (Route 66 Motel) in Needles CA – hidden by a fence and some over-growth is the remains of the historic Carty’s Camp.
The camp is probably best known for its cameo in the movie ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ after the family finally crosses into California, and drive up Route 66 with Carty’s Camp in the background as the camera slowly pans to the ‘Welcome to Needles’ sign. You pretty much see the ‘Carty’s Camp’ sign on top of the gas station – but you can not see the actual camp.
It is reported the crew stayed the night here while filming the scene.
While talking to the owners of the 66 Motel, I was given a personal tour of the remains of the camp. The remains pretty much consist of a row of ‘back to back’ rooms which were beyond repair. I was told tents were here before the cabins and there used to be dates in the back area the workers used to go out and pick during harvest season.
I poked my head inside a few cabins and things look almost frozen in time, not touched for years. It almost looked like no one has stepped back there in a very long time.
I really didn’t know too much about Carty’s Camp until I took the tour. I actually went back and watched ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ again, and sure enough – the sign was front and center on the screen!
Please remember it is on private property and the owners of the 66 Motel do not own that property – so you will not be able to go back there – and the owners of the 66 Motel probably do no want to be considered ‘tour guides’ for something which is not theirs.