Arizona State Route 74

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Carefree Highway" redirects here. For the Gordon Lightfoot song, see Carefree Highway (song).

State Route 74 marker

State Route 74
Carefree Highway
Route information
Maintained by ADOT
Length: 31.02 mi[1] (49.92 km)
Existed: 1964 – present
Major junctions
West end: US 60 near Morristown
East end: I-17 in Phoenix
Highway system
  • State Routes in Arizona
SR 73 SR 75

State Route 74 (SR 74) is a state highway in central Arizona that stretches east to west from its junction with U.S. Route 60 (US 60) just south of Wickenburg to its junction with Interstate 17 (I-17) in North Phoenix. It serves Lake Pleasant Regional Park and serves as a northern bypass around the often congested stretches of US 60 through the northwest suburbs of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. From end to end, it is 30.4 miles (48.9 km) long.

Carefree Highway/SR 74 is also the inspiration for a Gordon Lightfoot song of the same name.[2]

Route description[edit]

Stretches of the highway are known as the Morristown-New River Highway, Lake Pleasant Highway, and Carefree Highway, the last of which actually extends 12 miles (19 km) past I-17 to Tom Darlington Drive in Carefree. This stretch of Carefree Highway is sometimes numbered as SR 74 on maps, but is not actually part of the state highway system.

This route offers good views of undeveloped desert landscapes, especially of large saguaro and other desert plants. It is frequently used as an alternate route to U.S. Route 60 (Grand Avenue) between Phoenix and Wickenburg for motorists traveling to and from Las Vegas, Nevada, with fewer traffic signals than using U.S. Route 60 directly.


From 1927 to 1932, SR 74 was assigned from Wickenburg west to Ehrenberg; this stretch of highway was renumbered as part of US 60.


The passage of a sales tax extension by voters in Maricopa County in 2004 provided significant funding for highway improvements throughout the region. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will use a portion of that funding to acquire right-of-way along SR 74 for future improvements, but has no plans to upgrade the highway to a controlled access freeway until sometime after 2025.[3]

ADOT is also in the planning stages for a bypass around Wickenburg. This bypass would effectively continue SR 74 beyond its current western terminus with US 60 to connect to the planned alignment of future I-11.[4] Whether this bypass would be marked as SR 74 or not is undetermined.

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Maricopa County.

Location mi[5] km Destinations Notes
Morristown 0.00 0.00 US 60 – Phoenix, Wickenburg Western terminus
Phoenix 30.40 48.92 I-17 – Flagstaff, Phoenix Eastern terminus, Exit 223 on I-17; continues east as Carefree Highway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Staff (2008). "2008 ADOT Highway Log" (PDF). Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 17, 2008. 
  2. ^ Crawdaddy (April 1975).  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  3. ^ Staff. "State Route 74 (SR 74) Planned Improvements". Arizona Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  4. ^ Interstate 11 Corridor (PDF) (Map). Maricopa Association of Governments. 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ "2012 State Highway System Log" (PDF). ADOT. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 

External links[edit]