Amboy was first settled as a mining town in 1858 and was formally established in 1883 as the first in a series of alphabetical railroad sidings in the Mojave Desert. The famous landmark Roy's Cafe and Motel opened in 1938 and it and several other businesses - including a post office - remained busy with Route 66 and railroad travel until the opening of I-40 in 1973. Roy's was first opened by Roy Crowl and then by Herman "Buster" Burris, whom maintained ownership of not only Roy's but also all of Amboy until 1995. In 2005, Albert Okura - founder of the Juan Pollo Chicken chain - purchased the city from Bessie Burris, Herman's widow. Roy's is currently open for souvenirs and prepackaged food and beverages.

In November 2019, the iconic Roy’s neon sign was refurbished and re-lit after being dark for 30 years.  The sign is lit each night at dusk and is a special photo op.


The 250’ high Amboy Crater is a National Natural Landmark.  It is an excellent example of a very symmetrical volcanic cinder cone and is 1500’ in diameter.  Watch for areas of dark lava rocks along Route 66.

By Scott Piotrowski