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Route 66's Twin Arrows Ghost Town

If you have ever traveled the Mother Road of Route 66, you have likely seen two bold arrows jutting out of the ground in Arizona. This is the home of the once thriving, Twin Arrows. Long since abandoned and left to ruin, Twin Arrows is now considered a ghost town and relic of the past.

But what happened to this once thriving community and what is left of this infamous stop?

The area was originally inspired in name sake by the Hopi and Navajo tribes which once inhabited the area. These tribes settled the lands until the first European settlers entered the area from what now is considered the southern border of the United States from present day Mexico.

Over time and throughout several skirmishes and battles eventually Arizona was moved into statehood and from that point roadways began to take over, first as primitive wagon trails and then as dirt then paved highways. Along this journey the US Highway System established Route 66 in 1926.

After the inception of Route 66 traffic began to regularly flow through the Twin Arrows area and tourism began to grow as stops popped up along the way. It was at that time that the Canyon Padre Trading Post popped up in the community and formed a stop for motorists along the weary long roadway. Upon opening motorist were slow to stop. That was until the owners decided to fully capitalize on the Twin Arrows name by changing the name of their stop to Twin Arrows Trading Post.

With the change of name they additionally added a service station and two arrows standing 25 feet in height in their parking lot. The appeal of the extremely noticeable arrows and the added services brought the stop to a much more appealing level for motorists and before long they were thriving.

From the early 50s all the way until 1995 the Twin Arrows Trading Post remained open as they served up gasoline, souvenirs and snacks to motorists as they passed through. Though in their latter yeas traffic had slowed considerably thanks to the introduction of I-40, the highway which ultimately has been credited with the demise of the Mother Road.

Following the closure in 1995 the buildings on the once thriving property were boarded up and left abandoned, only to be explored by urban excavators and vandals throughout the years. The arrows still stand as a lasting reminder of what once was along the iconic Route 66 and the land which still sits on the Hopi and Navajo Reservation now is considered a ghost town.

If you ever travel the old footprint of Route 66, take a turn off I-40 and divert at Twin Arrows. You can still access the parking lot, to collect your own iconic memory with a photo of the two still standing arrows. You can visit the Twin Arrows Navajo Gaming Casino and find some of the iconic photos of the past, take home a vintage post card or just speak to a local and hear their stories of the years where this stop brought so many motorists joy.


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