Like many an icon of Route 66, the Twin Arrows Trading Post has certainly seen better days. Situated on the side of I-40 in Arizona, the giant, yellow twin arrows still remain, standing out as a beacon to bored drivers, but the store and diner have fallen into disrepair.
Built in the late 1940s as Canyon Padre Trading Post, the store soon changed its name to Twin Arrows, seemingly inspired by nearby town of Two Guns. It was then that the iconic wooden arrows were built, planted in the parking lot to guide motorists to the trading post’s doors. The post included a gas station, gift shop, and a Valentine diner.
Unfortunately the creation of a nearby interstate led to swift decrease in road traffic, and combined with the changing cultural tastes that were moving away from kitschy roadside attractions, the trading post fell into decline. Twin Arrows operated under different owners as best it could until 1995, when it was finally abandoned.
Currently the land is owned by the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino, nestled off an exit across the interstate. In 2009, the casino cleaned up the wooden arrows, but has not made any other efforts toward restoration of the trading post or diner. Barriers have since been erected around the abandoned buildings, though that doesn’t appear to have stopped many folks from checking out this highway ruin. The abandoned buildings have become a canvas for graffiti artists, adding to the site’s eerie charm.
Know Before You Go
Exit 219 off I-40 E.