Visit Date: September 22, 2014
The iconic Twin Arrows once lured travelers to pull off Route 66 and stop at the Twin Arrows Trading Post; for gas, food and various sundries. They lured me as well, and once I figured out how to get off I-40 and somewhat close to them, I was on a narrow piece of blacktop without much room to safely park. But I found a spot and hoofed it on over the check out the trading post ruins and examine the giant arrows, up close.
The 25-foot-tall arrows are in great shape, having been restored in 2009 by a combined group of Hopi Indians and Route 66 enthusiasts. I can imagine a lot of kids asking their parents to stop so they could look at the arrows back during the heyday of the trading post. Unfortunately, the arrows are the only thing in great shape left on the site. While I do enjoy exploring old abandoned places, it’s always a bit sad to see such interesting places so far gone.
I wandered around the “Best Little Stop on I-40” for a bit, exploring inside some of the buildings as well. The diner located at the east end of the trading post is a prefabricated Valentine diner, which could be bought in the 1950s for $5,000 and paid off at the rate of $40 per month. It came complete with tables, stools, counter and all the kitchen fixtures needed. My guess is that the trading post was probably built during the early 1950s, but I haven’t been able to track down a firm date. It was originally named the “Canyon Padre Trading Post,” for the gorge located nearby. But with an attraction just down the road called “Two Guns,” I guess “Twin Arrows” made more sense and at some point the name was changed.
This building is located out behind the trading post. Perhaps it was the residence of the owner or manager of the place.
It's a shame that people feel the need to graffiti. At least they left the name pretty much alone, probably because it was out of reach.
This must have been a pretty nifty place to visit back in the day. The diner must have served thousands of hungry customers over the years. It's sad to see this one in such disrepair, as there aren't too many of these Valentine diners left in existence today.
A few fixtures and countertop inside the diner.
Maybe the new Twin Arrows casino which was built on the north side of I-40 will rejuvenate the area, and someone might buy and restore this classic old Route 66 site. I know I'd stop in if it were open.