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 the 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’s diner.
Unfortunately, the creation of a nearby interstate led to a 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 state of Arizona, while the buildings are owned by the Hopi tribe, nestled off an exit across the interstate. In 2009, volunteers and the Hopi cleaned up the wooden arrows but the tribe has not made any other efforts toward restoration of the trading post or diner. The abandoned buildings have become a canvas for graffiti artists, adding to the site’s eerie charm.
Update as of May 2022: One of the two arrows has been removed.
Know Before You Go
This site is on Arizona State Trust Lands and requires a permit for access.