Twin Arrows, AZ

by Kaylah Stroup
Twin Arrows Trading Post in Arizona. Old Rt 66

20 minutes west of Two Guns lies the ruins of the Twin Arrows Trading Post. Just like Two Guns, we’ve been making annual visits here since 2014. Somehow in all those years, I have yet to dedicate an entire post to this place (although it’s definitely shown up in its fair share of posts, like here, here + here) but here we go today…

Sometime in the 1940’s a business named the Canyon Padre Trading Post was established. It did modest business but was never all that popular. In 1955 a new family took over, added two giant arrows, and renamed the business Twin Arrows Trading Post, the business flourished! Eventually, a Valentine Diner and gas station were added as well. It was a popular spot for travelers to stop, fuel up, stretch their legs and grab a bite to eat.

Twin Arrows Trading Post, Arizona
Twin Arrows Trading Post

Just like the case with so many other businesses along old route 66, the construction of interstate 40 was the kiss of death for Twin Arrows. The business switched owners a handful of times before finally being shuttered in 1995.

It’d be nineteen years after it closed until I finally got to visit. I’d seen the spot in various movies including my all-time favorite Forrest Gump* but not with my own eyes until 2014. Our first visit, the trading post and diner were almost completely sealed up. Windows and doors were still boarded. Over the next couple of visits, small sections of the property became more and more accessible. Our most recent visit? Wide open! Every window and door inviting us inside.

Nothing Else Mattress

Similar to Two Guns, Twin Arrows seems to be experiencing a very quick decline. I don’t have a ton of photos from my first couple visits but enough to be able to see that we managed to get it right before it was completely covered in graffiti. I’m glad I have those photos because it’s honestly hard to imagine it in a state other than the one it’s in now.

These days, the building seems to get a new look quite often. When we visited last year, the morning of our wedding rehearsal, a good portion of the exterior was painted blue. (Fourth photo down in this post!) I appreciate the latest paint job making it look a bit less obnoxious and of course, I can appreciate the no one has completely covered the original paint job’s ‘Twin Arrows Trading Post’.

I’m anxious to see what it’ll look like in another year or two. Hopefully the vandalism slows down, or better yet, that someone restores it to it’s former glory. These days the property is owned by Twin Arrows Casino Resort (where I woke up the morning of my wedding day. Awww!) Maybe, eventually, they’ll decide to do something wonderful with the property. Fingers crossed they don’t demolish it!

Twin Arrows Trading Post

Other posts from this trip –

Check out even more road trip posts under the ‘travel‘ tag & more ghost towns here.

Twin Arrows Trading Post

Check out Jeff’s video from our visit below. I also recommend checking out Twin Arrow’s facebook page for some really neat historic photos.

*Do you ever wonder about how many of the things you like are because you were unknowingly exposed to them at an early age? I didn’t know Forrest Gump ran by Twin Arrows until after I had already visited there. I’ve seen the movie about five hundred times though, so you know that spot was drilled into my brain at least subconsciously.

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