Twin Arrows Trading Post is an iconic Route 66 travel stop, easily recognizable by the two telephone-pole-sized arrows sticking into the ground. Fortunately, as of 2014, the arrows have been restored, but sadly, the rest of the property is falling apart, and has been heavily vandalized.
What Route 66 traveler would drive past two huge arrows, protruding from the ground? Nobody, that’s who. And even today, years after the restaurant and gas station shut down, I was still drawn to this property.
Just figuring out how to stop here was a challenge. There’s a long concrete barricade separating the property from the interstate’s frontage road. I passed by, then circled around, and finally decided that my only option was to pull off in a very small, sloped gravel area, just off the eastbound exit ramp, at the end of the wall. From there, I had to walk onto the property — which I assumed was acceptable, since there were no ‘no trespassing’ signs posted.
The first things everyone notices are the arrows. They’re basically two telephone poles, cemented into the ground at an angle. From pictures I’ve seen elsewhere, the ends of the arrows were heavily decayed, up until about 2009, when some restoration took place. As of 2014, the arrows are brightly painted and beautiful.
As for the rest of the complex… well…
… it’s certainly seen better days. There’s plenty of graffiti on the front of the old Trading Post building. I couldn’t help but notice, though, that the graffiti stops just below the signage. Maybe the graffiti ‘artists’ weren’t tall enough to go any higher, or maybe they showed a little bit of respect for the old place.
The Trading Post building appears to be boarded up…
… but the cafe next-door is open to the elements…
… and in pretty rough shape.
You can also see the remnants of the gas pump islands nearby, along with plenty of random debris left over from better days.
A sign proclaims Twin Arrows to be the best little stop on Interstate 40. Hopefully it will be, once again, someday. Back in 2009, around the time that the arrows were restored, there were rumors that a deal was in the works with the Hopi tribe, to rebuild and reopen the rest of Twin Arrows. As of my visit in 2014, I didn’t see any signs of activity.
From the Twin Arrows parking lot, looking across the frontage road and Interstate 40, you’ll have a great view of the San Francisco Peaks, including Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona.
As I walked back to the car, I took one more look at those impressive arrows. Hopefully the next time I’m out this way, there will be more progress here.
Be very careful as you stop at Twin Arrows. The area is designed to discourage visitors, but there are no ‘no trespassing’ signs. Enjoy a brief walk around the grounds, and photograph the arrows, but don’t create any more damage to this Route 66 landmark.
Twin Arrows is located approximately 23 miles east of Flagstaff, off exit 219 from Interstate 40 (Route 66). A large Navajo casino shares the exit, and is located on the opposite side of the freeway.
Check out this time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from Flagstaff to Winslow, with a stop at Twin Arrows: