Skip to main content

Route 66 Wednesdays; The Two Guns Trade Post and Canyon Diablo

Eleven miles east of the ruins of the Twin Arrows Trade Post at I-40/US 180 exit 230 is the ruins of Two Guns on the rim of Canyon Diablo. 





The Two Guns Trade Post predates even US Route 66 being on an old alignment of the National Old Trails Road.  The Canyon Diablo Bridge located in Two Guns dates 1915 and spans the canyon of the same name.  A store was set up near the Canyon Diablo Bridge in 1922 and eventually grew to a small community that became known as Two Guns.  In 1926 US Route 66 was commissioned to run through Arizona on the alignment of the National Old Trails Road.

In 1938 the 1915 Canyon Diablo Bridge was replaced by a more modernized span which was located near the current eastbound lanes of I-40/US 180 Canyon Diablo.  The Canyon Diablo Trade Post grew in size during the heyday of Route 66 and eventually had a small zoo in addition to a campground.  I'm to understand the service station in Two Guns burned in 1971 which probably didn't help considering US 66/US 180 were multiplexed on I-40which was completed from Flagstaff east to the outskirts of Winslow by that time.



The service station in Two Guns was replaced some time after 1971 as evidenced by the modern structure on the site.  Gradually Two Guns continued to decline in importance as travelers bypassed it for services in more major cities along the route of I-40.  Today Two Guns is a crumbling ruin sitting off to the side of the eastbound lanes of I-40/US 180.

Its odd to see brick ruins from the early 20th century sitting within sight of modern Interstate traffic wizzing by at close to 80 MPH.







The ruins of the Two Guns Zoo are extensive and still display markings from when the site housed animals.  The Mountain Lion cages still have metal wiring as though they are still waiting for something to display.











The 1915 Canyon Diablo Bridge still can easily be walked across.  The bend in Canyon Diablo ahead in the first photo is the site of the Apache Death Cave.  In 1878 the Death Cave was the site of a mass murder of 42 Apache who hid in the cave from their Navajo pursuers.  The Navajo used fire to funnel smoke into the Death Cave killing all within. 



Looking north past Canyon Diablo I'm fairly certain that traffic on the NOTR would have turned an immediate right. 



High above the east cliff of Canyon Diablo is the remains of the Two Guns service station and campground.


Surprisingly the service station is completely open and anyone can walk in.  If I really wanted I could have explored the abandoned service center at a whim, I figured a photo from the window would be enough.






The Two Guns campground still displays legible signs and painted imagery.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Onion Valley Road; former California State Route 180 to Kearsarge Pass

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Onion Valley Road from Independence west to Onion Valley near Kearsarge Pass.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Onion Valley Road was once signed as California State Route 180 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway.


Onion Valley Road is located west of Independence of Inyo County and is 12.9 miles in length.  According to pjammcycling.com Onion Valley Road begins at an elevation of 3,946 feet above sea level in Independence and terminates at 9,219 feet above sea level at Onion Valley.  Pjammcycling rates Onion Valley Road with an average gradient of 7.8% and lists it as the 6th most difficult cycling climb in the United States.  Onion Valley Road also includes ten switchbacks which largely follow the course of Independence Creek.  Anyway you look at it the route of Onion Valley Road is no joke and is definitely a test of driving…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…

US Route 199

I was planning on driving US Route 199 for the third time this weekend.  However "external factors" have pushed my visit to US Route 199 back for the time being.  While I can't do a driving log for US Route 199 at the moment I can still write about it's history.


This blog will be slightly different from the usual flair for Gribblenation.  Generally I have a stockpile of my own road photos from which to draw from.  In the case of US Route 199 I was far more focused on hiking photos during my first two visits in 2014 and 2016 than the actual highway.  At some point I will add a series of modern driving log photos but for the time being I will draw from numerous other sources to illustrate US Route 199.


Part 1; the History of US Route 199

Present US Route 199 is a 80.05 mile highway which connects US Route 101 in Crescent City of Del Norte, California northeast to Interstate 5 in Grants Pass of Josephine County, Oregon.  US Route 199 is one of the original US Routes and …