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Thread: Two Guns Trade Post and Canyon Diablo, AZ (Old US 66)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Jacksonville, FL

    Default Two Guns Trade Post and Canyon Diablo, AZ (Old US 66)

    East of Twin Arrows is Two Guns and Canyon Diablo. Really Two Guns is what remained of the town Canyon Diablo. The town of Canyon Diablo gets its name from the nearby Canyon which bears the same name. Canyon Diablo was once considered an impassable canyon until the Santa Fe railroad built a bridge that crossed it. The original town of Canyon Diablo was founded in 1882 along the railroad. The town at its peak had 2,000 people along the railroad. The town of Canyon Diablo was considered one of the most lawless towns in the old west. By 1903 the town had gradually died and all that was left was the Navajo Trading Post that became Two Guns. It is very evident by examining the ruins of Two Guns that the town of Canyon Diablo last much longer than published accounts suggest. There are ruins of the town site everywhere along US 66 and next to the Trade Post itself. Some of them are actually very creepy suggesting that caged mountain lions were housed in a building as a road-side attraction near the Canyon. What is more interesting was the large pentagram someone spray painted, seemed very fitting. All that really remains of 2 Guns and Canyon Diablo is the abandoned gas stations on I40 exit 230. From 2 Guns the road east goes to Meteor Crater.Name:  IMG07903-20121013-0650.jpg
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Canyon Diablo is an entirely different town than Two Guns

    It's commonly mistaken that Canyon Diablo town is the same thing as Two Guns, but that's not the case. Canyon Diablo town was about 3 miles north, and all that remains there today are the ruins of the Volz trading post. Though a small, violent "town" existed there up through the 1930s or so (the heyday, with about 2000 people and lowlifes, was 1880-1882), it was mostly gone by the time Two Guns was founded (as Canyon Lodge) in the early 1920s. Two Guns sits on the edge of the canyon, which is how it likely gets lumped together with the older town in peoples' minds. Two Guns' first manifestation (above the Apache Death Cave and south of the canyon) has several stone ruins and dates to the ten years or so after the big concrete bridge over Canyon Diablo was built in 1914. Two Guns boomed as Route 66 was designated in 1926. In 1937, Route 66 was rerouted north of the canyon (the much smaller concrete bridge over the new alignment, west of the site, is still there) and the town was essentially rebuilt on the north side (where the famous "Mountain Lions" building sits). It survived as a Route 66 stop through 1971. As the freeway exit was being built, a massive fire burned most of the town to the ground. The KOA campground post-dates that, and closed sometime in the 1990s. I remember finding old receipts in the check-in kiosk from 1993 or so.

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