two guns ghost town in arizona

Two Guns; A Ghost Town with a haunted past…

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two guns ghost town in arizona

When planning the new interstate, the town of Two Guns was given it’s own exit.  Things were looking up!

But then in 1971, just as the interstate was nearing completion, the entire town of Two Guns was destroyed by a fire.

old postcard KOA

It was sometime during this time period that the KOA campground was built.  Two Guns was going to resurrected again.

I was not able to find any information at all about this campground other than this old vintage postcard.  The campground itself seems to have been abandoned in the early 80’s.  Right about the time the interstate came through and Route 66 became history.

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two guns ghost town in arizona

In 1992 , Howard Armstrong purchased the land, intending to restore it to the tourist attraction it had once been.   Unfortunately, he died three years later from a stroke.

two guns ghost town in arizona

The land fell into disrepair.  Vandals took anything of value, and graffiti artists left their marks on the modern structures on the property.

Curiously, they left the older stone buildings untouched.

two guns ghost town in arizona

We wandered the property carefully, keeping our eyes out for rattlesnakes and vagrants.  Fortunately, the property seemed safe enough for a few photos.

two guns ghost town in arizona

Jimmy Solinger, the last caretaker of Two Guns lived in a trailer onsite in the late 1990’s.  According to my research, he was very strict about keeping trespassers off the land.

He committed suicide in 2000.  Another tragedy to add to the town’s dark history.

two guns ghost town in arizona

two guns ghost town in arizona

Today the town is a sad reminder of a torrid past.

If you are in the area, just west of Winslow along Interstate 40, take a short detour and check out this historic area.  Beware of snakes, drifters, broken glass, and especially the Two Guns curse.

This place photographs best in the early morning and at sunset, but make sure you leave before dark.

Seriously.

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13 thoughts on “Two Guns; A Ghost Town with a haunted past…”

    1. Hi Lorena!

      You certainly are right about that! We didn’t know the history until we got back home and I did the research. Very glad I didn’t pick
      up a souvenir or two. LOL!
      suzy

    1. Hi Heather!
      We were glad that we didn’t run into any snakes or drifters. But it certainly was fun to learn a bit about the history of the area!
      suzy

    1. Hi Neil and Yoly!
      I’ve always loved history and this place was fun to research. There is a lot of history in this part of the country that I just touch on. Too much to cover. But we have learned so much on this trip alone!

      Oh and this place was awesome to photograph! We’ve covered lots more territory that I haven’t written about yet, but hope to soon.

      thanks for reading! Hope you are both doing well!
      suzy

  1. Louise
    I remember passing through Two Guns on our visits to the South West. I did not realized that there is a history to the place. I remember that farther down on the Interstate 40 we passed another abandoned town called Twin Arrows. The kids thought it was funny to see first Two Guns and then Twin Arrows.

  2. I hope that when you went to Winslow you went where the painting on the side of the building was! In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it was from the Eagles song: “I’m standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see. There’s a woman coming down in a half bed Ford slowing down to take a look at me.” I think that’s how it went.

    1. Hi Linda!
      Yes, we did go to Winslow and took the required photos! LOL! It was a great photo op! Winslow itself is not really much to see. The Eagles totally put them on the map. Will show photos soon. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

      suzy

  3. Back in the early 2000s, when friends and I explored the unrestricted bits, we found leftover receipt books (in the little wooden building adjacent to the Shell station) that indicated the KOA was in operation at least through 1995. Also, the mobile behind the station, while abandoned, was then in relatively good repair. I believe that’s where Solinger killed himself. There’s only the nearly collapsed skeleton of the structure left. In the past year, people have defaced the interior of the faux ruins at the Apache Cave with graffiti, and sometime after 2009 the wooden bridge that leads along the paved path down into the western cave entrance was destroyed. Before that, it was still strong enough to hold people.

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