“Ghost towns by rail & highway”
This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner. Canyon Diablo originated as a small railroad community catering to the needs of railroad men working on the bridge across the canyon. Once the railroad stopped at the edge of the canyon this community quickly produced numerous saloons, brothels, dance halls, and gambling houses, all of which remained open 24 hours a day. No lawmen were employed by the community initially, so it quickly became a very dangerous place. Its population was mostly made up of railroad workers along with passing outlaws, gamblers, and prostitutes. The town was designed with two lines of buildings facing one another across the rock bed main street. The center street, however, was not named Main Street, but "Hell Street". It consisted of fourteen saloons, ten gambling houses, four brothels and two dance halls. Also located on this street were two eating counters, one grocery store, and one dry goods store. Scattered about in the vicinity of downtown were large numbers of tents, shotgun houses, and hastily thrown up shacks that served as local residences. Within a short time the town boasted a population of 2,000 residents. A regular stagecoach route from Flagstaff to Canyon Diablo began running and was often the victim of robberies. Within its first year, the town received its first marshal. He was sworn in at 3:00pm, and was being buried at 8:00pm that same night. Five more town marshals would follow, the longest lasting one month, and all were killed in the line of duty. A "Boot Hill" cemetery sprouted up at the end of town, which in less than a decade had 35 graves, all of whom had been killed by way of violent death. The 36th grave was that of former trading post owner Herman Wolf, who died in 1899, the only one to have died a nonviolent death. Upon completion of the railroad bridge, the town quickly died. By 1903, the only thing remaining in the town was a Navajo trading post. Later on in the 20th century, when Route 66 passed within several miles of the town, a gas station and roadhouse called Two Guns sprang up, itself developing into a short-lived service town, this time for the new highway system. Two Guns has it's own exit off I-40. About 30m out of Flagstaff. Canyon Diablo can be accessed by turning right at the abandoned two guns gas station. Two guns is easy to access, but you may want to take an 4WD (or high chassis vehicle) if heading down the track to Canyon Diablo. Various ruins still present - mostly the wonderful old bridge plus many graves & foundations at Canyon Diablo, but Two Guns has all sort of goodies left standing since it's much newer, including a holiday camp, gas station, and over a dozen crumbling huts of various types. The sites appear open with no fences or caretaker at present.
I originally ran into this place during a routine traffic stop on I-40. Thanks for my souvenir Mr. Officer! It was back in 2010, just before Christmas, and the gas station and campground are only the tip of the iceberg for exploration around here. None the less, the 'artwork' was very cool, but found myself intruding on a resident squatting in the camp store.
Wanted to go in, but there was signs of squatters in the gas station and we did not want to get ourselves in a bad situation. Awesome little place back there right off the highway! Definitely worth the stop, and if you want to, definitely explore. No private property
Favourite place on rt 66! Each time I go back it is in worse and worse condition! As of a month ago I was able to climb (via a makeshift ladder) into the attic for a unique experience ;)
Neat photo spot! @twistedcupboard
Very cool and eery experience (:
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