It's easy to pass Two Guns by on Interstate 40 despite its colorful name. The firearm handle apparently is tied to a local black hat who referred to himself as "Two Gun" Miller and lived in a cave in nearby Canyon Diablo, according to historian Marshall Trimble. Other reports identify him as Henry E. Miller.
Visitors will notice that Two Guns has been holstered. There are no tourist services, just the roadside ruins of a 1970s KOA campground and Shell gas station.
Taggers have painted colorful murals at the camp's pool and someone slapped together a makeshift altar on the front of the gas station, which has been completely covered with graffiti.
Two Guns is 30 miles east of Flagstaff at Exit 230.
It includes the ruins of a zoo that Miller started as a roadside attraction on Route 66. The former menagerie included mountain lions, panthers and bobcats. The crumbling zoo is west of the former campground and there's a bridge over Canyon Diablo that was part of an early Route 66 alignment. bit.ly/2vwu8qs
In the early 1880s, railroad construction halted at Canyon Diablo to complete a bridge over the deep gorge and finance it. A town emerged on the eastern side of the canyon with saloons, brothels and merchants along what was called Hell Street.
Canyon Diablo was about 3 1/2 miles north of Two Guns, but vestiges of the town have all but disappeared. bit.ly/2WnHT9G
Nevertheless, the zoo ruins at Two Guns are among the most interesting faded tourist attractions on Route 66 in Arizona.
Go west to Twin Arrows: