Have You Slept In A Wigwam Lately?

Along the historic Route 66 as it goes through Holbrook, Arizona, there is one attraction you cannot miss: The Wigwam Motel. We saw it as we drove by during the day and decided to return at night hoping it would be lit up.

Wigwam Hotel, Holbrook, Arizona
Please click the images to view larger versions.

After lurking about in the parking lot we noticed that inside there were old photographs of Route 66 so we decided to go in, although we were not staying there.

What a treat it was to meet a woman who had lived there for over 60 years and she told us stories about what the old Route 66 was like and how much it has changed. They try to keep the motel as it used to be complete with old cars for the nostalgic atmosphere.

Wigwam Hotel, Holbrook, Arizona

I tried to take more photographs, but it just wasn’t the same when the SUV’s started showing up in the parking lot. Fortunately I did manage to get one image with a wigwam and a vintage car.

Wigwam Hotel, Holbrook, Arizona

Does the motel look familiar to you? Maybe that’s because it was in the recent animated movie “Cars” where it was called “Cosy Cones”.

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    • says

      Hi Len, it was a great route to see all the vintage stuff along the way. It must have really been something in its day. Thanks again for your comments, as always.

    • says

      Thank you very much Deanna. Come to think of it, I guess it was the first time I’ve tried HDR at night! I am so used to landscapes, but in this case it was the shadows on the cars that made me think of using HDR to bring out more of the details.

  1. says

    What a find! Great shots, Anne. I like that you were able to capture this with vintage cars in place. It’s actually great that Route 66 was bypassed by the interstate system. It seems to have facilitated that “stuck in time” quality that wouldn’t have survived otherwise.

    • says

      Hi Steve, I think you are right about that. On one hand they lost a lot of business when the interstate went in, but on the other hand they have turned it into a tourist attraction by maintaining the vintage feel. Thank you for your comments!

    • says

      Hi Andy, I have never slept in a wigwam but it looked like fun. I have seen a couple of others along the way on our trip and I wonder if there is a way to travel across the country staying only in wigwams! Thanks again for your comments.

    • says

      Hi Bill, I have to say it is one of the coolest attractions on Route 66, although I like all the dinosaurs too. I wish I got a chance to photograph the dinos. Next time! Thanks for your comments.

    • says

      Hi Toad, I knew you would enjoy these historical images!! Oh oh, you are going to LOVE my upcoming post from Monument Valley. You wont believe what I got – it’s right up your alley. Now you’re going to have to wait about a month to find out, haha. Oh that’s just mean. I’ll try to make it worth the wait.

      • says

        I am a lot of things, my dear friend… one of them is I am a very patient Toad. I might not be able to sleep due to excitement until you make this splediferous post, but I’ll be OK…. :) This just sounds too awesome, Anne, I cannot wait!
        Toad Hollow Photography recently posted..Wrong WayMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you very much Heather! I am actually back in Holbrook as I write this after exploring Utah for about 3 weeks. It is a pretty cool place. Sorry I didn’t make it to Colorado. I’ll have to figure out how I’m going to visit you in the winter when it’s all snowy and hilly there. Hey, maybe you should come and meet me in Texas next year!! Wouldn’t that be cool?

  2. J.R. Thomas says


    Appreciate your article. My wife and I just stayed at the Wigwam Motel last Thursday night. It was surprisingly comfortable and quiet. Despite temperatures reaching near 3 digits, the place was cool and cozy. The nearby train tracks (I believe ours was the closest to them) made no difference; it was quiet inside and we only felt a slight rocking motion from the heavy engines and loaded cars. It was a great experience, taking me back to my youth when I traveled with my Dad to Colorado. That would have been in 1960 or so, and the 66 was still pretty busy, along with all the typical attractions. I remember we stopped nearby and I asked to stay in a teepee. My dad didn’t think it was a frugal idea and opted for the room with more beds. I understand his reasons, of course, but to make up for the loss, we included it in our trip last week and it was worth it.

    There are still some great people with roots running deep in Holbrook, keeping businesses alive that you wouldn’t expect to survive. Earl Kester’s Bug Shop (Volkswagenwerks) has been there since about 1968 and the fellow that runs the A&W down the street – not only does he sell gas and A&W goodies, he has one of the last gas stations still offering service to vehicles. I asked him why, and he said he was crazy. I have a lot of respect for those guys. Then there’s Joe and Aggie’s, still run by their daughter and son-in-law. It’s a good home-style restaurant with friendly service that has lasted since the trucks motored through there in an endless parade of smoke and thunder. And no-body should go through without stopping at the Jackrabbit Trading Post. That’s a great little stop, run by friendly folks. Where else can you ride a Jackrabbit?

    After all, it’s not as much the scenery or the unique businesses that make the 66 an attraction to the American people; it’s the people. Maybe the desert or the hard life makes people just a little more friendly or something.

    I plan on going back and exploring further next time – maybe all the way to Amarillo. Maybe I’ll take the Harley.


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