Jackrabbit Trading Post: A Long-eared Remnant Along Route 66

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By Tammy Gray-Searles

Ride the Jackrabbit. Route 66, near Joseph City, Arizona, U.S.A.

Standing tall above the fence and the vintage cars in the background, this Route 66 icon waits day after day for travelers to venture off the nearby freeway and have their picture taken.

In the golden days of Route 66, the Jackrabbit Trading Post was a popular stop. Located conveniently between the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park, it was a perfect place to stop and get a refreshing drink, let the kids stretch their legs, and peruse the turquoise jewelry and wool rugs for sale from the nearby Navajo Reservation.

Today, the original Jackrabbit still stands tall, the store is still stocked with Native American jewelry and art, and ice cold cherry cider is ready to cool down weary travelers, but instead of stopping in droves, travelers whiz by on the “new” Interstate that replaced the two-lane Main Street of America.

For those willing to take the road less traveled, a charming, if worn, surprise awaits. As soon as you leave the interstate, and turn on to what is now known as Jackrabbit Road, you are traveling on Old Route 66.

Get Your Kicks on Route 66 at Jackrabbit

After traveling about a half mile down the original Mother Road, experiencing what it must have felt like to travel through the empty and desolate desert, a large billboard rises into view, featuring the Jackrabbit logo and the trading post’s famous “Here It Is” slogan.

Here It Is

The giant Jackrabbit and trading post on the south side of the road show signs of their age, but are charming and inviting nonetheless. It’s easy to slip back in time in your mind to the time when roadside attractions were the rage, and unique outposts like this were an integral part of a vacation and not just another quick stop in the rush to reach your destination.

Rabbit designs are tucked everywhere. Look for little wooden rabbits on the fence posts, wrought iron rabbits near the ice machine, and even a giant rabbit covering the entire far end of the building. Inside, if you look carefully, you might even find a fabled “Jackalope,” a mythical creature that resembles a Jackrabbit with the horns of an antelope.

Jackrabbit Trading Post

After leaving Jackrabbit Trading Post, travelers can venture down vestiges of the original Route 66 from the store to Joseph City, which is about 10 miles to the east. The road is still maintained, and in good enough condition for travel by car or even motor home. Simply turn east (or left) from the parking lot of Jackrabbit Trading Post, and follow the road. It will lead you right back to Interstate 40 at Joseph City, where, after stepping back in time for a short while you can rejoin your fellow travelers on the fast-paced modern freeway.

3 comments on “Jackrabbit Trading Post: A Long-eared Remnant Along Route 66

  1. kovano jelyazo on said:

    Hahaha nice 🙂

  2. Well, interesting point, will have to rethink about that such trading business.

  3. Paulamirada2 on said:

    So delightful how you included “Jackalope.” Great job and great read! I would love to take my son there someday, I have a license but I no car. Thankful for our bicycles. Tenders smiles to All. Thank you kindly.

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