Mysterious Arrow Tree Sticks out on Coronado Scenic Byway Trail

Arrow Tree
Mysterious arrow tree on Highway 191. Photo Credit: Kevin Korycanek (click to enlarge)

The Coronado Scenic Byway Trail – Highway 191 – is among Arizona’s great scenic drives, snaking through the dense wilderness of the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest in the eastern part of the state. Also called the Devil’s Highway and once referred to as Highway 666, this roadway is as famous for its steep grades and hairpin turns as it is for the surrounding beauty.

Among the many points of interest along this route is the mysterious arrow tree. Located near mile marker 223 about 30 miles south of Alpine, a single giant trunk is littered with hundreds of arrows, just feet from the highway. Bow hunters and recreational archers have been making their marks for many years, adding to the dizzying and random array of arrows. Some of the arrows are perched at very precarious points, making you wonder how some shooters achieved such difficult angles.

The 2011 Wallow Fire charred much of this region, but the arrow tree and much of the surrounding forest has been spared. No one seems to know who started this trend and why, but it definitely stuck and archers continue to contribute to this odd piece of highway art.

Arrow Tree
Arrow tree is located a few feet from the highway on a steep mountain curve. Photo Credit: Kevin Korycanek (click to enlarge)

If you have any leads about the origins of this mysterious arrow tree, leave us a comment.


  1. Ken Claridge says

    This is actually the second arrow tree. Someone cut the first one down, I’m guessing for the free arrows. As near as I can remember the arrow tree started as a tradition for those who archery hunted in that area. If you hunted, you simply were required to put an arrow in the tree, even if you had to use every arrow you had. I started in the early 1980’s. I believe the original tree was cut down in about 1982. Everyone was really upset that someone would cut down a tree as the arrow tree with all of its traditions. There were two people that I hunted with, Rick and Jim, that talked about the old one being cut down and that they were going to select a new one. They did that year and I have a couple of arrows in it myself.

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