Oatman, Arizona is an authentic old west ghost town along historic Route 66. This little western ghost town is one of the best stops along the route.
The downtown “sidewalks” are wooden boardwalks and wild burros roam the streets.
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Last time we visited during bike week in Laughlin, Nevada. The town is a popular day drive so there were a lot of bikes lining the street on our visit. This tiny town has over a half a million visitors a year.
What Happens When a Mining Town is Abandoned?
Wild burros take over the town. These friendly donkeys freely roam the streets of Oatman. When the mines shut down the burros were released into the wild. Today a few of them like to wander the streets. With thousands of visitors every year they are familiar with humans and are friendly.
Things to See and Do in Oatman
Explore the Mine Museum in Oatman.
Visit with the local burros. They wander the street and they are curious.
Stop in the shops lining downtown or one of the several art galleries.
Visit a local bar. The Oatman Hotel Restaurant & Saloon has been a part of the town’s history since the early 1900’s. Stop by to see the famous money covered walls.
Stakes were claimed in Oatman in the late 1800’s . By 1915 the gold mines were attracting thousands of people. Millions of dollars in gold were mined here. By the mid-1920’s the main employer shut down operations. In 1941 mining for gold was a thing of the past.
Fortunately for Oatman the town was on Route 66. This was the main route for travelers from Kingman, Arizona to Needles, California. This prime location kept the town alive for the next 12 years until the bypass was built in 1953.
The town’s population dwindled after the bypass was built. Once a vibrant mining town, is now a popular tourist stop along Route 66.
For more information, visit the Oatman Chamber of Commerce.