After finishing up our workamping gig in Yuma, Arizona, we decided before heading to our next gig in Ouray, Colorado we wanted to do a little RT 66. So after spending a few nights in El Centro, California, we headed to Grand Canyon Railway RV Park (check out our review of this park) which is located on RT 66, perfect!!!
While unloading the motorcycle off the truck at the campground, we noticed large chunks missing from the tires. Since we couldn’t find a shop that would take it in and replace the tires, we quickly realized there would be no riding RT 66 during this trip. 🙁
Will Need To Take The Truck
No worries, we will take the truck. The first place we wanted to check out was Oatman. We had heard a lot about it and it sounded really cool. We had heard the burros run the town…lol.
The road to Oatman was awesome. Once you exit the interstate you will be on the old historic RT 66. It starts out fairly uneventful featuring only flat land and straightaways. As you get closer to Oatman the road gets a bit more challenging featuring sharp curves, switchbacks, the roadway narrows and best of all, there are incredible views. The best view is noted as you travel through Sitgreaves Pass which sits at an elevation of 3550 feet. Be sure to have your camera ready. There are numerous spots you can pull over and get some photo ops.
After you finish that breathtaking ride you will find yourself in the heart of Oatman. Oatman is a village located in the Black Mountains of Mohave County, Arizona. According to Wikipedia, it sits at an elevation of 2710 feet. It began as a small mining town after two prospectors struck a $10 million dollar gold find in 1915. For more of Oatman’s history, check out Wikipedia.
Once in Oatman, trying to find a parking spot could prove to be quite the challenge. On top of it being a busy tourist town, there are numerous burros parading around the street and going in and out of stores.
We had to drive through the town and finally found parking on the opposite side we came in from. If we had the motorcycle, we would have been able to get a spot right in town. You will need to drive slowly as there are numerous burros that walk the streets and even more tourists chasing them down and taking pictures…lol. After parking, we had to walk back about a half a mile to get back into town.
Walking into town gives you the feeling that you just went back in time and are now in the days of the wild west. There is even a gunfight show at different times during the day. Back in its prime time, Oatman once was home to over 10,000 people. It featured two banks, seven hotels, twenty saloons, and about ten stores.
During our visit, we noted numerous gift shops and restaurants. Oh yeah, and the wild burros, lots of them, lol. They seemed to pretty much run the town. Walking through the streets and occasionally trying (sometimes succeeding) to get inside the stores. Lots of photo ops here but remember to look down or you may wind up taking home some wild burro “lucky charms” if you know what I mean…lol. There is no shortage of that.
We were going to grab a bite to eat at the hotel/restaurant but the line was way too long for our liking so we walked across the street and found a smaller saloon/restaurant with no wait time. We stay very basic when we eat out so it was just burgers for us. Ok, some ice cream too.
After lunch, it was time for more photo ops and shop visits. One thing I should mention here is that the burros seem to cooperate more often than not for photo ops but remember they ARE wild animals. We saw them snap at each other and even seem to become a little agitated at times when people were getting a little “crazy” so remember to err on the side of caution and bring a carrot…lol when approaching these animals.
If you are near Oatman, Arizona and would like to take a trip down the historic RT 66 back to the days of the wild wild west, this is a great place to visit. We enjoyed the drive up from Kingman almost as much as the town visit itself. The picturesque views from Rt 66 on the way to the town were awesome.
We would highly recommend anyone near this area looking for something cool and unusual to spend a quality day either by yourself or with family and friends and check out Oatman. Don’t forget the carrots!!!
We had a great time in Oatman. Have you ever been there or are you planning to visit there in the future? Leave us a comment below and let us know.