Oatman, Arizona is an old mining town on historical Route 66. Often referred to as a ghost town, Oatman was a fantastic place to strike it rich by way of gold in the early 1900’s. Despite a fire that burned much of the town in 1921, you’ll still find several original sites.
Burros came to Oatman with gold prospectors to assist with hauling in the mines. Today there are many, many, many wild burros roaming the streets of Oatman. You can purchase carrots and burro chow to feed them at stores throughout the town but be warned that the burros kick and bite and feeding them is actually discouraged!
The Oatman Ghost Riders have Wild West Shootouts every day in the middle of Route 66. We enjoyed the shootout right in the middle of our lunch at the Oatman Hotel. We left our seats to watch and returned afterwards. The shootouts are free to watch, pretty loud but a lot of fun. Donations are solicited at the end and funds are donated to the Shriners Hospital. Some merchandise is available for sale. Lulu loves her Oatman Outlaws bandana. Their shows are at high noon and 2:15. Other groups have shootouts at other times throughout the day.
Our favorite place to eat is at the Oatman Hotel which did not burn down in the fire of 1921. When you walk in, be sure you bring a dollar bill with you to color your name or message on it and staple it to the wall or the ceiling along with the thousands and thousands of other dollar bills! The food is typical greasy american fare, at a decent price.
When gold prices are low, tours of the Gold Road Mine are available. However, during our visit, gold prices were high and the mines were back in business so no tours were available.
Another activity you might enjoy while in Oatman is to have your old time family photo taken. There are two locations to do this.
Oatman is located about 30 minutes from Laughlin. Just plug Oatman, AZ into your GPS and head to Route 66! Parking is free and the whole town is walkable. It’s such a small town with plenty of touristy stuff to see.