Oatman, Arizona is a real back county road Arizona town. The Historic Route 66 National Back Country Byway begins five miles south of Kingman off Interstate 40. Scenic beauty, history, and the bray of a distant burro await travelers to the area.The opportunities are endless for hours of leisurely recreational driving.

The Historic Route 66 Back Country Byway follows a 42-mile-long paved section of beloved Old Route 66, a 2,400-mile highway that linked Chicago with Los Angeles.


Kingman is an affordable community, located in the midst of breathtaking natural beauty with the sunbelt lifestyle. Kingman's elevation, at 3,336 feet, provides an ideal southwestern climate -- neither too hot nor too cold! Our dry climate is pollen-free, to add to its healthy attributes.

Whatever you need for your travel, Kingman has it. Lots of motels, and very wide variety of restaurants, and place to see and enjoy.

All About Kingman
Kingman Historic District
Kingman's Finest Neighborhoods
Finding the road to Oatman
Take I-40 south to exit 44, also know as Shinarump Drive. Best to check your gas gauge, it is a long, long way to the next gas station! Go Back to Crazy Fred's truck stop on the other side of I-40 if you need gas. There is NONE ahead. This is a sparely populated area.

Go west on Shinarump Drive about 1/8 the mile, then turn left on Oatman Highway. As you follow this road up into the mountains, be aware that there are few if any guardrails along the road. Be careful to pay attention to driving. The road is legally accessible by any vehicle under 40 feet in length. This is not a road for large motorhomes.

Travelers are advised that the portion of the highway passing through the mountains is a very narrow two-lane with no shoulders, extremely tight switchbacks and many steep drop-offs. This section through the Black Mountains is a series of narrow, hairpin turns. This section was bypassed in 1951 in one of the many realignments of Route 66.

Wide vehicles and vehicles over 30 feet in length should use extreme caution when driving this road. Now the good news, if you keep your speed down, this is a spectacular drive in the old west.

Great photos of how to find Oatman Highway
Thimble Mountain - 4,062 feet
The road to Oatman winds its way through desert sagebrush and a few sparse homes. Stop your car at the scenic pullouts and enjoy the breathtaking desert skyline in northwestern Arizona.

Cool Springs

The rebuilt Cool Springs station is now a gift shop offering Route 66 souvenirs and one of a kind Cool Springs memorabilia. The last time I was past there they were not selling gas.

Ed's Camp
Ed's camp is a rather interesting collection of time worn buildings and assorted structures left to bake in the desert sun. The architecture is what I would call desert rat rustic. It looks like the building materials used here were for the most part "found" or salvaged from other structures. Ed's Camp is definitely a relic left over from the days when this narrow road to Oatman was US Highway 66.
Sitgreves Pass
The summit of Sitgreaves Pass, at an elevation of 3556 ft, affords quite a view of the surrounding country including Bullhead City, Arizona and Laughlin, Nevada. Right at the top of the pass there is a pull off that you can stop. Route 66 begins the climb up the Gold Hill Grade towards Oatman, Arizona. The ruins of an old gas station on the right stand as a silent guardian at the entrance to the canyon, a lonely ghost of another time when a nation on the move paused at this spot.
Gold Mine Road
The ghost town of Gold Road stands in a canyon just beyond Sitgreaves Pass when traveling westbound Route 66.It is a beautiful drive to Gold Road. The town hung on, as the post office wasn’t discontinued until October 15, 1942. However, just a few years later, in 1949, the entire town was razed in order to save taxes.
Oatman was a gold mining town until the 1930’s. At that time there were nearly 10,000 people living in the town, today there are must 150. The town is just 4 blocks long but filled with Old West charm which attracts nearly 500,000 visitors per year.

Filming for "How the West Was Won" was done there in 1962. There are tours given of the Goldroad Mine which was opened originally in 1900 after Jerez’s discovery of gold.

There are also the wild burrows that still wander through the streets of the town. The animals are the descendants of the domesticated donkeys that worked the mines in 1942. You will need to bring your own bag of carrots to feed the burros.

Walk down the plank sidewalk; tour the saloons of which many contain their original storefronts. Enjoy a night at the Oatman Hotel which was built in 1902 and refurbished in 1924. Watch the gunfights in the street on weekends. More great photos of Oatman.

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