Northwest Arizona and Southeast Nevada Sights

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Oatman

Oatman Review

A worthwhile if hokey stop between Kingman and Bullhead City, the ghost town of Oatman lies along old Route 66. It's a straight shot across the Mojave Desert valley for a while, but then the road narrows and winds precipitously for about 15 miles through the Black Mountains. Oatman's main street is right out of the Old West; scenes from a number of films, including How the West Was Won, were shot here. It still has a remote, old-time feel: many of the natives carry sidearms, and they're not acting. You can wander into one of the three saloons or visit the shabbily endearing Oatman Hotel, which now contains a restaurant but no longer rents overnight accommodations. Several times a day, resident actors entertain visitors with mock gunfights on the main drag.

More than 20 curio shops and eclectic boutiques line the length of Main Street. The burros that often come in from nearby hills and meander down the street, however, are the town's real draw. A couple of stores sell carrots to folks who want to feed these "wild" beasts, which at last count numbered about a dozen and which leave plenty of evidence of their visits in the form of "road apples"—so watch your step. For information about the town and its attractions, contact the Oatman Chamber of Commerce (928/768–6222 www.oatmangoldroad.org).

Updated: 04-03-2014

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