"Wild Burro's panhandling, gunfighters shooting and ladies dressed in 1890's style strolling, it must be Oatman, Arizona. Just across the Colorado River and up the hill from Laughlin, Nevada on Historic Route 66 is the lively gold mining town of Oatman. In its heyday of the early 1900's to the 1940's, Oatman and its two mile away companion town of Goldroad were the largest producers of gold in Arizona.
During the Second World War the government needed other metals for the war effort, so the miners were taken to other mines and the mines here closed. The gold was just waiting for better times. Then in 1995 the Goldroad mine was opened again and was taking out 40,000 oz. of gold annually. In 1998 they closed again because of low gold prices. They now have great mine tours daily.
In 1952, Route 66, the main route from the Midwest to California, bypassed this stretch of mountains to be I-40 from Kingman, Arizona to Needles, California. Oatman and Goldroad became real Ghost Towns.
In the 70's Laughlin, Nevada started building up and in the late 80's Route 66 became popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Oatman started becoming very lively again.
Oatman's "Wild" Burro's are the descendants of burro's brought here by the miners and when no longer needed were turned loose. They wander the streets and greet our tourists. We usually have about ten burro's and a few babies.
The Oatman Ghost Riders Gunfighters perform Wild West Shootouts every day at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm (the 3:30 pm show may not be performed during summer months due to heat and amount of tourists) and are available for "Shotgun Weddings", Tour Bus "Robberies", Stage Coach Hold Ups they like to call them that, and all kinds of special gunfight shows. Also the Oatman Ghost Rider Gunfighters are available for School Field Trips along with Jackie from Fast Fanny's, Prospector Bob and Billy Bob Bob. So come watch the Ghost Rider Gunfighters with some downright Funny Old Wild West Comedy!
We have about 40 gift, antique, and craft shops, 2 Old Time Photo Shops with one that does custom sign painting, Judy's Bar, assorted ghosts and several places to eat and listen to live music. They include The historic Oatman Hotel with its thousands of dollar bills tacked to the walls of the restaurant and bar and the Olive Oatman Restaurant and Ice Cream Saloon that is named for and sports a large painting of Olive Oatman who in 1851 was captured by Indians and was later traded to the local Mohave Tribe, where she spent 3 years before being returned to her family.
Some of our fun town events are the Bed Races in January (check out our Events Page), the Sidewalk Egg Fry Contest on the 4th of July, Gold Camp Days with the International Burro Bisket Toss on Labor Day weekend and the Book Fair and Bake Sale on Veterans Day weekend in November. Special holiday events on Easter, Halloween, Memorial Day, and of course Christmas times are also great Entertainment. See our EVENTS page.
In The Background The Oatman (Durlin) Hotel
Located in beautiful and historic Oatman and named for its builder John Durlin, the Durlin Hotel is the only historic two-story adobe building in Mohave County. From its famous guests to its otherworldly inhabitants, the Durlin, known as the Oatman Hotel today, is a must stop for Route 66 travelers.