Oatman is a former mining town on Route 66 in Western Arizona. For visitors it offers equal parts touristy kitsch and real, honest-to-goodness Wild West atmosphere, complete with wood slat sidewalks.

17 things to do

All Places United States Arizona

Karen's Cabin

Karen is a local shop-owner and miner who runs a cozy guest cabin. Find her at Arizona Girl shop to inquire. If you arrive in the evening, go to Judy's saloon and ask them to track her down. The cabin sleeps five, has a working kitchen, space heaters and wood stove. There's a barbecue in the small yard and a beautiful view of the rugged mountain-scape. If you're at all interested in gold mining, ask her about it – she's got the bug. Also, ask to see the tortoises.

SLEEP   —  Map

Oatman Hotel

Hotel supposedly haunted by several ghosts. As of December 2010 the hotel is undergoing renovation and closed to overnight guests, although the lobby and bar remain open.

SLEEP   —  +1 928-768-4408 —  181 Main St

Jackass Junction

Large selection of Native American pottery and other Indian items. Prices are very low compared to other Indian Galleries.

BUY   —  219 Main St

United States Post Office

Postcards mailed from here will have a special postmark featuring a cartoon of a bearded prospector and a donkey.

BUY   —  +1 928-768-3990 —  251 Main St

July 4th Sidewalk Egg Frying Contest

An annual event, contestants can participate in groups or singly, originality is encouraged.

DO   —  +1 928-768-8595 —  Map

Main Street Emporium

Locally made hand-crafted items such as art and candles that you can watch being made.

BUY   —  +1 928-788-3298 —  150 S Main St

The Ore House

Rock and gift shop. Large selection of Southwest area rugs.

BUY   —  +1 928-768-3839 —  194 Main St

Gold Road Mine Tour

Tour of century-old mine shaft lasts about an hour.

Oatman Stables

Horseback rides.

DO   —  +1 928-788-1764 —  Route 66

Jackass Ron's

BUY   —  Main St

About Oatman

Oatman was named posthumously for Olive Oatman (1837-1903). History tells that she was a young Illinois girl kidnapped by (presumably) Yavapai Indians and forced to work for them as a slave. Later, she was traded to Mohave Indians who adopted her as a daughter, had her face tattooed in the custom of the tribe, and eventually released her in 1855 near the current site of the town.

Gold was discovered in the nearby hills in the early 1900s and the town was home to a boom that lasted until the mines closed in the 1930s. The current population of 150 is down from about 23,000 in its boom years. The main street, lined with gift shops, looks like a set from a Hollywood Western, and with good reason: Hollywood dolled up the facades to film How The West Was Won here in 1962. A staged gunfight takes place every day at high noon. On the other side of the equation, if you show up after the tourists go home, you'll start to get a real feel for the place: a town of grizzled miners and dogged entrepreneurs determined to make a living at the far edge of civilization.

While the main street is known alternatively as "Main Street" and "Oatman Road", it is also the Historic Route 66.

Source: wikivoyage