Do you want an off the beaten path road trip? Take a section of old RT 66 that takes you up a 2 lane mountain road, to the old mining town of Oatman, Arizona.
This old town is in the Black Mountains of Mohave County, Arizona, USA. It began as a small mining camp soon after two prospectors struck a $10 Million gold find in 1915.
During the warm months of the year this is a tourist destination complete with people from all parts of the world unloading off tour buses.
I was here just after Thanksgiving and the weather was chilly enough at lower elevations. Up the mountain east of Bullhead City, Arizona and about half way to Kingman, Arizona, it was down right cold.
Though the shops were open the town was kind of dead. Nothing like the stories I had heard of hoards of tourists. I think I was greeted by more burros than humans. On this chilly morning I thought someone should definitely open up a highly visible coffee shop. No Starbucks to be found up here. No real indication a hot cup of brew could be found.
I had a blast with my camera and actually appreciated the fact the cold was probably keeping people away. The whole town is a photographers dream.
The are the old buildings, hotel, etc. Now a bar, eatery, antique shops, and the typical place to see wind spinners, hanging crystals, and tie dyed shirts.
To me, the main attraction was the overly friendly burro’s that seem to own the town. Persistent adult burro’s that walk right up. To the more timid baby’s that have stickers on their foreheads stating “Don’t feed me I am still nursing’. They were incredibly cute.
There is old iron, vehicles, bottles, and signs. Many places look run down. Over on a hill in the distance you can see broken down mining structures. Off on another hill a huge rusting steel tank that appears to have held water at one time.
Don’t expect cell service most of the time. But the drive up the western slope of the mountain was beautiful in the early morning light.
I didn’t stay long since I was in shorts and a sweat shirt. I will definitely be making a return trip in the coming year. This trip was more of a recon mission to find where Oatman was. To get the lay of the land to return and do more photography. I can see I need to dedicate a whole day to this location.
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