Best time to visit Arizona

Oatman Ghost Town in Arizona 2024-2025

An abandoned mining town in Arizona is now overrun by donkeys

Best time: year round

Oatman Ghost Town
Oatman Ghost Town
Oatman Ghost Town

A former mining town, Oatman has become an iconic stop for everyone travelling the Historic Route 66. It is located in the Black Mountains of Arizona's Mohave County, near Laughlin, Nevada. The quirky ghost town welcomes 500,000 visitors per year and is famous for its burros who wander the streets freely.

It was founded in 1863 by gold seekers. The population of the town grew to over 3,500 residents in one year as a result of the gold rush. However, as mining decreased, the place was slowly abandoned.

The town was named after Olive Oatman, a girl who was allegedly kidnapped by the Yavapai tribe and who later lived with Mohave people for three years. Her family lived in the area that later became Oatman.

Oatman is an authentic Wild West mining settlement. With its beautiful buildings from the early 1900s and its large population of burros, it's a great spot for classic car shows and cowboy performances. On July 4th—Independence Day—there is the Oatman Egg Fry, where participants cook eggs on hot sidewalks. During Labour Day weekend Oatman hosts International Burro Biscuit Toss.

Practical info

When is the best time of the year to visit Oatman Ghost Town?

Oatman can be visited anytime during the year, but the summer's extreme heat should be avoided, when the temperature sometimes exceeds 46°C. The cooler months of October through May are the best time to visit and explore the town without worrying about the scorching heat. Show more

Where is Oatman Ghost Town located in Arizona?

Mohave County, Arizona, in the United States, is where one will find Oatman, situated between the towns of Kingman, AZ, and Needles, CA. The town is located on the historic Route 66 and is accessible via a winding mountain road relatively near the heavily frequented Interstate 40, offering an enjoyable drive. Show more

How did the town get its name?

The town was christened after Olive Oatman, who was abducted by the Yavapai tribe and eventually traded to the Mohave tribe. Olive was adopted by them and returned to her white family after spending some years with them. Her brother named the town after her as a tribute. Show more

What are the unique activities that take place in Oatman?

There are several activities to experience in Oatman, such as feeding the burros, watching an old-fashioned gunfight, and buying merchandise with personalized 'ass' slogans. Moreover, the town's annual celebrations such as the Oatman Egg Fry on Independence Day and the International Burro Biscuit Toss during Labor Day add to the charm of the place. Show more

How did the population of the town change over time due to mining?

During the early 1900s, when gold was discovered, Oatman's population grew to over 3,000 people. However, as mining came to a standstill, much of the town was deserted, and the population declined drastically. Presently, fewer than 200 people live in the area but with tourists' inflow, Oatman remains a popular destination. Show more

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