With our trip coming to an end, we started our final day feeling a little somber. We decided to sleep in and really take our time leaving the hotel that morning. After a day of trekking through the Arizona canyons, we decided to spend our last day exploring Kingman, AZ and Oatman, AZ.
After leaving the hotel we drove over to the Kingman Visitor Center to grab some information. Then we did some driving around to the local hot spots.
Some history & facts about Kingman, AZ:
- The area of Kingman, AZ was originally “discovered” by Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale.
- It is an old Route 66 town.
- Beale was in the U.S. Navy and was ordered by the Army to survey the area, build a wagon road, and test the feasibility of using camels as pack animals through the area.
- He surveyed the land in 1857 and began building the road in 1859.
- The road was named Beale’s Wagon Road and it became an official part of Route 66.
- Kingman was officially founded in 1882 after Lewis Kingman, who surveyed and supervised the building of a road from Winslow, AZ to Beale’s Springs (present Kingman).
- During WWII Kingman was the site of the U.S. Army Airfield.
Must see in Kingman:
- The Visitor Center, where you can get a map of the town, which makes it really easy to drive around and check out the historical spots (without getting out of the car if it’s like below freezing, like it was when we visited 🙂 ).
- Mr. D’z Diner! Such a cool place to get some pictures of an old fashioned diner.
- Murals: a lot of the streets have some murals explaining the history of the town.
Not too far from Kingman, is the even older ghost town known as Oatman, AZ. What’s cool about the drive is that you take the original “Route 66” the whole way. If you’ve never been I would suggest doing some research on the town to really understand the term “ghost town” and what that entails.
On the way up there’s a pretty cool old fashioned and hardly used gas station. We were the only ones there!
About a 30 min drive later, we arrived in Oatman, AZ. Some facts about Oatman:
- Oatman began as a small mining camp after two prospectors struck $10 million in gold in 1915.
- “Oatman” was chosen as the name of the town to commemorate a young girl named Olive Oatman, who in 1851 lost her family to the Native Americans, which then captured and enslaved her (14) and her sister (7). Later selling them to the Mohave people, who tattooed both the girls’ faces with traditional markings of the tribe.
- After several years with the Mohave people, Olive lost her sister to starvation.
- She was released in 1855 near the current site of the town.
- Between 1915-1917 the mines of Oatman were among the highest gold producers in the American West.
- The “town” shares space with wild burro’s which roam the surrounding mountains.
One not cool thing about Oatman: I was walking around some of the stores looking for some cheesy souvenirs and saw that an older man was selling homemade confederate flags and paintings of confederate flags (I guess the town really is still stuck in the 1800’s!). And with that, we made our way out of Oatman, AZ.
If you’ve never been, I would suggest checking it out. But be prepared to see a place right out of an old western movie, the types of people (locals), the rights/wrongs of the “times”, and all!
An hour later we found ourselves in Lake Havasu. We usually go to Havasu every summer, either on our own or with Joey’s family. So it was nice to stop by and walk across the London Bridge together. We grabbed some lunch at our favorite pizza place and then it was a short 4 hour trek back home to Los Angeles!
This road trip was for sure one for the books and one I will forever treasure. I will do a recap post soon but for now will be focusing on all my Christmas shopping that I’ve yet to complete!
Thank you so much to everyone following along, hope you enjoyed keeping up with us!
From home sweet home, xoxo,
Final Day Total Drive Time: (Kingman, AZ to Los Angeles, CA) 6.5 hours