Oatman, Arizona. A place abandoned by people and inhabited by wild donkeys only.

Oatman, Arizona. A place abandoned by people and inhabited by wild donkeys only. cover 3

During the gold rush, a lot of cities were built close to the mines. A lot of them didn’t stand the test of time – when the region run out of gold, people left the place to look for another job. Lively towns were abandoned. Turned into ghost towns. The same thing happened to Oatman.

But Oatman is not completely forgotten. Even though nobody lives here, people are still around. Why? For two reasons.

Firstly, Oatman is located on the historic Route 66. Even though interstate freeways replaced route 66 and it’s not the main communication road anymore, it’s still very popular among tourists and travellers. A lot of them decide to cross the US using this road. Everyone who is in the US wants to drive at least a part of it. That’s how people arrive to Oatman.

BTW if you want to see another part of the famous road – check this post about Route 66 in Oklahoma! 🙂

Oatman, Arizona

Oatman, Arizona

Route 66 from Oatman to Kingman

The second and the most important reason. Even though Oatman is abandoned by people, it is not empty at all. It is inhabited by a bunch of wild donkeys (or as they call them – burros). Theoretically wild – watch out, they will try to steal anything that looks like food!

Oatman, Arizona

Oatman, Arizona

In result, Oatman  got a new life. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, shops with food for the donkeys. It is touristy – but still not crowded at all. It seems that most people travelling through Arizona don’t stop in Oatman. And I think they should regret it 🙂

Oatman, Arizona


Oatman is a very charming place. A few fun things in one place. A beautiful part of Route 66 between Oatman and Kingman. Interesting, western buildings. And cute donkeys 🙂 The only disadvantage is temperature (but isn’t it a problem of the whole state?!). It was 105 F – which is 40 C. Hot 😉

All in all, if you’re going from Los Angeles or Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon don’t immediately get lost among the canyon’s amazing viewpoints. Spend one hour in this cute place. Buy the donkey feed (available in all shops) and enjoy this extraordinary experience. Children will love it – my inner child was thrilled! 🙂 Let’s do our best to keep ghosts out of this town.

Remember the easiest and often the only way to get to such places like Oatman is to have a car. If you still need to book yours, click the button below to see the prices 🙂

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If you look for more ideas off the most popular tourist path you might want to visit the Sonoran Desert – check these top 5 things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona.

If you’re planning or only dreaming of your trip, check how to organize a trip to the USA step by step!

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2 thoughts on “Oatman, Arizona. A place abandoned by people and inhabited by wild donkeys only.

  • Reply Aheinousanus January 1, 2022 at 12:51 am

    I just drove through Oatman. On our way into town we were assaulted by road banditos, demanding our food in order to let us pass.
    They made off with most of our cookies and let us continue on our journey.
    We will definitely return and next time we will be ready. They will not get our cookies again. We plan on distracting them with heads lettuce or cabbage and some carrots.

  • Reply Harry Leggs April 1, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    Oatman,Arizona? Why would someone want to drive there? Romanticizing an abandoned town doesn’t make it that interesting.Wait until it’s 115° out and enjoy the donkey smell even better. “Wild animal” is just that. Remember to avoid the patties on the ground!

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