OATMAN – Tourists flock to this former mining town along historic Route 66 in droves. Situated in the Black Mountains of Mohave County, many come for a taste of the Wild West while others come to feed friendly families of wild burros who’ve staked claim to the land for generations.
Early gold prospectors brought the pack animals to the region around the turn of the 20th century. The mines were shut down by the early 1940s, and the burros were let loose. They remained in the area when most of their human counterparts split. Now, the rather plump descendants of the four-legged miners roam the streets alongside tourists, eager for hand-fed carrots and burro pellets. While you can feed them, don’t harass them. They’re protected by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Oatman is a popular day trip for folks visiting Laughlin, Nevada. From there, take Highway 163 to AZ-95 and turn right. Then turn left on Boundary Cone Road, and take a slight left again onto CR-153/Oatman Highway. The burros alone aren’t the only attraction. Visitors frequent the Old Arizona antique and gift stores, Judy’s Bar and an ice cream shop. There’s also the occasional shoot-out reenactment and live tunes.