Many people still wonder if the Oatman gold mine was really an actual place. There are many stories about how much gold was actually pulled out of this location. It was actually an active Goldmine, one that was discovered back in the early 1900s. They were able to take gold out of it for over 30 years. Back in the day, it had a population of 23,000 people. Many of these individuals were able to make a good living mining gold. The rest of the population subsisted off of the proceeds that gold miners were able to generate, making this one of the larger towns in Arizona back at that time. Unfortunately, as with most gold mines, they run out of gold. When that occurred, people began to move away. Today, the population is roughly 20,000 people, and looks like more of a set from a Hollywood movie than an actual place.
How Do You Get There?
Due to the condition of the road, you need to make sure you are driving the smaller vehicle. You can get there by going down Route 66. You can access it from Laughlin or Kingman, and once you arrive you will see what looks like a throwback to the 1800s. You will see wild burros in the streets, and there are those that offer alfalfa cubes for sale so that you can feed them. It has definitely changed in over the last hundred years, and is certainly not the bustling town that it used to be.
Can You Still See The Goldmine?
There is a tour that will take you up to the Goldmine. It is actually somewhat active. There are a couple of people that are actively mining, but as they will tell people that are part of the tour, they generally make enough gold to pay for beer that they drink while they are prospecting. Some of the tours that leave out of Laughlin are highly recommended, whereas others are not. They will take you directly to the town up a bumpy road. There is not much to do there now other than feed the burros, and look at what was once a thriving location. There is no way to enter the Goldmine, although you will be told where it is. This proves that it actually was a real place. However, the splendor of old has not returned because people have not found any gold, and therefore the town of Oatman is really all that remains of this area where the Goldmine still is today.
What Can You Do While You Are At The Town?
Instead of just feeding the burros, there is a local gunfight that is staged for tourists. They donate all of the money to the Shriners Hospital for children. You are also able to take photographs with the gunfighters, and the roadshow actually prevents traffic from moving. You can also feed the burros more than alfalfa. They like carrots, but recently they have prevented carrots from being sold because the burros are getting so fat. Instead of feeding them, you can go to the restaurant saloon to get lunch, or check out the shops that have many items for sale that you can take home with you to remember your trip to Oatman.
Will You Find Any Gold When You Are There?
The odds are very poor that you will find any gold on the short amount of time that you are going to be there. Most of what was extracted is gone, and it was found in the Goldmine area. You are simply there to see the town, and stop in at some of the local attractions. The closest thing that you will find two gold is Gold Roads Mines Inc. which has a makeshift mine that you can see when you stop by.
If you have been looking for different places to do prospecting for gold, you will definitely want to check this out. It’s nice to see a little bit of history, small towns that became extremely popular not because of location, but because of the gold that they could extract from the hills. It could be that someone will purchase this land and begin to dig once again using modern equipment, but it is likely to remain as it is. It is simply a spot that people can check off their list if they are interested in visiting as many old gold mining towns as they can.