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Historic Route 66

Oatman
In the 1930’s, gas was 20 cents a gallon and Route 66 was the highway from Chicago to Los Angeles. It’s fun to slow down and kids can see what it's like to drive on an original two-lane highway from Topock to Kingman to Seligman. Stop along the way at family-run restaurants for bar-b-que and plates of fried potatoes.
    Oatman – Oatman grew from a tent camp into a real wild west town in the early 20th century. Mines in the area produced 36 million in gold ore, but when the gold mines closed down and the interstate freeway moved south, Oatman became a dusty ghost town, mummified in time.
Wild burro
    Wild burros – On Route 66 east, about a mile out of out of town about a mile, look for the cute wild burro herds. These wild burros are descendent of burros used by the gold miners to haul ore and all their stuff. You also may see a few baby burros wandering through the streets of town.
      Horseback rides – At Oatman Stables, go on a one or two hour horseback ride through the rocky Black Mountains. Rides are October – May (too hot in summer). Kids 4 and up can go on their own horses (nice gentle ponies for the little ones).
      Gold Road Mine – The Gold Road Mine is a hard rock gold mine, where miners whacked the gold ore out of the rock, digging miles of tunnels deep under ground. Put on a hard hat (hard hats come in kid's sizes) and walk through the timbered mine entrance down into the mine tunnel. On the 45 min. tour, listen to a colorful story of the Gold Rush. The tunnel is level, easy walking, okay for small kids and cool inside on a hot day.
      There are wild west shootouts every day at 1:30 and 3:00pm, and Oatman is a good place to get the kids an ice cream.
    Grand Canyon Caverns (Peach Springs) – Take a tour through these dry limestone caverns, so dry inside that when animals wandered in but couldn’t wander out, they were mummified, including a 150 year old bobcat and 15ft. giant ground sloth. (And don’t miss a sloth claw sticking out of the wall.) It’s a cool 56 degrees year round, and a great place to come on a hot day.
      Outside, at the fossil sluice, buy a bag of dirt, and kids can do their own digging for fossils, such as trilobites, and gem stones. There are also one hour and half day horseback riding, campfire rides, and short wagon rides for little ones.
travel for kids | united states | arizona | arizona nw | historic route 66
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