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Kingman - Page 2

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Tours & itineraries close to Kingman

In Kingman Page #1 we described the classic motels, diners, neon signs and gas stations in the town of Kingman. This page goes further afield with tours, itineraries and outdoor activities close to Kinmgan.

See the ruts of the old ore carts at the White Cliffs Wagon Road and a historic site, Camp Beale Springs on the original pioneer's trail from Arkansas to California.

Learn about nearby attractions such as the mining ghost town of Chloride, Santa Claus Arizona (yes, Santa's place in the desert!), or the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Visit the resorts in Laughlin Nevada and Lake Havasu City, visit the forests at Hualapai Mountain Park or drive west to Cool Springs and see a Whiting Bros. station on the way, plus some Route 66 shields painted on the highway as you drive the The Historic Route 66 Back Country Byway.

Enjoy your road trip along the 1926-30 alignment of Route66 in Kingman AZ.

1952 US 66 in Arizona
< West - Topock ¦ Yucca ¦ Kingman - East >

The 1926-52 alignment of Route 66 at Topock

< Head West
Needles (California) ¦ Topock ¦ Oatman

Head East >
Antares ¦ Hackberry ¦ Valentine

Tours close to Kingman in Western Arizona

Visit neighboring Chloride, Arizona

Ghost Town street and buildings in Chloride AZ
Ghost Town street in Chloride, Arizona. Credits
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White Cliffs Wagon Road

Historic Site

ruts in the White cliffs Wagon Trail Kingman

Ruts in White Cliffs wagon trail. Credits

0.9 mi. north of the Visitor Center at the old powerhouse. Map and directions.

You can park at the trail head and walk along the trail. Free; no admission fee charged. Total length of trail 650 ft.

At the White Cliffs Wagon Trail Park you can hike along a trail, to visit a section of the old wagon road used to bring ore from the mines to the railway depot at Kingman

The heavy carts that used it from 1870 to 1900 wore deep ruts in the soft volcanic rock, which you can see during your hike. (The red arrows in the image mark the deep ruts).

The trail was bypassed in 1912 and the original cart road with its deep ruts remains in perfect condition.

Camp Beale Springs

Historic marker

marker at the trail leading to Camp Beale Srings

Marker at Camp Beale Springs. Credits

Just 1.8 miles to the west of town, Map and directions.

Beale Expedition

In 1857, the U.S. government commissioned Lt. Edward "Ned" Fitzgerald Beale on a mission to survey and open a wagon trail from Fort Smith in Arkansas, to California.

His route is roughly aligned with the one followed later by Route 66, and was known as the "Beale Wagon Road". It became the main route used by settlers moving into California until the railway was built in the mid 1880s.

Beale used camels imported from Tunis as pack animals. Though hardier than mules, the camels scared both horses and mules. The Army decided not to use camels in the future.

You can still see part of Beale's Wagon Road to the north of what is now Parks, AZ.

The Springs

Although known to the local natives for thousands of years, it was "discovered" by Edward Fitzgerald Beale. It was a good water source in a dry area and it became a stop on the Prescott to Hardyville toll road in the 1860s.

However, war soon broke out with the Hualapai natives due to increased presence of white people in their land. This led to the Hualapai War of 1866 to 1870.

The defeated natives were confined in a reservation at the springs in 1873 but moved to La Paz the following year. The camp closed in 1874.

The Hualapai were allowed to retur to their territories (later they were relocated in another reservation at Peach Springs on Route 66).

The springs were used as the source of water for the newly established town of Kingman. A small reservoir was built there.

It is a nice spot to trek in the wild or have a picnic. There is a marker and its inscription reads:

Inscription. Click to hear the inscription. This camp, established March 25, 1871 by Company F, 12th Infantry commanded by Capt. Thomas Bryne, was located at a spring used by Indians for centuries. It was named for Navy Lt. Edward F Beale who established a wagon road along the 35th parallel.

In 1865 William Hardy created a stop on his toll road from Prescott to Hardyville. It was an Army outpost during the Hualapai War of 1866-1870.

The location became a temporary reservation for Hualapai Indians from 1871 to 1874. The spring later supported mining, agriculture and domestic water needs for the town of Kingman.

Ha' Qa' Muwe marker

There is a second marker (on the stone). Its inscription reads:

Ha' Qa' Muwe (Ancestral Home of the Hualapai)
In Memory of Our Hualapai Ancestors

Who Fought Against Cultural Genocide With Bravery and Foresight

They Sacrificed Their Lives So The Hualapai People's Survival May Continue Today And Forever...

This location was a temporary Internment Camp for the Hualapai People until the Infamous Forced March Of The La Paz Trail Of Tears, April 21, 1874

This ends your tours close to the city of Kingman. Now head out on some longer itineraries in your car.

Hotels: Where to Stay in Kingman

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>> Book your Hotel in Kingman

More Lodging Near Kingman along Route 66

Find more lodging & accommodation close to Kingman; there are plenty of lodging options in the cities and towns along Route 66; click on the links below to find your accommodation in these towns:

Heading East: In Arizona

Heading West: Hotels & Motels in AZ & CA

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Grand Canyon Hotels

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Find a hotel in Kingman

>> RV campgrounds in Kingman

Visit Santa Claus and Chloride

A short trip (54 mi. round trip) along US 93 to the NW of Kingman. See this Map and directions.

US Highway 93 links Kingman with Las Vegas, Nevada, and just 14.4 miles from Kingman you will reach Santa Claus Arizona.

U.S. Highway 93

There was a dirt road that linked Kingman with Chloride which was extended to the site of Hoover Dam and designated as state road 69 in 1934. After the completion of the dam in 1935, traffic could cross the Colorado River along the top of the dam. SR 69 became US 93 between Kingman and the dam,and US 93 in Nevada was extended from its southern terminus in Glendale, through Las Vegas to Hoover dam.

It became the main highway for those visiting the dam.

Santa Claus Arizona

Now all you will see are some abandoned buildings surrounded by desert shrubs slowly decaying under the sun of Arizona. But at one time it was part of an ambitious Christmas-themed project.

The postcard below postmarked in 1972, read on its back:

Christmas Tree Inn, Open Every Day. Breakfast and Luncheon-Dinners on Sunday
Gift Shop Open - Overnight Camping
Weekday Dinners by Reservation
Gene and Helen Cole
Homemade Bread, Pies, Cakes Real Home Cooking

A 1972 postcard of Santa Claus Arizona

A 1972 postcard of Santa Claus Arizona inn and gas station
Buildings in Santa Claus, Arizona in a 1972 postcard. Credits

The gas station is on the right, the inn on the left. On the far right is the "Third Little Piggy House" and part of the roof of "Cinderella's Doll House."

Today it is abandoned and in ruins, but you can still see the same buildings (inn, gas station and Little Piggy's house).

Santa Claus Arizona nowadays

vacant ruins of buildings, trees and bluffs in the background: current view of Santa Claus Arizona inn and gas station
Abandoned inn and gas station in Santa Claus, Arizona. Click for St. View

The History of Santa Claus AZ

A realtor from Los Angeles, Nina Talbot, purchased 80 acres in the Arizona desert in 1937, with the intention of developing it around the Santa Claus-Christmas theme.

She built the Christmas Tree Inn the following year and ran it with her husband. Its purpose was to attract buyers who would invest in a property in the "town".

It was a hit among the tourists traveling along Hoover Dam highway and became a well known restaurant. It also had a Texaco gas station.

But the only buildings in Santa Claus were the inn, a gift shop, a small one-room house, and its only residents were the Talbots and the Post Office employees.

Nobody invested in the new real estate development.

House with wolf on chimney and piggies

Third Little Piggy House. Credits

Thematic house

Cinderella's Doll House. Credits

Christmas Tree Inn

The media reported that its walls were decorated with fairyland characters and its menu specialties were salads and pastries.

Its big hit was Kris Kringle rum pie and many tourists stopped by to savour it.

The Talbots sold out in 1949 and the new owners developed it along the Christmas theme, adding Cinderella's Dolls House, a wishing well, the House of the Third Little Pig (fittingly built with bricks), and a small train.

The Post Office was very busy during Christmas, thousands of letters were postmarked at Santa Claus and mailed to children across the country.

It later slipped down a slope of decline, and was eventually boarded up.

Christmas Tree Inn at Santa Claus Arizona 1940s. Notice the two Santa's on the gabled roof next to the chimney.

vintage postcard of the Inn at Santa Claus Arizona
Vintage 1940s postcard Christmas Inn, Santa Claus, Arizona. Credits

Return to the highway and head west to Choloride.

If you visit the Grand Canyon

Some tours and sightseeing


Chloride "Ghost Town"

27 mi. to the NW of Kingman

Though not technically a ghost town, as it has 393 residents, it has its "Ghost Town" section that you can visit.

It was established in the early 1860s as a mining camp when silver chloride (hence the name "chloride") was discovered in the mountains. The ore also had lead, gold, zinc copper and vanadium.

A wagon route and stage coach linked it to Beale Springs (the main road passed through there) and later a branch line was laid by the railroad from Kingman which operated until 1935. It was the county seat from 1877 to 1887 and reached 5,000 inhabitants.

Mining came to an end after World War II.

The old town is almost an "Old West" ghost town with many original buildings: the bank, jail, station and post office.

You can also visit the "Roy Purcell Murals" painted on the canyon faces in the Cerbat Mountains. There are tours to take you there (rough roads).

mural artwork painted on rocks in the outdoors
Art on the rocks in Chloride, AZ. Credits.

Chloride Fun Facts & Trivia

  • Chloride is the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in Arizona
  • The post office opened in 1873 and is the oldest still-working post office in Arizona (see the historic building on the town's main street)
  • There are reenactments of gun fights on some weekends each month

The Post Office is the building on the left.

Chloride AZ, post office and main steet
Old Post Office on the main street in Chloride, Arizona. Credits

What Next?

You can return to Kingman or drive further afield heading north to Hoover Dam and Las Vegas.


Tours and activities in Las Vegas & Hoover Dam

You can also visit the Colorado River and Laughling in Nevada:

Resorts on the Colorado River: Laughlin Nevada

Lauglin is a resort town only 34 miles west along AZ-68 (Map with directions).

night view of the skyline and neon lights of the resort city and the Colorado River

Laughlin night view. Credits

man rowing red kayak in wetland with reeds and calm river

Laughlin night view. Credits

Laughlin began as a small town known as South Pointe. It was frequented by those who fished in the Colorado River.
In 1964 Don Laughlin visited the area and bought the land to develop it as a tourist attraction. He built a motel and a small casino. The town boomed and was named after him.

It is a "Little Vegas" with resorts, shows, casinos, and gaming.

Those who like nature and being in the open can enjoy golf, hiking and many outdoor activities in the water on the Colorado River (fishing, kayaking, boating, and jet skiing.)
You can take a short detour to visit it, and return to Route 66 via Kingman or Needles.

You can find a hotel and book your room here:

>> Book your Laughlin Nevada

Whiting Bros. Station

Kingm's Whiting Bros. gas station was located on the southwestern side of Kingman, on the original 1940s alignment that existed before the freeway was built in 1979. This ran to the east of the freeway's alignment all the way to McConnico (see map of this aligment), where it turned west (these 1,000 ft. -300 m- are now under the freeway) and headed towards Cool Springs and Oatman along current state Hwy 10.

We describe the highway from Kingman to Topock in our special Kingman to Topock Route 66 alignment page.

The Whiting Bros station was located just before McConnico and it is still standing:

Dans Auto Salvage - former WB station

At 2666 S Highway 66, now it is part of a junkyard full of tires and rusting cars that provides scrap metal and car parts to those who need them.

Dans Auto Salvage, west of Kingman

current view of Whiting gas station in Kingman
Dans Auto Salvage, formerly a Whiting Bros. gas station Kingman, Arizona. Click for St. View.

Whiting Bros. and Route 66

> > Read more: Visit our Whiting Bros. and Route 66 webpage.

Learn all about the motels and gas stations of Whiting Bros along US 66 in New Mexico and Arizona.

After visiting the former Whiting Bros. station, you can head west towards the Historic Route 66 Back Country Byway.

The Historic Route 66 Back Country Byway

Back Country Byway

Back Country Byway sign on Route 66

Back Country Byway sign. Austin Whittall.

This section of Route 66 from Kingman to Topock has been designated a Back Country Byway, within the BLM (Bureau of Land Management).

The road is legally accessible by any vehicle under 40 feet in length. The part of the road passing through the mountains is a very narrow two-lane with no shoulders, extremely tight switchbacks and many steep drop-offs. Wide vehicles and vehicles over 30 feet in length should use extreme caution when driving this road.

A US 66 Shield on the roadway

Just after you turn right onto the Byway you will see the Route 66 Shield painted on the road, shown below.

See this map with its location.

Shield on US66's roadway close to I-40.

shield on roadway in Kingman
Shield painted on US66 in Kingman, Arizona.

Cool Springs

A Route 66 icon

20 miles west of Kingman on Route 66. (Map with directions).

During the golden days of Route 66 it was a stop on the road before facing the tough winding climb across the Black Mountains towards Sitgreaves Pass. There were cabins, food, fresh water and gasoline.

It crumbled into disrepair when traffic fell off in 1952 when Route 66 was realigned through Yucca.

Purchased in 1997 by Ned Leuchtner he restored it to its former appearance and reopened in 2001. Stop at its gift shop and get some great views of Squaw tit mountain behind it.

See the US 66 Shield painted on the road in front of the old gas station.

A view of the rebuilt Cool Springs Gas Station

The Cool Springs Station near Kingman AZ
A view of the Cool Springs Gas Station, Austin Whittall

This leg of your Route 66 road trip ends here, drive west into Oatman the gold mining town in the Black Mountains to continue your journey.

Outdoors, National and State Parks

elk in a pine forest in the mountains

Deer in Hualapai Mountain Park. Credits

Hualapai Mountain Park

County Park

14 mi. from Kingman (Map and Directions).

Forested mountain range that rises above the arid surroundings. It was home to the "pine tree people", the Hualapai natives.

Ten miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, or riding. Picnic areas and camping spots. Skiing in winter.

The park covers 2,300 acres and its elevation ranges from 4,984 to 8,417 feet. (1245 - 2567 m).

The Grand Canyon Skywalk

74 mi. See the Map with Directions.

Opened in 2007 it is within the Hualapai Tribal land. It is a transparent horseshoe-shaped bridge that curves out and above the Grand Canyon 4,770 ft (1.450 m) above the Colorado River.

The best way to reach it is taking a tour as the roads are not in top conditions.

Read more at the Skywalk website.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Grand Canyon walls, sky, and the skywalk above a cliff
The Grand Canyon, Colorado River and the Skywalk Arizona

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Lake Havasu City

hot air balloons float over a town with London Bridge spanning the river, a lake in the background and hills

Lake Havasu City, the lake and London Bridge. Credits

The resort town of Lake Havasu City is 60 miles from Kingman (map with directions). Located on Lake Havasu, on the Colorado River, it has beaches along the lake's scenic shoreline, an active nightlife and the original London bridge (you can take a Tour to visit it)

Go to Kingman City Attractions

In the Previous Page (Page 1) you'll find downtown Kingman's Route 66 attractions and an overview of the city:

Kingman Page 1 advertisement

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>> Book your Hotel in Lake Havasu City

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Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat

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