Arizona: A “Spirited” Destination

Arizona is a state that has something for everyone and this includes those who are looking for some adventure. With its rugged mountain ranges, vast deserts, and beautiful coastlines, there’s so much to see in the land of cactus. From fishing at Lake Powell or boating on Lake Havasu to hiking through the Grand Canyon or exploring Painted Desert, you’ll find no shortage of fun activities here. But for a truly “spirited” adventure, be sure to stop in historic Kingman, Arizona and the conveniently located Zuni Village and RV Campground where the area ghost towns and haunted historical buildings are certain to help you “scare up” a good time.

Follow in Some “Phantom-tastic” Footsteps in Kingman

If you’re passing through Kingman in October, be sure to follow in the footsteps of phantoms as you join the Kingman Historic Ghost Walk starting at the historic Hotel Beale. On designated nights, small groups can experience the ghostly side of Kingman’s history as knowledgeable guides and spin eerie tales of the town’s bygone inhabitants and their escapades, including the ghostly woman who haunts Room 106 at the historic Kingman Hotel. Two different route options are available, each starting on the corner of Andy Devine and Fourth Street in the Hotel Beale parking lot. Visitors are encouraged to book tickets in advance, as the tours fill quickly. Currently scheduled dates are October 23, 24, 29 & 30, 2021 with tours leaving every half-hour beginning at 7:00PM and ending at 8:30PM. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children ages 4-11.

Frankly My Dear, I Don’t Give a…Burro?

Just 45 minutes away from Kingman on Route 66 is a ghost town with a real “kick” – literally. Once a wild west town, Oatman first got its start in 1898 as a mining camp. Incorporated in 1902, it only lasted four years until the price of silver dropped. But when many of the miners packed up and left to make their fortunes elsewhere, they left their beasts-of-burden, burros, behind. Now, the town is not only overrun by ghosts – including the Oatman Hotel’s resident poltergeist, Oatie, and supposedly the spirits of famous lovebirds Clark Gable and Carole Lombard who honeymooned there – it’s densely populated by wild burros. While generally friendly, especially if you feed them one of the widely available feed cubes, do exercise caution. They do kick! Other lingering spirits of the past are the over 100 buildings Oatman retains from it’s mining days along with its wooden sidewalks and orchestrated shootouts. For a few dollars gas, Oatman is a great place to catch the “spirit” of the Old West.

A Little Bit of Kitsch to Complement the Creepy

Situated 15 miles south, the town of Chloride was founded in 1879 as a water stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad and became an important copper mining region. The “living” ghost town, sparsely inhabited by around 300 people, is one hour from Kingman via Highway 93 South or Interstate 10 East. Chloride has a few ghostly residents still as occasional reports have been made of ghostly balls of light floating along the hillside and vaporous trails lingering in the abandoned lot where a movie theater once stood.

If you’re more into “art” than “ahhh,” Chloride is also a great go-to destination to find junk art, where locals in the historic location have found ways to breathe some spirit into cast-off bits and bobs to create some spectacular designs. And don’t miss the Roy Purcell murals just outside town.
During his pursuit of his MFA from Utah State University, Purcell spent time working as a coal miner near the town. He was commissioned by the town to paint the 2000-square foot mural entitled “The Journey” across an expanse of boulders behind Chloride. While completed way back in 1966, the pigments still pop and can be enjoyed along the easily accessible route which starts on Tennessee Avenue.

It doesn’t matter what your interests are; Arizona has it all – Gable, gunfights, and ghosts. Finding a unique and interesting vacation destination doesn’t have to be scary when you visit Kingman, Arizona and stay at the Zuni Village and RV Park.

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