There are two Route 66 alignments from Kingman, Arizona, southwest to the California border. The pre-1952 alignment along the Oatman Highway is the most beautiful, providing numerous photographic opportunities, legendary Route 66 icons, and a peek at the wild old west in historic Oatman, Arizona. However, a later alignment bypassed Oatman, allowing travelers to move through the area more quickly via the Yucca Bypass.
Though the earlier route is more scenic, it travels through notorious Sitgreaves Pass, once the most intimidating portion of Route 66, with its steep grades, narrow road, and sharp hairpin curves. Though regular vehicles should have no problem, visitors should know that the highway does not allow vehicles over 40 feet. Think about coming into Oatman from the south through Topock, an easier route if this is you. Another consideration for big rig RV’s or vehicles pulling trailers is that parking is extremely limited in Oatman. Get there early, or you will never find a place to accommodate your parking needs.
On occasion, Oatman Road will close just south of Kingman due to heavy rains and melting snow coming off the mountains. During periods of heavy participation, it might be wise to check road conditions before travel.
In any case, if you can take the Oatman Road, it’s well worth the trip. However, if bypassing Oatman is the better choice for you, the post-1952 alignment through Yucca, Arizona, provides a small peek at a few Route 66 era signs and dusty tourist accommodations.