12 Things To Do in Kingman, Arizona

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Kingman is a city located in northwest Arizona, approximately 90 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. With a population of around 30,000, Kingman serves as the county seat of Mohave County.

While not a huge metropolis, Kingman offers visitors plenty of attractions and activities, from exploring historic Route 66 landmarks to taking in natural scenery and landscapes. If you’re planning a trip to Kingman or just passing through, here are 12 can’t-miss things to do during your visit:

Explore the Historic Downtown and Route 66

As one of the longest remaining stretches of the iconic Route 66 highway, downtown Kingman gives visitors a glimpse into classic Americana. The town’s main drag features a number of historic properties, retro motels, and diners dating back to Route 66’s heyday in the middle of the 20th century.

Be sure to stop into historic Hotel Brunswick for a meal or cold drink. Built in 1909, Hotel Brunswick once hosted the likes of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. Other attractions downtown include the 1909 Railroad Depot and the Mohave Museum of History and Arts.

Tour the Bonelli House

History buffs will love a guided tour of Bonelli House. The stately two-story home was built in 1882 and belonged to local businessman Joseph Bonelli. In addition to living quarters, the house functioned as the headquarters for Bonelli’s wholesale liquor business, one of the largest such enterprises west of the Mississippi in that era.

Tour guides share intriguing details about the Bonelli family as well as 19th century life in northern Arizona. From the period decor to the expansive gardens out back, Bonelli House provides an immersive glimpse into Kingman’s frontier past.

Hike Hualapai Mountain Park

Just a 15-minute drive from downtown brings you to Hualapai Mountain Park, a 640-acre public park located in the pine-forested foothills just outside Kingman. The park boasts several hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous, including the moderately challenging 2-mile Aspen Peak Trail leading up to a height of 8,417 feet.

Along the way, hikers enjoy far-reaching vistas across Kingman and the surrounding valleys. The park also has a campground, cabins, picnic spots with grills, and a newly remodeled lodge with a gift shop for grabbing a snack or cool drink after a day on the trails.

Go Wine Tasting in Truxton Canyon

The high-desert terrain around Kingman might not seem like traditional wine country, but the Truxton Canyon area defies expectations. Located 20 miles west of Kingman along Historic Route 66, Truxton Canyon has rapidly emerged as a first-class wine-growing region.

The dry climate, hot days, and cool evenings allow grapes like Syrah, Merlot, and Zinfandel to thrive. Visit Cellar 433 and sample award winners like their 2013 Sphinx Red Blend and 2015 Zinfandel. Just down the road, Sierra Vista Winery serves tastings inside a tasting room fashioned from an old carriage house. Out on the patio, guests take in views of the Hualapai Mountains while sipping vibrant local table wines.

See Ancient Rock Art at Three West Petroglyph Sites

The canyons and desert landscapes surrounding Kingman hold reminders of the ancient peoples and civilizations that once inhabited the area. Three of the best places to view these remnants are the petroglyph sites located west of Kingman off Highway 66. Spotted Pony Petroglyph Site contains a panel of rock art left behind by the early Basketmakers people who lived here from 500 B.C. to 700 A.D.

A short drive away, the Twin Knolls Petroglyph Site holds circular spiral patterns etched into canyon walls, along with hundreds of other symbols and designs dating back 1,500 years. Finally, the Mountain Sheep Petroglyph Site showcases art abandoned by the early Pueblo culture between 700 and 1100 A.D. Guided tours provide valuable context to help understand the history and significance of these stunning age-old rock carvings.

Play Golf at Desert Hills and Cerbat Cliffs Municipal Courses

With nearly 300 days of sunshine every year, Kingman is a golfer’s paradise thanks to an abundance of local courses. Golfers on a budget will love teeing off at the city-owned 18-hole Desert Hills Golf Course located right in town.

This course features a pro shop, driving range, putting green and grill for food and drinks post-game. Alternatively, enjoy spectacular canyon views while playing the newly renovated Cerbat Cliffs Municipal Golf Course located seven miles northeast of downtown. This 18-hole, par-72 course stretches nearly 7000 yards amidst rugged desert hills and offers affordable rates as well as club and cart rentals.

Tour Hoover Dam

One of the true modern marvels of engineering and construction, Hoover Dam lies only 45 miles northwest of central Kingman. Guided tours grant visitors access to inner workings of the 726-foot concrete behemoth, including the power plant, spillway tunnels and massive intake towers.

Afterward, head up to the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which spans 1,900 feet across the Colorado River gorge directly upstream from the dam. The bridge provides the only road route linking Arizona with Nevada along U.S. Route 93, as well as unbelievable views of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

Go River Rafting on the Colorado River

Flowing along the western perimeter of Kingman, the mighty Colorado River provides prime rafting and kayaking opportunities through the region’s stark desert canyons. Half-day excursions launch from historic Bullhead City north of Lake Mojave and follow short but exciting stretches of rapids rated between Class I and Class IV.

Full-day outings pass through the entire 13 miles of Whitmore Wash Rapids and feature even more extreme rapids interspersed with calmer sections ideal for swimming and snapping photos amid stunning scenery. No prior rafting experience is necessary to join these guided tours.

Off-Road in Stockton Hill and Mount Tipton

Adrenaline junkies and off-road enthusiasts flock to two popular areas near Kingman offering miles of trails and technical challenges for 4×4 vehicles. Located just north of town, Stockton Hill features around 10 miles of dirt tracks traversing rocky hillsides, dry washes and canyon paths snaking between cacti and Joshua trees.

Practice your rock crawling skills while relishing nearly 360-degree views from the top of the stockton Hill Summit Trail on clear days. Further south near the Mount Tipton Wilderness lies another mecca for hardcore Jeeping and rock climbing, though visitors should obtain updated route information and guidance before attempting this remote, unmarked terrain.

Visit Keepers of the Wild

This dedicated wildlife sanctuary and rescue facility lets visitors observe native animals like black bears, mountain lions, wolves, foxes, badgers, wild mustangs, birds of prey and more in spacious natural habitats. Unlike zoos that often keep exotic species confined to small enclosures, Keepers of the Wild focuses strictly on rehabilitating creatures indigenous to Northern Arizona and the Southwest.

Knowledgeable staff and volunteers educate guests about each animal’s backstory through twice-daily guided walking tours. You’ll leave feeling inspired by the nonprofit’s commitment to providing lifetime care for these amazing rescued animals.

Go Stargazing at Chloride Astronomy Complex

Northern Arizona’s remote desert landscapes far from major cities create ideal stargazing conditions. Dedicated amateur astronomers have established an isolated enclave about 35 miles northwest of Kingman for observing celestial objects not visible from light-polluted areas.

Members-only facilities like the Chloride Astronomy Complex contain multiple telescopes housed inside state-of-the-art retractable domes capable of tracking planets, galaxies, nebulae and other astronomical objects across the night sky. While the private observatory doesn’t offer regular public viewings, visitors might be able to catch sporadic open house events announced on their website or join exclusive UFO sky watches late each August.

Conclusion


In addition to its fascinating history and famous stretch of Route 66 highway running through town, Kingman serves up no shortage of outdoor adventures, family fun, and unique attractions. Visitors can fill an itinerary with everything from wine tasting and antique shopping downtown to hitting the links on local golf courses and embarking on river rafting excursions nearby.

Though it flies under many travelers’ radars, Kingman emerges as far more than just a rest stop on your way to somewhere else. Give this unassuming Arizona town a chance for a couple days, and you may just discover some unexpected gems lying off the beaten path.

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