Shaffer Fish Bowl Spring


Fish Bowl Springs is a cool little spot along Route 66, located around mile marker 30 or 31, less than a mile from Sitgreaves Pass. I would not plan an entire trip solely to see the Fish Bowl - this is more something to stop and look at when you happen to be driving along Route 66 between Oatman and Kingman. When I saw it I was on a multi-day trip with a friend. We visited Oatman, Chloride and Valentine (to see the Keepers of the Wild animal sanctuary.

I've read some different stories on the creation of the Fish Bowl. Possibly it was constructed during the 1930s as part of a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. Most stories agree that it was built by a man named Shaffer who found a natural seep and created the basin as a drinking trough for the burros in the area. I've read in some places that it holds minnows and others that people stocked it with goldfish and snails to keep it algae-free and that there is a monkey's paw orchid on one side.

The day I was there, the water was pretty murky, there was a boatload of bees and also a large group of local teenagers. It was still pretty neat and I'm glad I got to see it.


These are the rather steep steps leading up from the roadway to the Fish Bowl.


stone steps leading up to the Fish Bowl

In this picture of the Fish Bowl, you can see the plaque which just says SHAFFER FISH BOWL SPRING'


stone steps leading up to the Fish Bowl

Here's another view of the Fish Bowl.


stone steps leading up to the Fish Bowl

And here's looking out at Route 66.


stone steps leading up to the Fish Bowl


If you want to read up some more on the Fish Bowl, here are a couple of sites I found:



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