Kingman was built in a rugged terrain of box canyons and cliff-sided hills laying between the Hualapai Valley and the Sacramento Valley. To the southeast stand the 8,000-foot peaks of the Hualapai Mountains. Desert plants sparsely cover the surrounding country, including Ocotillo cactus, tumbleweed and other desert plants.
In 1857, Edward Beale explored Arizona and surveyed a wagon route to the Colorado River. His route passed through present-day Kingman. A few years Lewis Kingman surveyed the route for the railroad, and the town built here to support the railroad was named in his honor. Gold and silver were discovered in the area, and mining contributed to the growth of the city in the 1880s and the 1890 census reported a population of 300 for Kingman. In 1926, U.S. Highway 66 was slated to run through Kingman, following the original wagon road, bringing many travelers through the city.
The modern routes through Kingman are Interstate 40, which has replaced the highway 66, taking an optimized route through the area, and U.S. Highway 93 which heads northwest to Hoover Dam and Las Vegas. The original alignment of Historic Route 66 is the major street through the city, called Andy Devine Avenue. The city has spread into the Hualapai Valley and the population has grown to 20,069. The elevation is around 3,400 feet. It is the county seat of Mojave County.