Bonnie Springs Ranch
Experiencing the Wild West like never before
“The Old West is not a certain place in a certain time, it’s a state of mind.” – Tom Mix
About 30 minutes off the Las Vegas Strip, tucked away at the base of the Spring Mountains, is a wonderful little gem known as Bonnie Springs. As a girl who grew up in Vegas, Bonnie Springs is definitely keeper of some of my most cherished memories. It always offered a magical experience that took me back to a time of lawlessness, cowboys & offered a true Wild West encounter. This is not something to experience with only 2 hours available, I would encourage you to set at least half a day aside to truly enjoy all that Bonnie Springs has to offer.
First things first, a little background of the Ranch. Originally the land was home to the Paiute Indians until immigrants took over the land while expanding the Old West, forcing the Indians to dwell in the enclaves located just beyond the Ranch area. This land, which had natural springs, was established in 1843 as the last stop along the Old Spanish Trail for pioneers to refill their water barrels before heading to California. In 1952, Bonnie McGaugh purchased the land which consisted of a house and an old run down bar which she operated without electricity for years. In 1964 she added electricity and expanded the bar to include a restaurant (Fun fact: Bonnie herself laid the floor that is in the restaurant by hand!). In 1974 her husband, Al Levinson, opened the old west style town now known as Old Nevada and in 1986 a 50 room motel was added to the area. Ever since, Bonnie Springs has been a local favorite and a staple of many childhood memories most of us can’t imagine being without.
Old Nevada Mining Town
Old Nevada was built with the vision of an 1880s old west mining town. It is complete with a wedding chapel, various souvenir stores, an antique photo shop (where you and your family can create old west style pictures), a school house, wax museum and a Saloon (which also doubles as a fully stocked bar). The buildings are either a collection of multiple old structures pieced together to create new ones or were transported as a complete building to the town. Some have witnessed paranormal activities and say the buildings are haunted. Ask any of the employees and they will tell you story after story of creepy accounts. This area of Bonnie Springs also has the talent! The wonderful staff put on displays such as a Melodramas, a Hanging and a Posse Show that will engage you and make you laugh until you cry. For a show schedule click here https://bonniesprings.com/activities/old-town/. The town is scattered with authentic mining equipment, wagons and other fun historical objects. Take a stroll with one of the cowboys walking around town and they will be nice enough to tell you all they know about Bonnie Springs and all the displays. The passion that went into building Old Nevada can still be felt. The love that fueled the labor into creating this Western town is seen in all the small details that make you feel as if you have traveled back in time to relive the Wild Wild West.
The Petting Zoo
The petting zoo opened in the early 1960s after someone abandoned sheep at the Ranch. Bonnie had such a love for animals she couldn’t turn them away, so she took them in. Ever since, the zoo has adopted several species of animals including emus, deer, llamas, wolves and more! Most of these animals were donated, abandoned or injured and nursed back to health thanks to the Bonnie Springs Ranch. Bring your quarters so you can buy animal food from the dispensers and get a hands on experience with some amazing little creatures.
The Restaurant & Bar
While you’re out visiting the old west you’re bound to get hungry for some food, food fit for a cowboy in fact. Good news is you won’t have to travel far. The Ranch has an awesome restaurant on site with a beautiful view of a man made pond where ducks and turtles abound. This affordable little place was essentially where all of Bonnie Springs started and history lives on, in fact some of Bonnie’s original recipes are still served and adored at the restaurant. For hours of operations click here https://bonniesprings.com/
The bar is also a great destination for motorcycle riders to head out to. Hop on your Harley, ride through the scenic mountains and enjoy a nice cold drink and some delicious food with your friends. You’ll notice from the ceiling of the bar hang hundreds if not thousands of dollar bills. It was a tradition that started many years ago and on the day after 9/11 they took down all the money that was collected over the years (totaling almost $19,000!) and donated it to the local fire department. Since then, every couple of years they pull down all the dollars hung from the ceiling and continue to donate them to various non-profits.
If your child’s birthday is coming up, company party or if your signing the dotted line on that marriage license soon, Bonnie Springs wants to help you celebrate! They offer in house catering & various locations available on site to accommodate any size gathering. The events manager will guide you through the planning of your event and help you customize your special occasion to bring your vision into a reality. By understanding your specific needs he will be able to provide you and your guests with an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else. For more information, call the main office at (702) 875-4194
While out at the Ranch you can also enjoy horseback riding, pony rides, a train ride and on the last Saturday of every month you can shoot live zombies (talk about an oxymoron!) with paintball guns for the ultimate Walking Dead experience. For information regarding all of these activities click here https://bonniesprings.com/
The Wild West is still alive and well in the back mountains of the Las Vegas area. Only a short drive from The Strip it will offer you memories to last a lifetime.
Bonnie Springs Ranch
Phone: (702) 875-4194
16395 Bonnie Springs Road
Las Vegas, NV 89124