Originally built in 1843 as a stopover for the wagon trains going to California along the Old Spanish Trail, Bonnie Springs Ranch lies in the heart Nevada’s iconic Red Rock Canyon. Only a half hour from the Las Vegas Strip, Bonnie Springs serves the desert community as a reprieve from the bustle of the city and recalls the West’s quieter, scenic past.
In 1846, General Fremont (en route to California) stopped at what is now Bonnie Springs Ranch to gear up for his trip through Death Valley and helped establish the site as a rest stop. It was not until 1952, under the provision of Bonnie McGaugh and Al Levinson, that the ranch saw substantial renovation and resuscitation before opening to the public as a tourist attraction in 1958. Stables, a petting zoo, and a restaurant soon followed, and construction on Old Town, a reproduction of an 1880s mining community and the prime attraction at Bonnie Springs, opened in 1974 with the complement of a functioning saloon, shops, a wax museum, a wedding chapel, a replica schoolhouse, and daily performances honoring the Old West. The ranch subsequently added a full-sized event arena, now the first site visitors see upon entering the property, that has hosted numerous rodeos and equestrian events. Today the grounds represent a delight for locals and tourists alike (as well as a few filmmakers).
Often called “an oasis in the desert” where you can stop for a cool drink of spring water, Bonnie Springs services the Las Vegas area and remains the only opportunity for travelers seeking lodging, dining, and gambling in Red Rock Canyon. Our fine dinner house and quaint cocktail lounge make sure our guests stay comfortable, while our motel offers standard suites, larger rooms with full fireplaces, and themed rooms with Jacuzzi tubs.
We are also home to a wide variety of animals, both native and non-native, in our non-profit zoo, including our beautiful wolves and even Australian emus and wallabies. Access is included with admission to Old Town.
We also maintain on the grounds a large stable of horses for daily rides and offer pony rides for the kids. Visitors can embark upon guided trail rides, group rides, and even horseback weddings for the adventurous.
As Red Rock Canyon’s “best kept secret”, Bonnie Springs Ranch remains an establishment and recreation area committed to giving visitors from all over the world (or just a car ride away) the ultimate scenic experience. Additionally, Old Town has given us a platform to start our western museum project to preserve the memory and aesthetics of a bygone era.
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