When you visit Las Vegas it is easy to forget that this was really the wild wild west and even though this little railroad town is now a world famous tourist attraction it was once just a stopping on a journey to the west coast. Well, Bonnie Springs Ranch is a tiny taste of what that life was once like. Saloons, gunfights and even some hangings all accent the experience that was making a go of it as you headed west in America.
You will find it to be a little silly at times and the authenticity is suspect but that is part of the show. Imagine if they showed your children exactly what went on in the saloons and brothels of old Nevada.
The town is a recreation of a old "Tent Cities" that sprang up in the late 1800's as settlers came west. You'll see the worn wood and the singing doors as well as cowboys all dressed up and in character throughout your visit. It is a combination theme park and visitors center with a little bit of both but not too much of either.
Bonnie Springs Ranch is great for the kids as they will love the petting zoo and taking a look at the larger animals they have as well as feeding the large ducks and swans in the pond. Adults will enjoy the setting as this ranch is set up against the mountains adjacent to Red Rock Canyon. Teens may have a bit of an issue with this attraction unless they can appreciate the humor and acting that goes on in the way they present history to the Southern Nevada visitor.
Location: Off the Las Vegas strip
1 Gunfighter lane
Blue Diamond, NV
Hours at Bonnie Springs Old Nevada: 10:30 am - 5:00 pm
The Kids Will Like:
- Pony rides
- Feeding the animals
- The Canadian Lynx
- The Gunfights
- Wax Museum
The Adults Will Like:
- A respite from the Las Vegas strip
- The views of Spring Valley
- The cooler temperatures in the summer
- The cocktail lounge
Description of Bonnie Springs Old Nevada:
An old western town in Red Rock Canyon 16 miles west of Las Vegas with a motel, petting zoo, shops, activities and western shootouts. If you want to see what the real Las Vegas was like way before the slot machines and cocktail lounges this is your chance. The kids should have some fun and you might just learn a little something about the old west.
There is a petting zoo as well as a few ducks and some turtles who enjoy being fed. This is a good afternoon of fun if you are seeking a diversion from the usual Las Vegas strip attractions. The ranch offers train rides but the train seems to only operate when there are enough passengers around ( I could be wrong but if you visit on a weekend it will be operating).
Bonnie Springs even has a chapel where you can get married, Old West style.
While you are at Bonnie Springs Ranch you can also visit Red Rock Canyon. The best way to experience this area is to make a day of it and include two attractions in pone trip. The wide open spaces of Red Rock Canyon should be seen even if you just make the long drive around the loop inside the park.
TIP: When you decide to visit a spot like Bonnie Springs Ranch try to remember that this is a tourist attraction for different types of people. Go in with an open mind and have some fun. Yes, it can be a little silly, but silly can be okay. If you love to laugh the silly jokes actually are fun. The costumes are fun. The banter between characters and employees becomes a riot. You could approach this attraction like a cynical teenager but what fun is there in that. If you have the time and the budget choose the horse back ride and you'll be treated to a really impressive time in the nearby canyon and red rocks. This is worth the price of the excursion.