The town of Goodsprings—once the largest town in Nevada is a shadow of its former self, but its central watering hole remains little changed. The still-operating century-old Pioneer Saloon sits on a dusty strip near the Goodsprings General Store, another still-functioning relic from the town’s gold rush heyday.
The tin exterior and cherry wood interior of the Pioneer Saloon have stood the test of time, and added artifacts detail its storied history. In the billiards/dining room, walls are lined with newspaper clippings of bar patrons – including, famously, Clark Gable who spent two days sidled up to the bar awaiting word of his wife’s fate following a plane crash.
Bullet holes from an early skirmish that killed a gambling man still pock the walls near a framed copy of his death certificate – some enthusiasts say his ghost lingers near the bar’s original card tables. Barkeeps also claim they’ve seen an old prospector waiting at the end of the bar or near the potbelly stove for a drink – these sightings have earned the Pioneer Saloon a ghostly reputation, which the owners embrace. Eager patrons regularly drive the 33 miles from Las Vegas to enjoy a beer with a ‘ghost burger,’ or ‘ghost tacos,’ and karaoke. And, for those brave enough, the Saloon offers after-hours lock-ins for encounters with their ghost hunting equipment.
Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings is 30 miles south of Las Vegas via I-15. At the town of Jean (exit 12) turn right down 161 and travel for seven miles. The saloon is on the right. The saloon is open from 9am til “the drinking is done,” and the café is open 8am-9pm.
Historical tours and desert stargazing opportunities that also visit the Pioneer Saloon are available from Las Vegas. Haunted Lockdown events run til 4am, must be scheduled in advance and cost around $119 per person. Shuttles to and from downtown Las Vegas for those visiting the Saloon on a tour are also available.