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Bonnie Springs Ranch
Bring your spurs and practice your john Wayne strut for trip back in time at Bonnie Springs Ranch. Only a forty minute ride from the strip Outside Las Vegas, This recreation Wild West town is a great stop for families, history buffs and outdoor adventurers looking to get away from them city for the day. Bonnie Springs Ranch is a hodge-podge of buildings that have been weather to look more old fashioned and visitors can walk along the wooden board walks lining the streets. During your stay here, visitors can peruse the shops and museums, eat at the restaurant, or enjoy many of the shows, horseback rides and other activities that the park provides.
Nestled in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation area, Bonnie Springs Ranch is also considered a great base camp for those looking to go rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking among multicolored rock formations and desert landscapes that surround the Ranch. To get there take Interstate 15 to Nevada 160 and then it a short way up Charleston Blvd.
Because of a natural spring, nearby, Bonnie Springs Ranch became a popular stop over for wagon trains headed out to California along the Spanish trail in the early 1840s. However, the small hub went bust when trains and later cars began taking people out to California.
In 1952 Al and Bonnie Levinson, who had made it big in Hollywood discovered the place and thought it would be a perfect spot for filming a movie or creating a tourist spot with a western theme. Over the years the two and there children including the present day owner Alan Levingson, spent many hours adding new buildings and finding antiques and western paraphernalia to fill new Bonnie Springs Ranch. Today it attracts many visitors and has its own hotel and restaurant.
As you stroll the streets of Bonnie Springs Ranch watch out for daily Bank robberies, gun fights and hangings all preformed by the ranch's group of cowboy performers. While the group doesn’t use live ammunition, this performance is known for being loud and perhaps a little scary for very young kids. After the show try out your own sharp shooting at the venue’s very own shooting gallery.
If you are looking for something a little more relaxed try one of the Melodramas. These Wild West versions of comedy skits encourage audience participation and kids and adults alike can boo at the bad guy and cheer for the hero.
Bonnie Springs Ranch has two distinctly different museums. The first is the Historic Wax Museum featuring famous characters from the 1800s and the Wild West. Some of the people you may run into include Abraham Lincoln and the famous gun slinger Kit Carson.
The town museum is filled with hundreds of artifacts from pioneer life and the old west. Pieces include old typewriters, farming equipment, furniture, an antique organ and a plethora of other odd accoutrements.
In many ways the zoo at Bonnie Springs ranch was created by accident, Founder Bonnie Levinson had a passion for animals and had a habit of bringing home needy critters. Many of the animals can be touched and interacted with like rabbits, sheep and donkeys, other including the lynx, bull and ostrich are just for admiring. For those rough riders looking for a Wild West experience to take home, the ranch also provides several different pony and horseback riding options.
Restaurant and Motel
After a long day horseback riding or hiking among the red rocks, gun slinging at the shooting gallery or exploring the rest of the ranch, Bonnie Springs Ranch provides a place to put down your hat, enjoy a meal and enjoy a night a room with a view of the colorful Nevada desert.
The facility’s restaurant offers a variety of country style cooking and serves Barbeque and steaks. There are also an assortment of Bison products as well as Vegetarian options on the menu.