Goodsprings Nevada was once a bustling gold mining town 25 miles southwest of Las Vegas. Today the main attraction is the Pioneer Saloon the last remaining bar of a town that had seven during the booming mining days.
Most early buildings in the town were built in the early 1900s with many of them fall into decay and are little more than foundations. Goodsprings Schoolhouse was erected in 1913 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town still has a population of about 200 mostly retired folks.
Around 1918 Goodsprings had a population of over 800 people with stores, seven saloons, a post office, school, and a grand hotel. A rail line was built to Goodsprings enabling the shipment lead and zinc to as far away as Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.
Like most boomtowns, the ore played out and by the 1950s, Goodsprings was not much more than a ghost town with only a few full-time residents. About the only business that over the years was the Goodsprings Saloon.
Over the year’s area mines produced lead, silver, copper, zinc, gold, and silver. The most successful mine was the Keystone which accounted for over 7 million dollars of gold. With the price of gold soaring, there is a new interest in the hills surrounding hills with an open pit mine operation working the ground.
Most people make the trip to Goodsprings to visit the Pioneer Saloon which opened in 1913 making it one of the state’s oldest. Like most of the buildings in Goodsprings, the Pioneer Saloon was in a state of decay until it was purchased by Las Vegas entrepreneur.
Noel Sheckells who now owns the Pioneer has sunk several hundred thousand dollars into the old Saloon fixing the old gal up. The old western bar is a popular destination from Las Vegas especially on weekends when there is live entertainment.
Visiting the Pioneer Saloon
The crowd at the Pioneer Saloon tends to be bikers (not the rowdy gang type) but everyday folk who enjoy riding their Harley Davidson’s. If you don’t have a motorcycle your still welcome, so don’t let that stop you from visiting Goodsprings Nevada.
Inside the Pioneer Saloon, you will find a memorial room with photos from celebrity visitors and a memorial to Clark Gable and his wife Carole Lombard who was killed in a plane crash in the nearby mountains.
Food BBQ to Burgers
If you work up an appetite while visiting Goodsprings the Pioneer sells “you grill your own steaks.” All the fixings are available including side dishes utensils and sauces. You do the cooking on the BBQ grills in the patio area.
The bar area inside the Pioneer Saloon is adults only and has cherrywood bar along with the usual Nevada slot machines plus the original poker tables. The rest of Pioneer is family-friendly, however, this day trip is better suited for adults and history buffs.
Next door the Saloon is the Goodsprings General Store which sells an assortment of souvenirs and t-shirts with the top seller being a T-shirt “Where The Hell Is Goodsprings.” The Saloon’s large patio area is dog-friendly. While in town take a quick driving tour around the Goodsprings.
There are a few of the original still standing but most of are just piles of lumber. On the hill, east of the saloon the footings for the Keystone Gold Mine are still visable. And if you want to venture offroad there are several other mines in the area. However, most of them are on private property.
Where to the Pioneer Saloon
Goodsprings is about a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas and the world apart from the neon lights of the strip. The town is reached via I-15 to Jean, then west 7 miles on SR 161 to Goodsprings. If you are coming from or leaving for Southern California the Pioneer Saloon is an easy side trip from I-15.
The Pioneer Saloon will be on your right as you enter the town, just look for the row of bikes parked in front. Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings 310 W Spring St Goodsprings, Nevada. The Saloon is open daily, 24 hours. The Pioneer Saloon hosts biker rallies, bands, fundraising events, and weddings. All events need advance reservations.