Pioneertown, California: Fake Wild West Town1946 movie set western town, including a bowling alley where Roy Rogers rolled the first strike and used to tape his show. Live gunfights on the dusty streets April-October.
- Mane St., Pioneertown, CA
- Either turn off Rt 247 onto Pipes Canyon Rd or turn off Rt 62 onto Pioneertown Rd for 5 miles, town is on your left.
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It was nicely up kept (for a western town), locals were nice. They did have some flooding issues recently, leaving a big 1-3 ft. trough down the middle of town.
In Pioneer Town there was about 4 blocks, the newer OK Corral / post office / staged marshal's office; a residential section with church (which is lived in and has some un-period-like decor) and outdoor art museum; the downtown, including facades (in various states of repair) on both sides (including the Pioneer Bowl and some gift shops); and the motel / ranch (with the restaurant on the other side), which houses real tourists.
No gunfights when I was there, and the bowling alley was closed (looked cool thru the windows); although a few gift stores, the restaurant and motel were open. They had staged dummies in the vacant buildings (unoccupied). About a half dozen tourists when I visited. Worth the visit if just to drive through the canyons, and it was easy to find and very close to Yucca Valley, CA.
Something others have missed was the art "museum" on the corner of Mane and Roy Rogers, it was a very offbeat and a nice surprise. It's a collection of found objects artfully laid out in shrines on the corner lot.[Scott, 01/29/2011]
Town looks pretty sleepy, but two locals encouraged me to come back on Saturday for the wild west show (every week at 2:30). A functional bowling alley opens every Friday and Saturday night.[Drumbabe, 10/28/2010]
Very cool spot. Lots of stuff to see.[Eric, 01/16/2010]
Near Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree is a movie set-turned-town. It was built in 1940s as a permanent set for movies. The shootout in Gunfight at the OK Corral was, uh, shot here and the corral is still here. People ended up moving in and now live in the houses. The exteriors are all intact, so it looks just like the old west of the movies. In fact, they still film commercials and movies here from time to time. There's a motel, a restaurant, a petting zoo, and even a real post office -- one that looks like it's out of the old west, of course.[Mad Dog, 05/15/2000]
The movie set town was constructed to provide lodgings for actors and crew behind the Old West facades. The streets still retain the atmosphere, if you can get photos clear of other tourists. A big fire in 2006 damaged other parts of town and the desert, but the fake section survived.