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A guide to Pioneertown, CA

Brief history

Nestled in southern California’s Moringo Basin region, Pioneertown is an unincorporated community that was originally founded in 1946 by several Hollywood investors, including famous actors like Roy Rogers, Dick Curtis, Russell Hayden, and Gene Autry.

The idea was to recreate an “Old West”-inspired town complete with buildings featuring 1880s spaghetti western-style facades, including saloons, frontier stables, banks, jails, a post office, and other themed establishments. Inside the buildings however, are bowling alleys, cafés, ice cream parlors and motels. Over 50 films and TV shows have used Pioneertown as a set between the 1940s and 1950s, which included iconic Westerns such as The Cisco Kid and Edgar Buchanan’s Judge Roy Bean.

A movie set you could live in

Unlike other motion picture sets with structures mostly built out of papier mache, Pioneertown was built as an actual town you could live in. It’s now rarely used as a set for movies or TV shows, but visitors and locals can still witness mock gun duels on Mane Street, the town’s top attraction.

Pioneertown still remains one of southern California’s most unique destinations. Located just a little over 120 miles away from Los Angeles, this one-of-a-kind town gives you a Wild West experience unlike any other, where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the unique atmosphere.

Whether you’re in town to stargaze, hike the scenic trails, or unwind at the Pioneertown Motel, there are plenty of fun activities waiting for you. You can drop by the famous Pappy and Harriet’s for some classic American fare and live music, or check out the nearby Pioneertown Mountain Preserve.

If you’re looking for more fun activities and destinations in Pioneertown, head to this page to see a list of some of the best Attractions in Pioneertown.

Where you can stay

  • Pioneertown Motel – Pioneertown Motel is one of the town’s original structures, and was built as an accommodation for the Hollywood stars and their crew whenever they had a location shoot in town. Today, it’s an Old West experience that doubles as a comfortable lodging for visitors. Each of the motel’s 18 rooms feature quirky Western themes, with some of them equipped with kitchenettes.

    Rooms have a very rustic feel to them, and are guaranteed to provide a very comfortable stay. Instead of kicking back and watching TV, head to the patio and experience an evening illuminated with countless stars. The motel is also very pet-friendly, and is equipped with a horse corral that can board up to 17 horses.

  • Pioneertown Corrals – If you’re feeling more adventurous, book a stay at the Pioneer Corrals. The campsite is surrounded by views of mountains, Joshua trees, and vast open space, perfect for outdoor lovers looking to enjoy an unforgettable experience at Pioneertown.

    20 corrals are available for rent at the campsite, and there are also areas for tents and RV camping. This is the perfect place to enjoy some BBQ around the campfire, explore nature trails, and simply relax and soak in the breathtaking surroundings.