Meet in the Bayview OPC parking lot at 8:00am. We will depart and trek for about 2 hours and 40 minutes to the high desert near Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree National Park to Pioneertown. In 1946, Pioneertown was founded by a group of Hollywood investors, including actors Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. They dreamed of creating an Old West set that was actually a town worth visiting, with 1880s-style false-front facades but interiors that had stuff for visitors to see and do too. Up went (from the outside) frontier stables, saloons, and jails; inside, they housed ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and motels. More than 50 films and television shows were filmed here in the 1940s and ‘50s.
While location shooting and businesses here have dwindled, you can still see mock gunfights on Mane Street (pun intended. But the most happening place by far is Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, with surprisingly good live music (Robert Plant and Leon Russell have played here) in a seemingly unlikely setting. This must-see desert find also serves up awesome ribs, plus classic Santa Maria barbecue, burgers, sandwiches, and salads.