Venture into Death Valley National Park, glimpse rare pupfish in a desert oasis, or sharpen your driving and motorcycle riding skills from master instructors on professional race tracks and desert courses. Pahrump Nevada offers all that and more, including award-winning Nevada wineries, gaming, relaxing resorts, and lush RV parks just an hour west of bustling Las Vegas—all just an hour west of bustling Las Vegas.
Outdoor Action and Tasty Attractions
Although it’s only an hour’s drive to Pahrump from Las Vegas, this small city on the southern edge of Nye County is just far enough from the hustle and bustle to feel like a world unto itself. Smack dab between the Entertainment Capital of the World and famous Death Valley National Park, Pahrump is a major stop on the Death Valley Rally road trip, acting as a perfect launchpad for experiencing the extremes this diverse region is marked by. All within range of Pahrump’s amenity-packed casinos, hotels, and palatial RV resorts are the Lower 48’s largest, most infamous national park—the hottest, lowest, and driest place on the continent—and the capstone of the Spring Mountains, Mt. Charleston, Nevada’s 5th-tallest peak; the world’s rarest fish and the planet’s oldest trees; rugged, no-BS biker bars and elegant award-winning wineries; and more.
History of Pahrump, NV
The bountiful artesian wells that naturally irrigate the Pahrump Valley drew Southern Paiute Indians—who originally inhabited this entire region—to the area centuries ago. Today, Pahrump Nevada has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the West, but consider this: there weren’t any paved roads in Pahrump until 1953, and residents didn’t get publicly delivered electricity or telephone service until a decade later.
Like many slices of Nevada, Pahrump remains steeped in its Western frontier roots, and much of the land in Nye County is virtually unchanged from the time it was settled by European Americans in the 19th century. Among them was a rugged frontiersman, gambler, and on-again, off-again outlaw by the name of Jack Longstreet, who built a stone cabin at what is now Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Amargosa Valley in 1895—a structure that remains standing to this day. Visitors can learn more about the rich history of the area by visiting the Pahrump Valley Museum.
Things to Do in Pahrump
While Pahrump serves as a prime artery to and basecamp for sightseeing and outdoor action in Death Valley National Park and Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, plenty of visitors come to Pahrump to experience the offerings of the city itself.
Travel Nevada Pro Tip
Motorheads flock to Pahrump for a number of reasons. OHV-ers love Pahrumps hundreds of miles of tracks and trails. Those who want to learn a little something more head for the Jimmy Lewis Off-Road Riding School to brush up on new pavement-free driving techniques, on two wheels and four, as well as to Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club to receive professional high-performance sports and race car driving instruction.
For those after a more leisurely outdoor experience, Pahrump is also home to the truly exceptional Mountain Falls Golf Club by Nicklaus Design Group and Cal Olson Design, while Balloons Over Pahrump offers visitors the opportunity to spend a sunrise serenely suspended over the town. When it comes to indoor activities, the 30,000-square-foot casino floor at Gold Town Casino offers plenty of gaming action, but without the Vegas vibes.
And then there’s Coffinwood. If you’re into coffin-shaped furniture, jewelry, purses, ping- pong tables, or really anything else (including actual coffins), this is your joint. Even if you’re not, touring this coffin-themed home (by appointment only), workshop, and wedding chapel makes for some truly undying memories.
The Pahrump Valley is packed with a wealth of unique culinary options. Symphony’s Restaurant at Pahrump Valley Winery is a white-linen establishment offering an upscale casual dining experience. El Jefe Restaurant is a locals favorite for Mexican fare. Seemore’s Ice Cream—a Weird Nevada favorite—bills itself as the “world’s tallest ice cream stand,” thanks to its two-story soft-serve steeple adorning the roof of the building.
But aside from its food, where Pahrump’s tastes really shine is in its drink. Although you might not guess it—especially considering the region’s proximity to Death Valley, one of the least hospitable places on the continent—the Pahrump Valley is basically the little Napa of Nevada. Yep! Leave it to us Nevada trend-buckers to develop desert-hardy grapes that need a fraction of the water that their Napa cousins guzzle.
Nearly 30 years since the Sanders Family pioneered grapes in the Mojave, their winery of the same name offers panoramic views, beautiful Tuscan-style grounds on which to taste smooth, palatable reds and whites—as well as catch a live concert or theatrical production during the summer and fall. Meanwhile, the Pahrump Valley Winery crushes 35+ tons of Nevada grapes into award-winning red and white varietals. In addition to free tastings and tours, you can get your Lucy-and-Ethel on at their annual Pahrump Grape Stomp each October.
Newer to the scene is Artesian Cellars, which transforms eight tons of grapes from its four Nevada vineyards into ten varietals of tasty vino. Meanwhile, Stonewise Mead & Cider a community-based, family-focused craft mead and cider maker and taproom, offering draft meads and ciders produced on-site that are crisp, refreshing, “sessionable” (less than 7% ABV), and served by the glass straight from the tap; and Desert Cane Distillery really puts the rum in Pahrump with its small-batch, hand-distilled rums grown from sugar cane grown on their own farm.
Pahrump, NV Hotels
Classic, amenity-filled hotel-casino lodging options in Pahrump include the Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino and Saddle West Hotel & Casino. Best Western Pahrump Station and Holiday Inn Express & Suites offer the familiar, reliable comforts that the chains are known for, while the charming K-7 Bed & Breakfast is located seven miles southeast of the city center.
That said, Pahrump Nevada is something of a Shangri-La for the “home is where you park it” crowd. With millions of American and international travelers annually traveling from Las Vegas to Death Valley in owned or rented motorhomes, Pahrump’s prime location (and abundance of services) has blossomed it into Nevada’s number one destination for RV adventuring.
Wine Ridge RV Resort & Cottages emphasizes the “resort” part of its name with lush, sprawling grounds and all manner of amenities—from swimming to family games—as does Lakeside Casino & RV Park. Saddle West Hotel Casino RV Resort gives “campers” easy access to gaming and dining. Other solid places to pull-thru are Preferred RV Resort, Nevada Treasure RV Resort, RV Ranch Resort, and West Gate RV Park.
Events in Pahrump, NV
Pahrump also draws crowds for its exciting lineup of annual events. Hungry visitors turn out in force for the three-day bean-fest that is the Silver State Chili Cook-Off each March, while thousands of necks crane upward for April’s Pahrump Balloon Festival. Pyros take pleasure in Pahrump’s Fireworks Over Pahrump series, which features truly spectacular fireworks displays on holidays, including Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and New Year’s Eve—along with places to legally add your own glow to the night sky (and ground) with fireworks purchased from five different area retailers.
September’s always eagerly anticipated Pahrump Fall Festival features a parade, rodeo, carnival rides, and hundreds of crafters and vendors. And if you’ve ever wanted to get your inner Lucy-and-Ethel on, make sure you attend Stompapalooza at Pahrump Valley Winery to help crush the season’s harvest of wine grapes beneath your feet.
In November, get a glimpse of tradition at the Pahrump Social Powwow, where hundreds of dancers, artisans, storytellers, and musicians converge to share and carry on American Indian culture—and invite you to participate.
And then, at Coffinwood, they definitely still say “Scary Christmas,” when it ‘tis the season to deck the yard with animatronic “horrorday” cheer—with dozens of Santa-hatted skeletons and holiday ghouls shakin’ their bones to an annually changing, synchronized lights-and-music show, set to around 20 rock songs. Skeleton rockers perform from their horse-drawn tour hearse, while Mr. and Mrs. Claus look on from the nosebleed section and ol’ Krampus bounces out the riff-raff. Enjoy this Dead Man’s Party from the street, every evening, all through December.
Whether you’re wine sippin’, RV resort pool dippin’, or Death Valley Rally trippin’, tag your snaps with #TravelNevada so we can follow—and maybe even share—your Pahrump Nevada experience.