Sagebrush Saloons, Historic Bar, Historic Saloons, Nevada bar, Nevada saloon

Sagebrush Saloons

Discover Some of Our Best Watering Holes on Nevada Backroads

There are few better places to “drink in” the history of the Silver State than in watering holes that were part of it—or, as we like to call ‘em, “Sagebrush Saloons.” Nevada’s historic bars beckon dirt road ramblers and history hounds alike. They don’t all have to be old to be the best bars in Nevada, but many of them are and still sling frosty beers and signature cocktails over well-loved saloon bar tops that sailed around the world, boarded horse-drawn wagons, and made their way to a boomtown—in many cases, to the very spot you’re sidled up to. If only these walls (and original red oil lamps, cobweb-covered paintings, and creaky 19th-century wood floors) could talk. Luckily, the friendly locals you’re about to clink glasses with sure can.

Highlights

  • Cocktails and Dusty Trails
  • The Oldest—and Most Famous—Historic Saloons in Nevada
  • Sagebrush Saloons in the Silver State
Belly On Up

While many Silver State boomtowns have come and gone, there are still few better places to “drink in” the history of the Silver State than in the historic bars that were part of it—or, as we like to call ‘em, “Sagebrush Saloons.”

The Oldest—and Most Famous—Historic Nevada Saloons

Season

All Seasons

Region

State of Nevada

Over the last century and a half or so, like the eureka moments that sparked them, plenty of Nevada boomtowns came and went, but pockets of Nevada’s rough-and-tumble past remain ever on display in Sagebrush Saloons around the state, which were often some of the few establishments that managed weather the storms of mines going bust, fires, or even prohibition. Many of our favorite watering holes have been part of the story of the Silver State since before it even joined the Union (1864), but it had to start somewhere; if you’re after the oldest bar in Nevada, head for the oldest town

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Goodsprings’ Pioneer Saloon

Goodsprings’ Pioneer Saloon

Find the oldest bar in southern Nevada in the bygone boomtown of Goodsprings, just 45 minutes from Las Vegas. When the railroad was punched through in 1910, the area’s diversity of minerals attracted plenty of miners, who soon found themselves in need of a place to kick back, and the Pioneer Saloon officially started pouring in 1913. Step back in time in this original Sears and Roebuck stamped tin building, said to be one of—if not the—last of its kind in the United States. 

Belly up to the solid wood Brunswick bar—relocated here from its first home in Rhyolite, about 150 miles northwest—and look for Clark Gable’s cigar burns, the result of him nodding off awaiting his wife Carol Lombard’s search party after her plane crashed into nearby Mt. Potosi. Thousands of movies and TV shows have been filmed here over the years—including plenty on the Food Network, so be sure to order up some eats. 

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Genoa Bar & Saloon

Genoa Bar & Saloon

Toast your way back to 1853 at the Genoa Bar & Saloon, proudly known as “Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor.” Boasting more than 160 years of history, the oldest bar in the Silver State oozes hardy charm out of every long-faded painting, old sign, floor creak, and crumbly brick. And plenty of stories. This watering hole snuck its way through prohibition—operating under the guise of a soda fountain—and once separated guests into either the gentlemen’s saloon and ladies lounge. Gone are the days when bathtub gin distilled in the cellar below, while ladies of the night took interested patrons for literal rolls in the hay in the former barn, but the ambiance remains.

Far from just a locals’ joint, Genoa Bar hosted a handful of United States presidents, drinking cold ones on the front steps, along with a long list of celebrities, including Raquel Welch, Stephen King, Clint Eastwood, and beyond. Do yourself a favor and order a Genoa Bar Bloody Mary—they’re famous for ‘em—and ask the bartendress the story behind that diamond dust mirror that hangs behind the bar, or that original red oil lamp overhead.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Oh, and although it goes without saying: always sip—and adventure—responsibly.
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A Few of our Fave Sagebrush Saloons

Sometimes, after (or during) a day of adventuring, you just get a thirst that can only be quenched by a real-deal Wild West saloon in Nevada. Luckily, some of Nevada’s Sagebrush Saloons seem to appear on those dirt-road horizons at the exact right time, beckoning you. Here are a few of our faves.

Red Dog Saloon—Jarbidge

Situated below the spectacular Jarbidge Wilderness Area, this northeastern Nevada “living ghost town” is said to be the most remote place in the Lower 48. With equal parts mystery and grandeur, some of the state’s best outdoor recreation is in this corner of the state—if that’s not enough to make you feel free, the town’s old west vibes oughta do the trick. With about 20 year-round residents, no paved roads, and only one intersection in town, explore the Jarbidge Jail, Community Hall. Then, of course, head for the Red Dog Saloon. Situated in the heart of the main drag, order up a cold one, drop a few quarters in the jukebox, and rub elbows with the locals. Whether you just traveled more than 60 miles on dirt roads or took the (mostly) paved route via Idaho to get here, either way, you earned this one.

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Lucky Spur Saloon—Kingston

Nestled in the foothills of Kingston Canyon, about a 30-minute worthwhile detour south of the Loneliest Road in America, you’ll find one of the Sagebrush Saloon greats. Life in Kingston rolls to a satisfyingly slow roll, and there are few better bar counter views than the one from this Silver State hideout, overlooking the spectacular Big Smoky Valley below. Adorned with dozens of antique spurs hanging from every windowsill and chandelier, it’s easy to make conversation with the locals here, who’ll more than likely tell you everything you want to know about nearby fishing and camping, pictograph-adorned Toquima Cave, Austin turquoise shops, some of the tallest peaks in the state, hot springs—and anything else in the area. 

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Gin & Tonic fan? Then you’ll love Nevada’s. Order up a Frey Ranch Gin—an award winning spirit infused with sagebrush that grows in the fields surrounding their estate distillery.
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Jiggs Bar—Jiggs

There’s just something about the chime of that old school cash register, and the reward of a frosty beer after a day spent hiking the Ruby Crest Trail. Not far from Lamoille Canyon, head south of Elko to Jiggs to check out some—shall we say—unusual taxidermy, meet Tigg the cat, and hear the longstanding history of the area. Ask to see—or even purchase—their local history book to read about how Jiggs, now a pastoral ranching community, was once a bandit hideout. Even if you’re not in a chatty mood, all you’ve gotta do is listen to the locals—you’ll get up on all the important updates in the area, like who reeled in a trophy trout at Ruby Marsh, which mountain passes still have snow, and whereabouts a 10-point buck was most recently spotted.

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Iggy & Squiggy’s Junction Bar—Topaz Lake

Two words: “Nevada Martini.” But don’t expect shakers or any other type of frill at this Nevada saloon and biker hangout. That said, do expect plenty of olives. Choose which draft beer is going in your mug, then decide which of several varieties of stuffed olives will complete your “cocktail,” and cheers to your Nevada rite of passage. Might as well complete the whole ritual by ordering up a cheeseburger basket—one of our favorite treats in the Silver State—washing it down with your frosty, salty malt, then finishing with a butterscotch ice cream sandwich. Talk about something you didn’t know you’d been missin’ out on all these years. 

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Happy Burro Chili & Beer—Beatty

Award-winning chili and a cold Blue Ribbon out of a mason jar in a historic shack? Count us all the way in. Situated in the heart of the Bullfrog Mining District is Beatty—the only town that was part of it, and which still remains. After a day exploring Death Valley National Park, grab a dog or burger, obviously add chili, strike up a conversation with the Beatty Cowboys, keep an eye out for wild burros that roam the town, and wash it all down with a damn cold beer. Oh, and be sure to check out the creative touch in the men’s room. (Don’t worry, ladies; the friendly staff are used to us asking for a peek.)

Belly On Up

Have you ever married food and drink with an unavoidable sense of freedom and history that’s just too dang good to be true? We’re talking about Nevada-style off-grid bar-hopping—an afternoon (or series of them) sure to deliver just that, complete with animated banter with some mouthy locals you won’t soon forget about.

#TravelNevada

As you sip your way around the Silver State, snapping pics of the history-covered walls or resident cowdog snoozing beneath your barstool, tag #TravelNevada to show off your favorite Sagebrush Saloons. If we love the shots you took, you may find one featured here.

Starry night at the pioneersaloonnevada #stars #milkyway #photo #travel #travelphotography #travelblogger #travelgram #traveling #photooftheday #travelnevada travelnevada travelnevadabr travelnevadaesp travelnoire canonusa canonuk canoncanada usatodaytravel nytimestravel latimestravel lasvegasweekly lasvegasmagazine vegasdotcom
Preferred Parking at the Outdoor Inn. Jarbidge, Nevada. 
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Happy Labor Day Weekend! We’ll be having the band Closure Fri, Sat, and Sun again this weekend. See you there 🥳
The Gold Hill Hotel located just one mile south of Virginia City has a reputation of attracting Paranormal Investigators from near and far because one of the deadliest mining accidents in Nevada happened just behind the property at the Yellow Jacket Mine.
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Some have claimed to detect miners who perished in the fire, while others have claimed to have been visited by Rosie – a famous prostitute who lived in the historic hotel for a period of time.
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#DFMI #TravelNevada #NVGhostTown #NVAdventure #RenoTahoe #VirginiaCity #GoldHillHotel #ParanormalActivity #NV #Nevada
Did you know?

The letters on our iconic windmill began their life at the Lucky Spur casino in Carson City, NV.  Operating from 1975 to 1979, the closed and abandoned Lucky Spur casino was a downtown fixture in Carson City for 25 years.

Kinda cool, right? #youshouldbehere #coolhistory #casino #saloon #ruralamerica #roadtrip #luckyspursaloon
Middlegate Station acts as a great rest stop along the “Loneliest Road in America,” US Route 50 that cuts through northern Nevada.  #nevada #loneliestroadinamerica #route50 #middlegate #usa #roadtrip #merica #usaroadtrip #lifeontheroad #besttripever #travelblog #travelblogger #travelphotography #instagood #instatravel #wanderlust #travelgram #lovetotravel #traveldiary #travel #globetrotter #beautifuldestinations #experience #america #reiselust #reiseblog #reisenmachtglücklich
Maybe the best window table in a saloon/pub/bar, ever?!?!? What do you think?🤔
Meet
Welcome to Happy Burro Chili & Beer, where the beer is cheap and the chili kicks ass. Bring the biggest appetite you got next time you’re near Beatty.
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Just hanging around in the Silver Dollar Saloon. [📸 xtonyc]
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