The Desert Bar - Nellie E. Saloon
Mar 12, 2011
|It was another gorgeous day here. We drove to Parker to meet friends to go exploring the Desert Bar that they had heard was worth checking out. We hadn't yet been to Parker which is south of Lake Havasu City on Hwy 95. What a beautiful drive. There is a lot of BLM land between the two cities. We stopped on the way back to check out a couple of BLM camping areas and the State campgrounds. We have options in this area! Len and I look forward to coming back and spending time here. We will bring the bikes and inflatable kayak next time (our focus was the wedding this trip).
Our friends, Vi & Mick and Jack & Cheryl are staying in Castle Rock RV Park along the river near Parker off of 95. We arrived and got to play with Speck, Vi & Mick's 14 year old dog. It is always nice to get our animal fix! The six of us got in Mick's truck and were off on our adventure.
The Desert Bar is located in the Buckskin Mountains off Cienega Springs Rd. on Hwy 95. It is 5 miles in on a dirt road that is actually well maintained, even though the signs said it wasn't. It is a beautiful drive thru rugged mountains. We were just enjoying the scenery, when all at once there it was. It was much bigger than we expected. The Desert Bar has been around for 20+ years and is a work in progress from what we were told today.
When the DB first opened in 1983 it was operated out of a temporary three sided structure for the first 5 years until the current saloon, Nellie E. Saloon, named after the old mining claim, was completed.
The inside of the saloon is unique. The windows are old glass refrigerator doors, the bar stools are made of steel and sway side to side. The fireplace is suspended from the ceiling. The top of the bar is brass and the ceiling is made of stamped tin purchased from a factory in Missouri. The saloon is powered by solar, stored in batteries, and run though inverters.
When the bar opened, water was hauled in a 50 gal tank loaded on a truck. An old fire truck was later purchased to get the task done. Today a well is used and operated on solar power also.
To get from the parking lot to the bar, you go across a nice wood covered bridge, built in 1991. It allows you to cross the wash. It must be a sight to see when water is rushing underneath the bridge. There is a interesting church on the premises that was started in 1993 and completed in '96. The church is made of solid steel and the walls and ceiling are made of the same stamped tin used in the saloon. There are no services held in the church and it said that all religions are welcome. My kind of church!
When you get off the bridge, the outside bar and cooking area are to your right. Along with the stage & band.
Their is no drinking water on the premises. Bring your own! They do have beer, pop & some hard liquor. Very rustic and too much fun. They even have a horseshoe pit behind the outside bar. We enjoyed our $3.00 hamburgers & beers from a table looking down on the horseshoe pit and a great panoramic view of the place. The towers you see in the pictures are cooling towers. No fans needed, just wet the pads on top, cool air falls and you get a nice cool airflow. I like the way this guy, Ken operates.
We arrived around 1-ish and the place was packed. It started clearing our around 3:00, but the second wave of people were driving in as we drove back out on the dirt road. The Desert Bar is only open Labor Day weekend thru Memorial Day weekend, Saturday & Sunday only, high noon to sunset.
This is definitely a unique and fun place to check out if you are in the area. We will go back as Ken, the owner has big plans for this place and it is constantly changing. It was a great day for exploring and what a fun adventure we had with our friends. We are living our dreams and enjoying ever minute of it!