to Stay and What to Eat in Pahrump
Few choices, but reasonably priced
The Best Western
Pahrump Station, our preferred hotel choice in Pahrump NV.
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Pahrump is a surprisingly
prosperous and growing community, but when it comes to places to
stay and places to eat, it is clear there is still a lot of
catching up to do.
Although the unincorporated
township has a population of about 38,000, there are just
three hotels, and only one restaurant of note.
Fortunately, although there's
nowhere brilliantly outstanding to eat/dine, there are a range
of moderately priced and reasonable options open to you.
But if you really want to treat
yourself, the best advice is to look east 60 miles to Las Vegas.
Maybe that is why the township has never developed anything
A Quick Introduction to
Pahrump is an unincorporated
township located on Hwy 160, about 60 miles west northwest of
It has an estimated
population of about 38,000 and is slowly growing.
It was initially settled due
to the easy access to artesian water; more recently spill-over
development moving outwards from Las Vegas has brought further
growth, while water is no longer as readily accessible as it
These days it is best known
Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch and the
Front Sight Firearms
Training Institute. It is also a convenient stopping
point for people traveling between Vegas and Death Valley,
Yosemite, and beyond, and has a few brothels too, in particular
due to its proximity to Las Vegas, claiming to be the closest
source of brothels from Las Vegas (Sheri's Ranch and the Chicken
Ranch for example).
Its proximity to California
also draws Californians seeking a convenient close gambling
Getting to Pahrump
Most people who want to go
to Pahrump will fly into Las Vegas (the nearest major airport)
and then drive the approximately 60 miles from Vegas to Pahrump.
It is an easy and scenic
drive on Hwy 160, which most of the way is dual-lane highway
with a 70 mph limit and many cars going faster (although we
understand it is also fairly aggressively patrolled by the state
police so be careful). You go up over the Mountain Springs
Summit (5490 ft - just over a mile high) on the way (commonly
referred to as 'the hump'). Pahrump itself is about 2700
ft above sea level.
This is perhaps just as
well, because there are no other airports of note for several
hundred miles, and other than driving, no other convenient and
affordable ways of getting from Las Vegas to Pahrump.
Where to Stay in Pahrump
There are three hotels in
Pahrump. The Best Western Pahrump Station, the Pahrump
Nugget Hotel and Gambling Hall, and Saddle West Hotel, Casino
and RV Resort.
All three are located on
Highway 160; Saddle West and the Best Western are more or less
opposite each other on the Las Vegas side of town, and the
Nugget is about a mile further west down the road. So from
a location point of view, they are all very similar.
I've only stayed at the Best
Western so don't have first hand knowledge of the rooms at the
other two (although I have eaten at them).
Best Western Pahrump Station
I can commend the Best
Western in all respects. Their rooms are spacious and
clean, and have both a refrigerator and free wired internet
(possibly Wi-fi too), and they provide free buffet breakfasts
from about 6am. Staff are friendly, and parking is free.
They are also a firearms
friendly hotel (you're welcome to wear your weapon everywhere in
the hotel), and you can ship ammunition to the hotel and
they will hold it for your arrival.
Their breakfasts were basic
rather than elaborate, but they were also free, so no
complaints. Dinner was a very basic/limited menu,
basically burgers and such like rather than a la carte haute
They also offer reasonably
priced lunches you can order and take to Front Sight with you
Rates are very reasonable,
and they give discounts to AAA members, AARP members, and to
Front Sight attendees. It is also the top rated of the
three hotels at Tripadvisor.com.
More details on their
The Pahrump Nugget
This seems like a reasonable
hotel too, and is also firearms friendly, allowing you to ship
ammo ahead to be waiting for you on arrival.
Rooms have free Wi-fi and
are reasonably recently refurbished. Discounts are offered
to Front Sight attendees.
The hotel is a mile further
away from Front Sight than the other two properties, but that
only adds a couple of minutes to your drive time each way.
The Pahrump Nugget gets a
higher AAA rating, but is rated second of the three properties
More details on their
Saddle West Hotel/Casino
Saddle West is the least
firearms friendly of the three properties (you can't ship
ammunition to them and have them hold it for you, and you need
to sign a special waiver before they'll allow firearms in the
On the other hand, they give
discounts to Front Sight attendees and more generous discounts
to First Family members, and they also have a boxed lunch
program that is slightly less expensive than the one offered
through Front Sight's caterer. I haven't seen a Saddle
West boxed lunch so can't compare them in quality.
They have several different
room categories, and be aware that standard rooms do not have
fridges in them. It further seems (as of May 2010) they
have no internet in any of their rooms, a complete deal breaker
for many of us. Reportedly the rooms have poor
The hotel is the bottom
rated of the three hotels at Tripadvisor.com. We don't
recommend this property, particularly due to its definitely
firearms unfriendly policies.
Staying in Vegas
Pahrump is not quite 60
miles and not quite 60 minutes from Vegas. As such, it
makes little sense to break your journey in Pahrump if you are
traveling between Las Vegas and somewhere else.
If you're attending a Front
Sight class, Vegas (most notably the Silverton casino) is a
minimum of 45 minutes away (time/distance increasing the further
into Vegas you go) and Pahrump is about 30 minutes away, so there's
not a huge time differential between staying in either place,
although we have to say that with the very long and very tiring
days, we did appreciate being able to save 30 minutes off each
roundtrip by staying in Pahrump. That time was much better
spent, ie, sleeping!
Where to Eat in Pahrump
The best place to eat in
Pahrump is, well, Las Vegas. Truly, with one notable
exception, there is nowhere of particular note in Pahrump when
it comes to restaurants.
On the other hand, food
prices are also very reasonable.
Pahrump Valley Winery
This is the one fine dining
place in Pahrump, and is located a mile or so off Hwy 160 on the
Vegas side of town.
Symphony's restaurant is open for lunch daily, and for
dinner Wednesday through Sunday only. A 'business casual'
dress code means you should probably dress up a bit if you're
going there, and you should probably reserve a table in advance
to be sure of getting in.
Prices are surprisingly
reasonable, and the food, service and ambience are all good.
Stockman's Steakhouse, Pahrump
This restaurant is one of
three dining locations within the Pahrump Nugget (the other
two being a buffet and a generic cafe, although the latter is
open 24 hrs a day) and claims to be Pahrump's best steakhouse.
It probably is indeed the best in Pahrump, if for no other
reason than we're unaware of any other steakhouses in town.
Food is moderately expensive
($20 - 35 for a steak in Oct 2010) and they have the annoying
practice of charging extra for vegetables, potato, or even for
blackening a steak. The steaks were okay, but nothing
brilliant, and the ambiance was mid-market rather than
Sadly, being Pahrump's
finest steakhouse doesn't actually promise you much.
Better to drive to the Silverton Casino on the western edge of
Las Vegas for a truly good steak, at comparable prices and in a
much nicer ambience.
Saddle West Buffet
At a price of only $9.65
(Sept 2010) the
dinner buffet at Saddle West is definitely not over-priced.
It didn't have a great deal of notable food, although the five
us of who visited unanimously raved about a creamy style tomato
and basil soup, the Jamaican meat pasties, and some very nice
Prime Rib. A return visit in October saw a much more
lackluster soup, no Jamaican meat pasties, and some tough dry
pork butt rather than lovely prime rib.
The vegetables looked like
they came out of a can, the day before, and the salads didn't
excite much either, while the Key Lime pie was alarmingly neon
However, for a fast meal, in
a cafeteria style setting, it made a nice change of pace.
On the other hand, some
people have attributed a bout of food poisoning to having eaten
at Saddle West previously, although short of a formal finding of
culpability, it is hard to know how much relevance to attach to
Terrible's Bougainvillea Café,
Rotisserie & Buffet
That's a very fancy name for
a very ordinary cafe and disappointing buffet at this casino
conveniently located on Hwy 160.
Unless you're desperate for
a change of dining experience, we can't think of much reason to
choose to visit Terrible's. Downmarket ambience and very
ordinary service, plus when we ordered drinks at the table we
had to pay for them separately rather than have them added to
El Jefe Mexican Restaurant
Amazingly, there are three
restaurants in this mini-chain in Pahrump. We ate twice at
the location on Hwy 160, and found the service friendly and the
food good on both occasions.
The food was fresh, the menu
was extensive, and the prices were good. When we needed
it, service was fast. Oh yes, they make a nice margarita
Tommasino's Fine Italian
Italian food in Pahrump?
Yes, and surprisingly good, in a nice setting with good service
and good live entertainment (including Tommasino himself). Most entrees are under $20
(Oct 2010). Well regarded by all.
(Another moderately decent
Italian place recommended by one person is Nicco's, at Postal
and Loop, and within walking distance of the Best Western).
Red Sky BBQ
This is a generally well
reviewed BBQ restaurant, at 90 Emery St (just down from E Basin
Ave, and one block off Hwy 160).
Its phone number is
(775)727-9898, and it is believed to be open for lunch and
dinner from Wednesday through Sunday of each week; but our
attempt to visit in October got a recorded phone message saying
they were closed indefinitely until further notice. You
should definitely call before visiting.
Gisela's Cafe & Deli
Another surprise - this
time, German food. Again, surprisingly good, especially if
you enjoy wurst. Located about 1 mile west of Hwy 160 on E
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13 Sep 2010, last update
28 Nov 2012
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