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Summer Guide: How to Get to Pioneertown 

Wednesday, Jun 22 2011

Getting there: Pioneertown is east of Palm Springs, about eight hours' drive from San Francisco. From Palm Springs, take Highway 62 east; after 20 miles, turn left onto Pioneertown Road and follow it for four miles until you arrive at Pappy & Harriet's. Several airlines offer nonstop flights from SFO to Palm Springs International Airport.

Lodging: The Pioneertown Motel is behind Pappy & Harriet's and features comfortable rooms with kitchenettes, each named for actors who stayed there during its heyday. Especially sought after is Club Nine (adjacent to the Gene Autry room), which Autry used as his personal after-hours party venue ($70 per night Sun.-Thu., $100 per night Fri.-Sat.; 5040 Curtis at Mane, 760-365-7001,

Jim Austin's Rimrock Ranch has cabins and Airstream trailers for rent from $62 to $232 per night (50857 Burns Canyon at Bisbee, 760-369-3012,

What to see: In addition to barbecue and libations, Pappy & Harriet's has live music up to five nights a week, mostly folk-rock and Americana. It's closed Tuesday and Wednesday (53688 Pioneertown at Curtis, 760-365-5956,

The walls of Pioneer Bowl are covered with murals depicting scenes from the alley's Hollywood era. Hours vary seasonally, so call ahead (53613 Mane at Curtis, 760-365-6865).

Upcoming events: The Pioneertown Posse stages free Old West reenactments on Mane Street on Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. from April through October (

The seventh annual Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Campout comes to Pappy & Harriet's on Friday, Sept. 16, and Saturday, Sept. 17.

About The Author

Maya Kroth


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