Originally built as a movie set in 1946 for western films, Pioneertown still has the facades that are begging to be photographed. The movies of Gene Autry, The Cisco Kid, Annie Oakley, Judge Roy Bean, and Range Rider, among others were filmed here. You will find Mane Street (that’s not a spelling error – it’s named after the mane of a horse) a lot of fun to discover and photograph. The surrounding desert provides inspiration as well. Boulders, yucca trees, cactus, and vast expanses of landscape beg your lens to point their way. The sunsets are spectacular. I suggest staying over night at the funky Pioneertown Inn and catching some live music at Pappy and Harriets’s Pioneertown Palace in the evening. A bonus when you are tapping your feet at P & H’s is the excellent BBQ offered at the picnic style tables in the restaurant. During the cooler months in winter and spring, go bowling at the 2 lane alley at Pioneer Bowl.
When you have your shots of Pioneertown and the surrounding area, drive up the road and spend the day in the famous Joshua Tree National Park. The spectacular desert scenery is unique. It’s topography exists nowhere else in the world, and attracts tourists from all nations. Rock climbing and hiking are favorite activities in JT. Check out this list of nature walks. You will need more than a day to visit them all.
I could continue writing about this area for several pages. The music scene, the antique shops, the artist open studio tours and the budding film festival. I’d rather you get out there and discover it for yourself. Share you photos with me when you do.