The Best Cowboy Bars in the West

Life on the range can be lonely, so when you''ve seen enough muddy watering troughs, head to one of these iconic watering holes instead. Here''s mud in your eye!
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Life on the range can be lonely, so when you''ve seen enough muddy watering troughs, head to one of these iconic watering holes instead. Here''s mud in your eye!
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THE RUSTY SPUR SALOON

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Cowboys were said to water their horses here with buckets of beer—an old twist on drunk driving. Since 1951. 480-425-7787

THE CRYSTAL PALACE SALOON

Tombstone, Ariz.

A landmark original (it was born a brew house in 1879) in the West’s most famous outlaw town. 520-457-3611

RANCHMAN’S COOKHOUSE & DANCEHALL

Calgary, Alberta

Cowboy central during the Calgary Stampede, Ranchman’s is the place to dance, dine, or watch a fight in the parking lot. 403-253-1100

THE WRANGLER

Elk Grove, Calif.

No gimmicks, no mechanical bulls, and no strip-malls here, just a genuine cowboy roadhouse with a music stage and decor circa 1950. 916-714-9911

H BAR B

Oakdale, Calif.

Oakdale is as cowboy as California gets, and the H Bar B is the saloon where you’ll find them. 209-847-2985

DIAMOND BELLE SALOON

Durango, Colo.

With can-can girls and costumed bartenders, the Strater Hotel’s bar helped author Louis L’Amour (who often stayed here) to step back in time. 800-247-4431

NEW SHERIDAN HOTEL BAR

Telluride, Colo.

Perhaps better suited to cattle barons (and ski vacationers) than cowboys, the New Sheridan is the epitome of Victorian grace. Since 1895. 970-728-4351

BUFFALO RESTAURANT & BAR

Idaho Springs, Colo.

The carved-wood bar, back bar, and break front in this century-old establishment were built in Chicago in 1860 and moved to Colorado by wagon train. 303-567-2729

LITTLE COWBOY BAR & MUSEUM

Fromberg, Mont.

Some might call this collection of cowboy memorabilia kitschy were it not for the sincerity of owner Shirley Smith (a ringer for Joan Collins), who runs this beer-and-shot homage to Montana’s cowboys. 406-668-9502

NO SCUM ALLOWED SALOON

White Oaks, N.M.

People (but no scum) come from miles and miles around to drink and hear cowboy music in this 100 year-old brick building. 575-648-5583

SOUTH POINT HOTEL CASINO BAR

Las Vegas, Nev.

Rodeo’s biggest stars preen here before and after the nightly awards during the National Finals Rodeo. Buckle bunnies galore.

866-796-7111

BUCKET OF BLOOD SALOON

Virginia City, Nev.

Built in 1876 during the height of the Comstock Load mining rush, this is a friendly place despite the forbidding name. 775-847-0322

LET ‘ER BUCK ROOM

Pendleton, Ore.

Hidden under the rodeo’s south grandstand and only open for the rodeo, the bar is known as “Cowboy Mardi Gras.” 800-457-6336 (Alternate: The Rainbow Cafe Bar)

THE TACK ROOM

St. Paul, Ore.

It’s butts to buckles and loud as a jet fighter during take off here throughout the annual St. Paul Rodeo. 503-633-2011

SALOON NO. 10

Deadwood, S.D.

Wild Bill Hickok met his fate playing cards here, making it one of the most famous cowboy bars in America. 800-952-9398

THE CRYSTAL BAR

Alpine, Texas

This is the best (perhaps the only) reason to visit a dusty, hot cowtown in the barrens of west Texas, where cows outnumber humans by far. 432-837-2819

BILLY BOB’S TEXAS

Fort Worth, Texas

At 127,000 square feet, with an indoor bull-riding ring and 42 bar stations, it’s the biggest honky-tonk in the world. 817-624-7117

11TH STREET COWBOY BAR

Bandera, Texas

The so-called “biggest little bar in Texas,” 11th Street features cowboy music and lively Texas two-steppin’. 830-796-4849

NO NAME SALOON

Park City, Utah

Utah may be famously anti-alcohol, but the No Name serves ’em strong and keeps ’em coming. 435-649-6667

THE MINT

Sheridan, Wyo.

A bronc-riding neon cowboy leads you to this burlwood den, considered by most to be the ultimate cowboy bar in the cowboy state. 307-674-9696

MILLION DOLLAR COWBOY BAR

Jackson, Wyo.

Saddles for bar stools, Western murals, and a bar studded with silver coins—what more do you want? 307-733-2207

THE BUCKHORN BAR

Laramie, Wyo.

Generations of University of Wyoming Cowboys have made the pilgrimage here. “The Buck” features mounted racks and a bullet hole in the back mirror.

307-742-3554