Arizona is home to some of the weirdest and nonconventional tourist traps. Nestled within the Arizona deserts and mountain ranges are man-made wonders that put the natural beauty of the state to shame.

OK Corral sign in Tombstone
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The oddities you can find are one thing, but what about the ones you can't?

What is the Desert Bar?

Imagine if you found yourself stranded in the middle of the central Arizona desert. No food, no water, and no shade. You're begging for something to keep you going when you see it. A lone bar with nothing else for miles.

The road leading to the Desert Bar
Credit: Google Earth

No, it's not a mirage, it's the Desert Bar. Located just outside of Parker, AZ in the middle of the desert, the Nellie E Saloon (otherwise known as the Desert Bar) is one of the most remote locations to visit in the state, and that's by design.

The Desert Bar is, well, a bar! Serving cold drinks for weary or interested travelers from October to April, high noon to sundown. The bar is cash only though, and has no ATM on the premises, so if you've only got a card, you might need to turn around before you get there.

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Read More: The Best Scenic Arizona Road Trips

The History of the Nellie E Saloon

People at the Desert Bar
Credit: Google Earth

Founded in 1972 by Ken Coughlin, the desert bar was built on the remnants of an old copper mining camp. When it began, the bar was no more than a one room shack, with room for maybe 10 to 12 people.

Over the years, the bar expanded, and the original location is all but a memory. The parking lot for the saloon now sits on the initial plot of land that the mining camp inhabited.

The Desert Bar parking lot
Credit: Google Earth

The road to the bar is a long and lonely one, bringing you through miles of untouched desert until you reach an oasis of alcohol, friends, and fun. There are two paths to take, one of which being a straight shot on Highway 95, and the other being an off-road adventure through the mountains and barren desert that surround the location.

Whatever route you take, the Nellie E Saloon is one of Arizona's most unique and hard-to-find locations you need to add to your bucket list.

[Lake Havasu]


[Google Maps]

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