This fine piece of history sits in the Buckskin Mountains, north of Parker, Arizona, on land that was an old mining camp. The bar was first opened in 1983, in a temporary three-sided structure. It lasted for five years until the current saloon was constructed. The name "Nellie E" originates from the old mining claim where prospectors mined copper and then took it to a smelter and hopefully got gold.
These days the 'gold' comes from the hundreds of people that make their way each weekend to this solar-powered oasis.
If you value your RV, do not take it down this road. Besides, there is no room to park it at the Nellie E. When we were there we saw one truck/camper. We drove our 4-wheel drive pickup.
Each Saturday and Sunday, October through April, depending on the weather there is live entertainment from 1-5 p.m. The Cell Phone Cowboys were performing the Saturday we made the five mile adventure on Cienega Springs Road.
Nellie E Saloon / The Desert Bar
Hours: Open October through April, Saturdays and Sundays only from high noon - 6 p.m., Arizona time, and holidays during these months. The bar is closed during the hot summer months.
Refreshments: There is simple food for reasonable prices. We had a passable hamburger for $3. Both hard and soft drinks are available. Full bar. Families welcome. Bring cash, no credit cards accepted.
Directions: 5 miles north of Parker, Az. on Hwy 95. Take Cienega Springs Rd. east 5 miles, follow the traffic. The road ends at Nellie E's.
Buckskin Mountain Desert Dash -- Each year during the President's Day weekend, the Nellie E Saloon hosts the annual "Desert Dash," a 5-mile walk, run or mountain bike trip out to the solar powered bar.
Registration area -- On Feb. 13, 2016 at Hwy 95 and Cienega Springs Rd., between 8-9:45 a.m.
$25 day of race.
The "Dash" begins at 10 a.m.
For more information telephone (928) 669-2174 or (928) 667-2829. For additional information on the "Dash" and other local fun happenings go to Parker Area Tourism.
-- Julianne G. Crane
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Photos: Top: View from the terrace of The Desert Bar (solar panels line just about every roof-top space). Middle: 'Cell Phone Cowboys'. Bottom: 1927 Oldsmobile, slightly rusted. (Julianne G. Crane)