Those who visited Goodsprings were almost always tourists, come to visit the graveyard where the Courier “rose from the dead” …Fallout New Vegas ending slide
Welcome to the Courier’s Guide to the Mojave Wasteland! I am excited to show you the sights.
Naturally, the first place on the ol’ itinerary is the town of Goodsprings, where the story begins. Although I always recommend having a solid 4×4 vehicle for Mojave excursions, there is no off-roading needed to make it here.
Pro trip: Through the guide entries I will make a point if a road requires AWD or not, but just remember, although I have a lot of experience, I am no expert and you should always be careful.
# 325 – Mojave Wasteland
# 94 – Goodsprings
# 190 – Prospector Saloon
# 191 – Goodsprings general store
# 192 – Doc Mitchell’s house
# 193 – Goodsprings gas station
# 194 – Goodsprings schoolhouse
# 195 – Victor’s shack
# 327 – Goodsprings homes
# 325 – Mojave Wasteland – The game’s setting is based on our world’s Mojave Desert, which is the driest desert in North America and holds the record for highest temperature ever recorded on earth. Similarly to the game’s setting, the desert spans the North American Southwest, across California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. I call it home. It is desolate and majestic and exceptional and beautiful and perfect.
# 94 – Goodsprings – The game map is very accurate in many ways. The road comes in from the east and hooks to the north after passing the saloon, general store, and a few blocks of homes. The fences and small garden plots look very similar, and the town is in a sort of a valley, surrounded on two sides by small mountains on the west and south sides, similar to the game.
The landscape mirrors the game – vast and sparse. There is evidence of current habitation, both here and throughout the Mojave, but not much. A few businesses and a handful of residents are surrounded by miles and miles of quiet, empty desert. It is so surreal to walk down the streets here, no matter how many times I have been here in the past.
You can park anywhere, for the most part. You can park to the right of the Pioneer Saloon and walk west until the road ends, and then loop back around to the left. You can see in both the game and real life, the speed limit is an easy going 25 mph.
# 190 – Prospector Saloon – In our world it is the Pioneer Saloon. It looks very true to form, almost down to every detail – the shape and construction of the building, the porch, the lettering, the layout. Incredible!
As an aside, I found a clock that was not stopped at bombs o’clock while in game, at the Prospector Saloon. It looks like some profligates set it to 4:20. If you look at the inside of the bar, you can tell there are many similarities as well, most notably the distinctive ceiling tiles.
There is also a centennial celebration engraved monument with the names of some fallout fans that presumably donated money for it back in 2013. I wish I could have! Ahhhh! I love how the owners embrace their connection with the game – you can tell especially next door at the general store, but first things first.
The saloon has a bar area immediately upon entering, and the area in the game that Sunny Smiles stands in is a dining room in real life. It is called the Carole Lombard Memorial Room, named after the actress and wife of Clark Gable, who passed away in a plane crash on Mt. Potosi near Goodsprings in 1942. It is said that Gable sat at the bar for days waiting for news of the search, and you can still see the burns from his cigarettes on the counter. I hiked up to the crash site later in my journey and it was a somber place indeed. Below are some pics of the dining room and bar.
This dining room is where you can see a framed picture of the game sleeve. The first time I saw it, my heart nearly exploded. You should sit in the corner, at table number 8 to have the best view of this incredible memento. There is also a framed game sleeve in the general store, but my picture of myself with it was bad because it is dark and a bunch of stuff was piled up in front of it. I recommend you order the ghost burger and some whiskey. I do not drink very often, and my mixed drink was strong. Woo!
Behind the saloon, where the tutorial lesson on shooting takes place, is a nice patio. I usually eat on the patio in the winter and in the dining room during the summer. Sometimes there are people dancing and playing horseshoes outside which is fun to watch.
You can see the similarities in the welcome sign, which by the way, comes at you quick before you enter the town proper on the right hand side. You can park on the shoulder and walk up a little ravine to take the photo, unlike in the game where it is just sitting conveniently on the side of the road for you to see. You can actually just drive on the shoulder for 25 or so yards if you are coming from the cemetery, they are pretty close to one another.
# 191 – Goodsprings General Store – This used to be called the same name in our world, but a few years back, it changed names to Ghost Town Cafe. It was an effort to drum up business after the Pioneer Saloon was featured on “Ghost Adventures” on the Travel Channel. On the welcome sign out front, it still says Goodsprings General Store.
You can see the similarities are so spot on – the pipes on the roof, the arches on the front porch, the building materials. So very cool.
The inside looks similar, too. I like the metal walls and ceiling, a touch that was included in game. I like how the metal walls and ceiling are red in the saloon and silver in the store in real life.
There are a ton of awesome Fallout: New Vegas related things to buy here. It is so awesome. I always chat with the lady who runs the place for a good while when I come through, and last time she mentioned that when she first started, she said to her boss – if you don’t start catering to all these Fallout fans, I’m going to. I just love her. Below are some photos of the New Vegas themed merch and decor here at the general store. What I really have my eye on is the huge fleece blanket they have! They only have one and I bet someone else will buy it first.
Last time I visited, the absolute icing on the cake was they hooked me up with some of these amazing treasures – including some t-shirts commemorating the centennial, and New Vegas themed snowglobe, patch, bottle cap, post card and shirt. I think it is amazing they celebrate the game so much, even now 10 years later. Talk about an amazing surprise, and impressively creative and heartwarming. They said they are going to start selling the Fallout stuff online soon. So in case you can not make the trip, you can still have these amazing treasures.
The lady who runs the bar, and a very Chet-like guy named Doug will talk to anyone interested in the Fallout aspects of Goodsprings. One time I was here, they told me Easy Pete is based on a guy named Gordy that lives in one of the caves around Goodsprings. I asked how often Fallout fans visit Goodsprings and they said a few dozen every year. Some of the fans make little trinkets and items and leave them in a collection at the general store, almost like a mini museum. They got out all the tiny treasures to show me, and I am impressed with all of the creativity of the Fallout fans that have been here in the past. If you ever stop by, try to guess which item was made by me. Oh and last time I swung through, I got a better picture of the game on the wall.
And of course, you have to sit at the bar. A plus is that there is a bar in both the saloon and the general store in real life.
# 327 – Goodsprings home – I have to drive through the fairly dangerous Columbia Pass to get home, so to sober up, I just walk around town for a bit. You can do the loop, seeing the main game locations of Goodsprings in well under an hour. Everything is less than 5 or 6 blocks away from the saloon. It is fun to take your time, though, and it is safe to wander around here.
The homes around Goodsprings are located similarly in real life and in game, to the left of the main road and to the north of the Prospector Saloon, winding around to the northeast with the road. There are many historic looking former homes alongside currently inhabited ones, including the oldest building in town, the Campbell Stone Cabin which was built in 1886. As far as the normal, inhabited homes – as of the 2010 census, Goodsprings has a population of 229.
# 192 – Doc Mitchell’s house – If you walk westward up the road to where it curves to the right, you can see where Doc Mitchell’s house would be in the game. Here you can find the Goodsprings Community Church.
Outside of Doc Mitchell’s house in game, there is a Nevada flag. There is one in Goodsprings in our world as well, farther to the east. In our world, it has a bonus Old World flag as well. There is another combo two blocks northwest of here, up the winding road to the left.
One time I was here, I thought it would be fun to cosplay as the Courier when they first walk out of Doc Mitchell’s house, bloody bandage on my head and all. I think by now, the actual Goodsprings residents are used to seeing me wandering around, doing bizarre things.
Another possibility for Doc Mitchell’s house is a short walk to the left, a house called Coyote Ranch. The house shape is the same, with the porch on the left and front windows prominently on the right. In any case, here is a link to the website of the Coyote Ranch. The owners seem very adorable and I wish I could have met them. I didn’t get an answer at the door, maybe I will get to meet Coyote Don and Coyotess next time.
A sad addendum: The last time I was in the Goodsprings Cemetery, I found a makeshift grave for Coyote Don. You can read about him in the cemetery entry. Bummer.
During my last visit to Goodsprings, I noticed the Coyote Ranch fence had broken and fallen over. I tried to fix it but I couldn’t get it to stay upright. It is really heavy. I will come prepared to try to fix it next time if it is still broken.
Below you can see some directional photos, taken whilst standing on various points of Nevada State Route 161.
# 193 – Goodsprings gas station – If you head right at the fork by the church and wind your way up northwest-wise past some homes, aforementioned Campbell Stone Cabin on the right, there is a business of sorts that looks like a gas station but it is the fire station, Clark County station #78.
Since the towns are so spread out, the fire stations here are centralized by county. Larger towns such as Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson have their own dedicated fire departments but are still a part of the same county force.
# 194 – Goodsprings schoolhouse – At the fork, if you head left and then another left at Coyote Ranch, you will see the elementary school. The school is exceptionally identical to the game’s depiction in both location and shape of the building, as well as being surrounded by a chain link fence.
The only difference is the color, being that in game it is a dark red. The spire is so well done, with the window on the side being smaller than the one on top. You can see from this view the four windows before a corner and an additional window. Exceptional attention to detail.
# 195 – Victor’s shack – Although there is no shack in the same location, there are three buildings that look incredibly similar, and I am torn as to which one is the inspiration. On my last trip I noticed another one that looks really similar and is even closer to the correct location, too! Ahh!
Closer to the location is the first of the two, the former Goodsprings Post Office, called the Coyote Den. It is a part of the aforementioned Coyote Ranch. The shape of the building, the porch, tin roof, and the color really are reminiscent of Victor’s Shack. You can read all about how the owners, Coyote Don and Coyotess Bon of Coyote Ranch, relocated the post office two blocks from where it originally stood. In the words of Coyote Don, “moving it was a piece of pie” because when the moving was over they all had a piece of Coyotess Bon’s pie.
I like how it says “Ye Olde Post Office” as one would expect, being a courier and all. The building in and of itself is really cool. It has a stained glass window inside that is so gorgeous and a pretty funny hours sign on the back door.
I would have said this is definitely it, if I didn’t see the second building on the main drag of Goodsprings. You really can’t miss it. On my most recent trip, someone had written RIP “Jeff” on the front and the quotation marks threw me off. Was their name not really Jeff? I need to know.
The third one I found on my most recent trip, and had missed on previous visits. It is on private property, though, so I could not get a close up shot. It is on the southeast side of town, south of the 161, near some huge rocks that kind of look like a Goodsprings Stonehenge. Below is a picture I took from outside the fence on a huge dirt mound, and the second photo is zoomed in.
There is also this road that would be a continuation of Nevada State 161 except it is private, and there are buildings on the top of the hill that I really wish I could get a look at to determine their Victor shack-esque level. Maybe some day.
Honorable mention – There are some other items of note that are not on the numbered list that I wanted to include as well. I might do this in future entries to continue including other points of interest I find. Here I wanted to include the signature elevated fuel tank and former windmill or weathervane. They are on the same side of the street as the saloon, one block down to the right, as opposed to across the street in the game map. You will see a marker that says “general mercantile site” and the weathervane beyond. They look spot on.
The elevated tank is on a corner and you will see it to your right as you head west on the main road. The last time I visited, the huge tree next to it was decorated like a Christmas tree.
Spending time in Goodsprings is always so overwhelmingly joyful for me. Each time I visit, I always feel very welcome. I am thankful to the people I met in the past at the Pioneer Saloon and Ghost Town Cafe, both owners and fellow patrons, for indulging my endless questions, making me some delicious food, for the amazing gifts, and always being just the absolute best. Below I will include some random photos from my journeys here, really for my own memories if anything.
Up next I will tell you all about the Goodsprings Cemetery, climbing the “big ass hill” and various other exciting tidbits. Onward!