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Best Local Alternative to Tombstone Phoenix 2008 - Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass

Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass

Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass

5700 W. N. Loop Road

Chandler, AZ 85048


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Kitschy? Yes. Cliché? Sure. Silly? No doubt. But this most accessible of local theme spots is celebrating its 37th year in the business of "providing quality 1880s-style family entertainment" for a reason — it works. Rawhide didn't miss a beat last year when it moved across the Valley from Scottsdale to the Wild Horse Pass on the Gila River Indian Community. Though it's obviously kid-friendly, grownups are known to show up sans the little ones, most often to wolf down some meat at the sprawling steakhouse and then to check out the sights for a spell. Those sights include the faux-cowboys who stroll up and down the wooden sidewalks in full regalia (and character), the train that circumnavigates the property, a stagecoach, a petting zoo, the obligatory mechanical bull, the panning for ersatz gold, and so on. Hey, Tombstone is a good three-plus hours to southern Arizona, and after watching the tiresome "shootout" at the OK Corral, there's not a lot to do but figure out which overpriced trinket or T-shirt to take home. Rawhide is a better bet, even if we continue to scratch our heads about its presence on a darned Indian reservation.

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