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“Great Tour”
Review of Keys Ranch

Keys Ranch
29 Palms
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great Tour”
Reviewed December 28, 2011

Need to be escorted by a Park Ranger. Learn the way of life of one of the first pioneer families. Family members still live in the local area.

4 Thank StraightBlue2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Vancouver, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Really hot and sunny--but worth it!”
Reviewed November 14, 2011

This tour was one of the highlights of our trip to the Palm Springs area. The website for the guided tour shares quite a bit of information, so I won't repeat it here, but have included a link below. If you like learning about the history of the American West, you will love this tour. Our tour guide sometimes leads tours in other parks, but she claimed to love this tour the best, and it showed in her enthusiasm and her deep knowledge of the family that had once owned the ranch.

Some practical tips:
1. Small children (under the age of 7) probably won't do well on this 90 minute trek.
2. Be on time, or even early. There was a long, slow line of cars waiting to get admitted to the National Park, and it took almost 20 minutes for us to get up to the admissions gate. Some members of our tour had paid for tickets in advance but were more than 10 minutes late getting to the ranch gate and the guide could not wait for them any longer. We all drove through the gate as a group and the stragglers would have found a locked gate when and if they finally did arrive.
3. It is hot and sunny, even on the morning tour. I brought a hat, parasol, sunscreen and water and was really glad I did.
4. Bring a picnic lunch if you are on the 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. tour, because you will be hungry and there is not much food for purchase nearby.

Visited October 2011
10 Thank Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua Kona, HI
Level 6 Contributor
227 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Great walking tour”
Reviewed November 10, 2011

I definitely recommend signing up for this Ranger led walking tour of the Keys Ranch. It was very interesting to learn about how it came to be and how folks survived out in the desert.

Visited October 2011
3 Thank Keikidoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dearborn, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great tour! Inspiring tale of recent American homesteaders.”
Reviewed March 23, 2011

Need to make reservations in advance. Add’l cost of $5 / person, on top of park admission. They take groups of 25. I was able to book reservation less than a day before, but we ended up having a full group. There is a locked gate approx. ½ mile from the ranch. You’re asked to drive up to the gate 15 mins before the scheduled tour. Everyone was pretty much on time. The tour guide met us at the gate, checked us in, and then had us caravan behind him on the road to the ranch. There are restrooms at the gate, and also by the ranch. You’ll be standing outside, so bring sunscreen & water. Tour took the fully-scheduled 90 mins.

Our tour-guide was an ex-marine named Dave – very energetic & informative. He thoroughly took us through the history of the Keys family, and each aspect of the homestead. He pre-emptively addressed any questions that were forming in my head. The ranch is an amazing testament to American frontier spirit and ingenuity. Besides being inspiring, it’s also in a beautiful area, nestled into a small canyon in Joshua Tree NP. The schedule shows that some tours have period actors reenacting life on the ranch. This wasn’t the case on my tour. I think that would have been interesting to see. But part of me enjoyed the peace and serenity of the now-abandoned ranch. I recommend the tour either way!

Visited March 2011
7 Thank MichiganBronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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