The Desperado – Still one of the Best Roller Coasters in the World!

Largest Roller Coaster in the World

The Desperado was completed in 1994. It held numerous records from its inception. Tallest roller coaster, longest roller coaster, fastest roller coaster, steepest drop, etc. It was the first roller coaster to be termed a “hypercoaster.” Even today it is still in the top 10 for a couple of categories. You will not be disappointed if you are a roller coaster fan. This ride is worth the drive through the Nevada desert.

The coupon read “Just 30 minutes from Las Vegas. Ride the Desperado, the Largest Roller Coaster in the World. This ad good for one free ride.”The ad had two things that really grabbed our attention. First, the roller coaster description. How was it possible that the largest roller coaster in the world rested in the middle of the Nevada desert? And the second thing that caught our attention- free! We had very limited funds that particular trip so we were looking for other things to do, especially free things. So, we decided to check it out.

Desperado roller coaster

Where the Heck is this Desperado roller coaster?

After asking an employee of the hotel we were staying ” Where the Heck is this Desperado roller coaster? ” He told us it was in Stateline, about 40 miles south of Las Vegas.

We drove, and drove, and drove. At first, we thought we have been duped by the ad and that employee. Maybe it was one of those tricks to get motorists to stop to see the attraction but the attraction was really something else. (We have one of those in Arizona called “the Thing.”) But, after about 30 minutes of driving it was very obvious that there was a real roller coaster hidden away in the middle of the desert.

Needless to say, we were duly impressed by the sheer size of the Desperado. The track is 5843 feet long. That is over a mile! The first drop is 225 feet at a sheer 60-degree angle. Part of the track goes underground enhancing the excitement of the ride. Hold on to your stomach because at 80 miles per hour and G-Forces up to 4, your body is in for quite a thrill. Total excitement time- 2 minutes, 40 seconds.

What makes the ride even more of a treat is it starts inside the hotel. You climb a 209-foot section of track that towers over the sixteen story hotel. Once you plunge down that first drop and catch your breath you realize that the Desperado weaves its way around numerous rock formations and over a log flume ride. There are not many coasters that can beat this one.

It didn’t take long for my brother and me to find some more of those coupon books and tear out those ads for a free ride. We have looked and looked since then for more coupon books with that ad in it but haven’t had any luck.

If the 225-foot drop down a 55-degree descent doesn’t terrify you, maybe knowing that the Desperado is one of the tallest roller coasters in the country will.


At Buffalo Bill’s, about 40 miles south of Vegas in Primm.

Phone: 1-866-983-4279

Hours of operation

Mon-Thur: Closed
Fri-Sat: 12:00PM to 9:30PM
Sunday: 12:00PM to 7:30PM

Primm Nevada

Where the Heck is Primm Nevada?

That is the same question my brother and I asked ourselves more than 10 years ago. Primm Nevada? Is that near Las Vegas? What does one do in Primm? I remember it well. We were in Las Vegas and paging through one of those coupon guide books. A small ad for the tallest roller coaster in the world grabbed our attention. It was located in Primm. Only 30 minutes away! We never looked back.

The Desperado roller coaster was only the beginning. Primm offers an amazing assortment of entertainment and fun for the whole family. Do you like eat at great restaurants? Why not try the Wagon Wheel Buffet at Whiskey Pete’s? Like to shop? You will want to spend some time at the Fashion Outlets Mall near Primm Valley. Bet you never swam in a buffalo-shaped pool! You can at Buffalo Bill’s Resort.

Buffalo Bill’s Resort

Takes you back to the  Wild West.

Buffalo Bill’s Resort sits in the shadow of what was once the highest roller coaster in the world. The Desperado is a great coaster but that isn’t all that caught my brother’s and my attention that first time we visited in 1997. The first thing we noticed was the people…or lack of them. This place wasn’t busy! We had just driven from Las Vegas where it had been wall-to-wall people. We were surprised. Next, we were instantly teleported to the Wild West. From the old wooden check-in counter to the covered wagons and the barn-shaped hotel- we were impressed at the decor. There was even a giant tree in the middle of the casino floor that had animatronic cowboys (think Disney here) singing old western tunes and cracking jokes.

An old train used to travel from Buffalo Bill’s Resort, across I-15, and over to Whiskey Pete’s. Now that was fun. The train has since been replaced by a tram that travels to Primm Valley Resort.

Then we discovered the log ride . It wasn’t hard to do as there are many wooden bridges that span the ride’s path inside the casino. There is also the Turbo Drop and numerous motion theaters at Buffalo Bill’s Resort.

I believe that the room prices pleased us most of all. When my brother and I started staying there, the rooms cost us about 15 bucks a night. The cost has gone up since but on an average weeknight you can stay there for $29-$34. Not bad at all. Compare that to some of the cheapest hotels on the Strip in Las Vegas and you can save yourself a bundle.

The restaurants were also good at Buffalo Bill’s Resort . Each restaurant kept with the theme of the hotel and the food didn’t disappoint.

If you want to have a great time in a themed hotel/casino then you need to visit Buffalo Bill’s Resort in Primm Nevada. My brother and I give it a 4 out of 5 wagon wheel rating!

Adventure Canyon Log Flume

Grab your pistol and hang on! Best Log Ride in Town!

“It has a log ride too!”I have to laugh. My brother and I must have looked like kids in a candy factory the day we discovered Primm. Finding and riding the Desperado had been extremely fun (we did it over and over that day!) But what was this? It has a log ride too?

A what a ride it was! Starting inside the hotel, moving through different old west “scenes” within the confines of the building, then outside for a few great drops (yes you get wet), back inside for a spooky bat cave, then by some old animatronic codgers shooting water at you with their pistols. Great fun!

Hats off to the Primm Family for some excellent planning and design of their hotels/casinos. Yes, catering to the adult gaming would be a priority, but adding the best of Disneyesque-type rides in the middle of the desert- sheer genius.

The Adventure Canyon Log Flume is worth the money and the wait (if there is a wait!)

You can observe much of the Adventure Canyon Log Flume action right in the hotel/casino. Numerous parts of the ride weave in and out of the building. There is a bridge right by the Wagonmaster Coffee Shop where you can see would-be gunslingers try to shoot their way through the ride.

Hmmm… This ride was a pioneer in the laser-shooting experience. Although we cannot confirm it, we have been told it was the first ride to ever successfully have a laser gun shoot at targets and keep score. We will find out more about this during our next trip.

So how do you get to Primm Nevada for some fun in the sun?

Primm Nevada is literally built in the middle of the desert. The closest major city to Primm is Las Vegas which lies about 40 miles to the north. Barstow, California is the nearest large city to the south. (Isn’t that the home to the world’s largest thermometer?) Yet, it is easy to get to Primm from wherever you are.If you live more than 400 miles away from Las Vegas, traveling to Primm may involve some travel by plane. There are a few airports near Primm. The largest and most accessible is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

Driving to Primm is easy once you get to Las Vegas. Take Interstate 15 (I-15) south toward the California/Nevada border. The well-paved, multiple-lane highway allows for fast travel. My brother and I like to obey the legal limits of the law while on this road- approximately 70 miles per hour.

From the south, traveling to Primm isn’t bad either. I-15 runs as far south as San Diego. Hop on I-15 and travel north through Barstow up past the California/Nevada border to Primm. You will pass the Primm Valley Golf Course on your way to Primm Nevada . The last time my brother and I traveled this route much of it was being worked on from Barstow California to Primm Nevada. This slowed things down considerably.



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