Step into Hunter S. Thompson’s shoes and see Vegas through his eyes
Hunter S. Thompson was a one-of-a-kind. The writer, candidate for Aspen sheriff, and all-around character is probably best known as the godfather of gonzo journalism. His electric style was epitomized in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” which was initially published in two magazine assignments for Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated before being published as a book that defined the post-’60s counterculture. We decided to take a closer look at the spots Hunter S. Thomson visited on his epic Vegas road trip and filming locations for the iconic 1998 film of the same name.
Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas
This natural wonder was used to film the desert scenes, especially the iconic driving parts. If you want to recreate the road trip, why not rent a red 1971 Cadillac Eldorado convertible and hit up your local thrift shop to get vintage yellow aviators, a visor, and a Hawaiian shirt?
Location: 1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161
Pioneer Saloon, Goodsprings
This bar is filled with history and is known to host a few ghosts! This is where the hardware barn scene was shot!
Location: 310 W Spring St, Goodsprings, Nevada
Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas
What’s more quintessentially Sin City than the Strip? This spot what frequented by the writer during his groovy “trip.”
Location: South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV, US
Neon Museum, Las Vegas
Though the Neon Museum opened up long after Hunter S. Thomson’s legendary Vegas visit this should be on the top of your list. The Neon Boneyard (part of the Neon Museum) is the best spot to see the vintage signs that lined the main drag when Hunter S. Thompson visited town. You’ll even see the Stardust Hotel sign and the Binion’s Horseshoe sign that would have decorated Vegas back in the 70s.
Location: 770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV, US
Circus Circus Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
The Circus Circus Casino was mentioned in the book, but the hotel refused to participate in the film. Instead, they recreated Circus Circus Hotel’s famous “Horse Around Bar.” They filmed in the now-closed Boardwalk Casino and changed the name in the film to Bazooka Circus to avoid legal disputes.
Location: 500 Circus Circus Dr., Las Vegas, NV, US
Kingman Airport, Arizona
Several scenes from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas were filmed at the Kingman Airport.
Location: 7000 Flightline Dr, Kingman, AZ 86401
Flamingo Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo stayed at the Flamingo and absolutely trashed the place! You can stroll by their tropical heaven pool complex with a margarita in hand and try to think how that would have felt.
Location: 3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo also visited the Desert Inn which was later transformed into Wynn Las Vegas.
Location: 3131 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, US
Bellagio, Las Vegas
This luxurious hotel and casino was once the Dunes, where the National District Attorney’s Convention happened.
Location: 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV, US
Jean Dry Lake Bed, Death Valley
Finally, the best for last! The Jean Dry Lake Bed in Nevada is where the legendary Mint 400 off-road race was filmed. This off-road race was actually part of the reason Hunter S. Thomson traveled to Vegas. Since his perspective matched the unique fan base the race attracts. Mint 400 was resumed in 2008 after a 20-year hiatus, so definitely add this to your Hunter S. Thomson itinerary.
Location: Sloan, NV 89054