Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch: Happy Trails and Cowboy Tales on Route 66

Although our article was written in 2017, we have attempted to keep up with the ranch over the years.

Update, April 15, 2019: The 67-acre Double R Bar Ranch is for sale at $3.7 million!

Update, January 11, 2021: The Double R Bar Ranch in Victorville has re-listed for $1.99 million.

Update, February 16, 2021: Houses, barns + 33 acres of the Double R Bar Ranch sold for $1.8 million.

Update, July 12, 2021: The Double R Bar Ranch was auctioned for sale.

INCIDENT: Feb 7-Feb 13, 2022 Outdoor Marijuana Cultivations-Operation Hammer Strike, Week 24 – One of 16 locations. One of 17 arrests. – 14400 Block of Roy Rogers Ranch Road, Oro Grande.

Update, April 9, 2022: 8a.m.-1 p.m. Open casting call for extra’s for the movie, Italian Cowboy, a Rich Rossi production.

Update, 2023: The Double R Bar Ranch , under new ownership offers overnight accommodations.

DISCLAIMER: Although the ranch’s new website is currently using our copyrighted and watermarked photos without our permission, we have not been asked to endorse their new business venture since it sold to new owners, nor have we any business ties to it, prior to its sale or after.

Tours of the ranch are no longer offered at this time.

Photo courtesy of

There was a time when cowboys ruled the day, or at least the airwaves, and the good guy always won.  From Tom Mix in the early 1900s, to Clint Eastwood and Kurt Russell today, most of us have wanted to be a cowboy or cowgirl at one time or another.  Many of us grew up knowing that among the cowboys of the cinema, Roy Rogers was king, and Dale Evans was his queen. 

Like any respectable western royalty, Roy and Dale had a horse ranch.  It wasn’t in the wilds of Montana, and not even in the prairies of South Dakota.  Nope.  Not even close.   The Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch, built in 1920, was sittin’ regally along the banks of the Mojave River in the small Route-66 community of Oro Grande, just outside of Victorville, California, and a few miles from their home in Apple Valley.  Roy died at the age of 86 after a life well-spent. 

Roy owned the ranch until the day he died in 1998, and after Dale followed him a few years later, the ranch was owned by a succession of investors and such, including Ernesto Enriquez, the son of one of Roy’s horse trainers, Carlos.   Still, the 67 acre ranch seemed to be lacking the drive and spirit that was present when Roy would ride the range on one of his many horses and, sometimes, even a Honda motorcycle, much to the dismay of the local sheriff (something about a pesky helmet law).

Leonard Slye changed his name to Roy Rogers at the suggestion of the studios. He chose “Rogers” as a tribute to the famous Cherokee Indian, cowboy and humorist, Will Rogers. 1960 Press Photo.

Okay, now some of you might not know about Roy Rogers.  Don’t feel bad.  It happens.    So just in case ya’ don’t, let me tell ya’ about the King of the Cowboys.  Roy started out as a fellow from Ohio by the name of Leonard Slye.    He was born in 1911, and when he was about 20, he followed his sister to Lawndale, a town near the Pacific Ocean.    By early 1931, with a few family businesses in decline, Leonard took up picking peaches for a time.  This was during the Great Depression.  See the Steinbeck film, “The Grapes of Wrath” to get a feel   for what that was like.

Anyway, by about 1932, Leonard, with motivation from his sister, auditioned for a spot on a local radio show, even though shyness just about did him in.  A local music group, “The Rocky Mountaineers” offered him a job.   As they say in Hollywood, the rest is history.  Even if Hollywood doesn’t say that, by August of 1931, Roy–I mean Leonard, was a member of the band.  

After changing the name of the group to “The Sons of the Pioneers,” and changing his name to Roy Rogers, the cowboy genre would never be the same.  Soon to become the King of the Cowboys,  he starred in 88 feature films and,  along with Dale Evans,  had the long-running “Roy Rogers show” on television, from 1951 to 1957.

Roy Rogers and Trigger, “The smartest horse in the movies.” Photo courtesy: Dell Comic

It might have been the syndicated re-runs of the Roy Rogers Show that caught the eye of a young Jim Heffel, growing up in Wilmington, just a few miles from Roy’s original California home in Lawndale.  In any case, 10-year-old Jim saw a cowboy riding down a street in the famous western town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and knew what he had to do.  Just like Willie Nelson sang in 1980, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.”  And they still are.

We invite you to watch our YouTube video titled ‘Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch Tour: Secrets Revealed!’ HERE.

Jim Heffel fulfills his lifelong dream of riding his horse in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, just like he wished when he was ten years old. How many children do you think Jim inspired to carry on the proud Western legacy? Photo Courtesy: Jim Heffel.

Fast forward.  After going through a few years of relative dormancy,  in 2015, the Roy Roger’s Double R Bar Ranch came into the sights of Jim Heffel.  Now an accomplished horseman and part-time stunt rider, Jim and his wife Deena bought the farm in a friendly manner of speaking. 

Roy and Dale at — No, sorry. That’s Jim and Deena. Photo Courtesy: John Earl (c) 2017.

Photo Courtesy Cheryl Rogers.

Jim joined his buddy Johnny Crawford who was Guest of Honor at the Apple Valley Happy Trails Parade! Watch it here:
A few guests gettin’ ready for a sociable ride to the Cross-eyed Cow Pizza joint, just down Route-66, or by dirt trail along the famous upside down, backwards Mojave River.
Photo Courtesy: Jaylyn Earl, (c) 2017.
Jaylyn, taking lots of notes as Jim Heffel tells the story inside the ranch saloon. He prefers riding his horses into bars and probably has set a record. Like Roy Rogers, Jim is a down-to-earth gregarious man full of cowboy tales. Wherever Jim goes, fun is sure to follow.
Photo Courtesy: John Earl (c) 2017.

Within a few months, the Double R Bar brand was on Jim’s truck.  Nowadays, the ranch has a full-time foreman, “Frenchy,” Martel-Preacher and an assortment of other ranch hands.  Not quite like the days of Roy’s trusty “Bullet the Wonder Dog,” or Pat Brady and his jeep, “Nellie Bell,” but darn close.


~Gabby Hayes

Since Roy and Dale owned the ranch, Jim and Deena have added a complete western movie set.  Suitable for shootin’ the next big blockbuster, or for social gatherings or tours.  Let’s take a look inside that barn.  You know you have a hankerin’ too. (Photo courtesy of John Earl (c) 2017)

We had the privilege a few months back of being extras in an ‘Indy’ film that was shot at the ranch.  This barn was packed with so many actors, cameras and other stuff that it looked like the back lot at Warner Bros.  No set date on when “Heat of the West” will be released. (Photo courtesy of John Earl (c) 2017)

Actor Johnny Crawford and Jim Heffel ride together at Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch. At age 12, Mr. Crawford rose to fame for playing Mark McCain, the son of Lucas McCain, in the popular ABC Western series, The Rifleman, which originally aired from 1958 to 1963. Photo Courtesy: Jim Heffel
Deena and Jim Heffel, the present owners of Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch in Oro Grande, California, two of the nicest people you will ever meet.  We believe that Roy and Dale would approve. Photo courtesy of John Earl (c) 2017.

Deena, too, is an accomplished rider, and the two heirs apparent to the Roy and Dale happy trails are often guests at various western events, including the Sturgis Bike Rally and the Western Film Festival in Lone Pine, California.  Jim often takes his horse, Trigger (naturally) for rides inside saloons during these events. 

Jim and Deena continue the Double R Bar Ranch tradition. The Heffel’s had a Western town replica built on their 67-acre property, often used for filming movies, complete with saloon, blacksmith shop, and undertaker. The couple have had roles in recent movies, but Jim prefers stunt riding. Disclaimer: We apologize for our accidental misspelling of the Rogers’ name. We could not fix it in post-production.
Photo Collage courtesy of John Earl, (c)2017.

Jim says that his favorite event has to be riding cowboy style with the with American Flag alongside 7,000 motorcycles for the Memorial Day, “West Coast Thunder Event.”  The ride starts at Riverside Harley Davidson, and ends at the National Cemetery, also in Riverside.  Horses aren’t allowed, so each year Jim is kicked out soon after his arrival.  That hasn’t stopped him in the past, and won’t stop him in the future.  Sometimes, a cowboy just has to do what’s right.

Jim Heffel proudly riding with Old Glory in the West Coast Thunder Event on Memorial Day at the Riverside National Cemetery, where John’s Mom and step-Dad lie in eternal peace. God bless America. Long may she wave.
Photo Courtesy Jim Heffel.
“Cowboy Jim” rides his Palomino, Trigger, and Deena rides her Pinto, Shimmer. Trigger is not related to her namesake but is just as lovable. Photo Courtesy of John Earl, (c) 2017.

The wood fence surrounding Roy Rogers Double Bar R Ranch was made from using the lumber from the Roy Rogers Museum in Victorville when it was dismantled before moving to Branson, Missouri.  The Heffel’s maintain the Double R Bar Ranch in the Western tradition of raising longhorn cattle and horses, and is available for special events.
Photo Courtesy: John Earl (c) 2017.

The Tennessean, Nashville, TN 2 Oct 1949
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, 6 Dec 1956
Roy Rogers Double Bar R miniature ranch replicas were a very popular item with children as exhibited by young Greg’s letter to Santa.  The Call-Leader, Elwood, Indiana, 10 Dec 1956
Jim, Deena, Ranch Foreman “Frenchy” Martel-Preacher and lady friends at Randsburg Western Day, 2017.
Photo Courtesy of Jaylyn Earl, (c) 2017.

Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch is located off Route 66 at 14433 Roy Rogers Road, Oro Grande, California 92368.

The movie, Heat in the West. Photo Courtesy of John Earl (c) 2017.

Follow this link to poke around the nooks and crannies at Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch in person! You may be surprised what you find.

Famous “King of the Cowboys” Roy Roger’s trusty steed, Trigger, is represented by this 24-foot tall statue. Trigger was a movie star in his own right, appearing in dozens of Hollywood films. He lived to a ripe old age of 30 years. The fiberglass Golden Palomino once stood guard at the Roy Rogers Museum in Victorville until 2009 before it moved to Branson, Missouri, then Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in 2010 where Roy and Dale Evans are buried. After being repaired and repainted in 2018, Trigger now greets guests visiting the Spirit River Center located at 16020 Apple Valley Rd, Apple Valley, CA. (Photo by John Earl, 2018)

Interested in learning more about the American West? Check out our accompanying articles and YouTube channel videos featuring Oro Grande, Randsburg, Ballarat, the movie ‘Heat in the West,’ and more.

Topmost Photo: Courtesy of

27 thoughts on “Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch: Happy Trails and Cowboy Tales on Route 66

  1. coolest picture ever american flag riding your horse with the harley riders you should get some 8x10s of that

  2. How cool is this! It is great that Roy and Dale’s Double R Bar Ranch is being used again in such a productive way! Love the picture of the American Flag Jim is carrying among the parade of motorcycles! We didn’t always have a TV growing up but when we did Roy Rogers was our favorite cowboy. Like Roy I was born in Ohio. At 71 yr now I am enjoying his old movies on the internet. Back then good and evil was well defined and good always won in the end. Have a great day!

  3. Hi I am trying to figure out if this is still an event venue? Our company is interested in the possibility of scheduling an event here.
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Teresa! Yes, The Double R Bar Ranch can be used as a venue. And what an awesome one it would be! The Heffel’s phone number is at the bottom of our article. Thanks for contacting us! Happy Trails.

  4. I’ve resumed watching The Roy Rogers Show, after 53 years of allowing a down right mean treatment by Roy at Catherine ‘ s Landing, when Ray had a cast on his leg and sneered at my 13 year old brother and me to , “…LEAVE US ALONE!!!…” In hindsight, I now realize that even stars need time out of the limelight. Television shows, nowadays, are trashy, not like the Roy Rogers Show. I wish all of his descendents the very best. I hope the whole brood realizes what lucky people they are to have been adopted by Dale and Roy! Keep their memory alive!!

  5. My husband and I will be traveling Route 66 this summer and would love to see the ranch. Do they do tours or have a vents we might be able to attend?

  6. Sounds like trip of a lifetime. I’m sure you’ll have a blast, Dave. Please call Double R Bar Ranch owner Jim Heffel at 760-954-7262 to make arrangements. Happy Trails!

  7. Hi yes i would love to take my husband to see the ranch he would love it! And we alive in apple valley i did not know this was here.

  8. Thanks for all you do to carry on Roy and Dale’s terrific legacy. I wonder if you might be willing to begin to try to undo a wee bit of damage to that legacy that’s being done by all references to “the Roy Roger’s Ranch,” which, because of the incorrect use of an apostrophe, implies that the man’s name was “Roy Roger,” which obviously it was not, it was “Roy Rogers.” It is clear that your intent is to honor Roy’s legacy the best way possible, and it is greatly appreciated, but because of this incorrect handling of his name, you cause a number of his fans to cringe every time we see his name misrepresented in this way. (I’m confident that I’m not the only one.) His name even appears incorrectly on Google Maps where it points to the ranch. It needs to be corrected on Google, on any signs, and in many places on the blog and other material put out by the Heffels and others involved with the ranch. If in doubt, just take out that cursed apostrophe between the “r” and the “s” in Rogers, everywhere it appears. It doesn’t belong there. Again, what you’re doing to carry on Roy and Dale’s legacy is much appreciated, but please let’s all try to get their names right. Thanks!

  9. I’m glad you two now own the ranch, you are the perfect couple. I grew up watching Roy and Dale and never once heard a negative thing said about either of them. My mouth dropped open when I first went inside Roy’s museum and marveled at his gun collection and his boot collection and it all kept a smile on my face all day long because it all brought back wonderful memories of being a kid and having six-shooters and playing cowboy and Indians. I liked being the good guy like Roy and Hopalong Cassity, and the Lone Ranger but Roy was the king of cowboys. I live in Helendale and drive by the RR sign almost daily and one day I stopped by the front gate, took a look and got back in my car and left. I’m really glad to read the history of the ranch and you two.

  10. Watched many RR movies sat mornings with my little friends in Bluefield WVa. Cost 10 cents for movie ,serial an cartoon. Many cowboy movies came along every Saturday morning, Lash Laure, Gene Autry, Rocky Lane ,Bob Steel, Durango Kid, Wild Bill Elloit, Sunset Carson but Roy Roger’s was always the favorite

  11. The Roy Rogers show is now being broadcast every weekday at 6:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the World Harvest Television network. I watched the original show when I was a little boy in the 50’s. The show is great fun and rather campy at times. When would a real cowboy prance around town the way Roy did in his flashy urban cowboy outfits? LOL

    I love the show, although this could never be made nowadays because Roy always had at least 1 to 3 fist fights per episode. I got the impression the guy was itching for a fist fight. But always in a good cause! Roy also could not indiscriminately shoot off his gun at fleeing villains as he does while riding Trigger in the show. I often thought that Mineral City had more desperados and criminals per square foot than any other place on earth, since each episode brought a fresh crop of bad guys for Roy to beat up. LOL Interestingly, many of the bad guys may have been contract players since they kept re-appearing week after week (My mom was a Goldwyn Girl, which really dates me!).

    Lots of blessings and good luck to the current owners. When the Museum was closed down, I was appalled that no wealthy wild west tycoon didn’t step in and buy the entire collection. Now it is split up all over the world and can never be recovered. But at least you saved the ranch. Thank you.

  12. Glad I found your website! I was looking at my photos from Jackson and remembered meeting you two in the park after your ride. We sat on the park bench with my friend Jim and we talked to about an hour.
    The ranch looks great and I hope you are all well!

  13. I love Roy Rogers and his Horse: Trigger, Trigger J. also Dale Evens and her Horse: Butter Milk.

    I love there Episodes of Roy Rogers and Dale Evens

    Happy Trails

  14. Dear Mr. Heffel, Four adults are taking a drive to Grand Canyon from Diamond Bar, California on Monday, May 9th. Is it possible to visit the Ranch on that day? With thanks, and hope for an answer. Thank you, Gordon J. Van De Water

  15. What Fun!! My girlfriend, Tina, grew up in San Bernardino and she used to tell me how her younger sisters used to go play with the Rogers kids at their ranch. I told Tina how I loved watching the Roy Rogers movies in the late ’40s and the TV show in the ’50s. Later, we both visited the museum when it was in Victorville and that’s when we saw a photo of the childhood actor who played Little Beaver in the Red Ryder series: it was Robert Blake (look up his career, it’s astounding.) One of Tina’s sisters settled with her husband in Lucerne Valley not too far from Apple Valley, and may still be there today. I was thrilled to find that someone now owns and cares for the double R bar. I’d love to visit someday.

  16. We’re sorry to inform you the Double R Bar Ranch is under new ownership. There are no tours or public events scheduled at this time.

    For related stories, please see our article about the 2016 movie Heat in the West at Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch and watch our YouTube video featuring a tour of the ranch. Happy Trails!

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