Located off Nevada highway 373 in the Amargosa Valley, you’ll find a larger-than-life cow, known as the “Big Bovine of the Desert”.
Yes, we were surprised too.
Big Bovine of the Desert Fast Facts
|Address||4400 Nevada 373, Amargosa Valley, NV|
|Average Time||< 30 Minutes|
|Other Points of Interest||Large bull directly across the street, Longstreet Inn and Casino next door, petting zoo|
The story of “Alphie” – the Big Bovine
Alphie began her days atop the now closed Holy Cow Casino and Brewery on the Las Vegas Strip.
Located at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, Alphie proudly adorned the casino with a pair of flashy sunglasses and shined in front a large neon rainbow sign (because every cow deserves to be a star).
She remained there from 1993 to 2002, when the venue closed due to declining tourism following the 9/11 attacks.
Today, Alphie has found a new home approximately 100 miles to the north west in the Amargosa Valley, thanks to Jim Marsh, a Las Vegas businessowner and animal lover.
Below is a picture of the building after it was closed with Alphie added for effect. Today, a Walgreens stands on the street corner.
You can check out an original image of the Holy Cow Casino and Brewery here.
Why is there a giant cow in the middle of the Nevada desert?
Back in 2002, Jim Marsh paid $2,200 (plus transportation costs), to acquire the cow when the Holy Cow shut down.
Jim purchased Alphie due to his desire to preserve the history of Nevada and had her transported for display near the Longstreet Inn and Casino (which he owned). You can read more about Jim here.
Many believe Alphie pays tribute to a 3,000lb, 6-foot-tall cow named Herman, who lived at the Longstreet Inn and Casino.
Actually, Herman didn’t arrive at Longstreet until 2004, a full two years after Alphie was acquired.
Today, Alphie stands proud in the desert, but there are still many people asking where in the world her sunglasses went.
How tall is the Big Bovine of the Desert?
The Big Bovine of the Desert is estimated to be 12 to 14 feet tall.
For some scale, we stood in front of Alphie and she towered above us! That’s one big cow!
Wait…there’s a giant bull?
As we were admiring the giant cow, Mr Moose spotted a large bull on the opposite side of the street.
The two large animals seemingly having a stare off competition!
Of course, we had to take a few minutes to check it out.
Longstreet Inn and Casino
Alphie is located right next to the Longstreet Inn and Casino and just before the border to cross into California.
We popped our heads into the casino to check it out and found a great looking cafe, a decent size mini market with items for purchase, gaming machines, and fun western theme decorations.
We wished we had more time to enjoy a breakfast at their cafe as the food looked pretty tasty.
Petting Zoo at the Longstreet Inn and Casino
To our surprise, there is a petting zoo to the right of the Longstreet Inn and Casino.
We saw a very friendly (albeit seemingly sad) donkey, a sheep, and a large cow. We didn’t see any hay to offer as a snack, but we’ve heard they sometimes have it available.
Should you visit Big Bovine of the Desert?
Rating: 5.0 Mooses
Heck ya! You should always take the opportunity to visit larger than life statues of animals, and this includes visiting a giant cow!
What we liked:
- It’s a giant cow, what’s not to like?
- When we arrived, there was no one around and we were able to take all the photos we wanted without interruption.
- It’s a perfect stop on the way to Death Valley from Las Vegas. About 1.5 hours from the strip, it’s the perfect time to stop and stretch your legs. Plus, if you need gas, it’s much cheaper than buying it within Death Valley.
- We loved the nearby Longstreet Casino and the free petting zoo they had on site. To be fair, we were a little sad the animals were there in the first place, but they seemed well cared for, if not a bit sad to have such a small pen.
- We also loved the competing bull on the opposite side of the street!
What we didn’t like:
- Call us picky, but we would have liked a little plaque explaining why the giant cow was there in the first place.
- That’s about it, everyone loved the cow!
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Day Trip Itinerary to Death Valley, including the Big Bovine as stop number 1. Interactive map available here or below: