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About Gilman Ranch

Riverside County’s Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum preserves, celebrates, and interprets the history of late 1800’s California, from the Cahuilla Indians to the exploration and settlement of southern California and the San Gorgonio Pass.

Explore a piece of the past at the Gilman Ranch and Wagon Museum. Once just an adobe hut, then a stage stop and general store and finally an expansive ranch house, the Gilman Ranch site remains today a storybook of the past. Now also home to the largest public collection of wagons, buggies and stagecoaches in the Inland Empire, this site is a must-see for locals and tourists alike.


1901 Wilson Street Banning, CA, 92220
(951) 922-9200 or (800) 234-PARK (7275)

    Site Hours

    Ranch and Museum

    • Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum will be closed in observance of County holidays: November 25, 2023.

    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.2nd and 4th Saturdays

    Reserve Fees

    Day Use
    $4 per adult

    $3 per child (under 12 years of age)

    $1 per dog


    $5 per adult

    Tours for groups of 10+ people are available on Fridays by appointment only.




    • Reservations are required for all Programs, Tours, or Classes; 48 hour cancellation notice is required.
    • Reservations for tours or school groups should be made 1 – 2 months in advance.
    • Minimum group size for Programs or School Tours is 15 people; maximum group size is 75 people.
    • School Tours available Fridays, between 9:00am-12:00pm by Appointment Only, if arriving late tours will be shortened.
    • Programs and tours run 2-3 hours long.
    • Mail check to: Gilman Historic Ranch 1901 W. Wilson St. Banning, CA 92220. Please make checks payable to: Gilman Historic Ranch
    • Tour is $8.00 per person
    • School groups should bring lunch, water bottle, closed shoes and jacket.
    • Store will be open from 12:30pm-1:30pm.
    • For more information or to make reservations for a program, tour, or class, please contact Gilman Ranch at (951) 922-9200.


    Join or support the Gilman Ranch Hands!

    The Gilman Ranch Hands is an all-volunteer group that is committed to preserving and enhancing the Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum in Banning, California. To learn more about joining and/or supporting Gilman Ranch Hands group, visit their facebook page.

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    School Programs

    The Gilman Historic Ranch & Wagon Museum offers two specific programs and one general program tailored to meet the California State standards for the 3rd and 4th grade curriculum’s. These programs help make California’s history personal to each student as they explore this rich historic site. New perspectives are gained through demonstrations that bring a realism to that which is normally only read of in books, and a hands on participation creates a further desire to learn more. Note that the following three programs can be easily adjusted to match any age group or groups with special needs.

    Fee: $8.00 per student (Includes craft)

    Native Americans of the Pass Program

    This program introduces lifestyles of the Native Americans of the San Gorgonio Pass, emphasizing their cultural and historical significance to the area. With a walk across this ancient site, students will experience the importance, to the Cahuilla, of indigenous plants for medicinal, ceremonial, dietary, and other functional purposes. Hands on opportunities abound, and students may experience grinding seeds with a mano and metate, throwing a rabbit stick, launching an atlatl dart, or drilling holes with traditional hand drills. Every student will return home with a craft, as well as, memories to last a life time.

    Fee: $8.00 per student (Includes craft)

    California Gold Rush and Western Expansion Program

    The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 accelerated the population growth to the Western United States, with a tidal wave of immigrants coming to California to seek their fortunes. Students will have an opportunity to “strike it rich” as they pan for fool’s gold (pyrite) near our spring fed stream (and “yes” they keep what they find). The Gilman Ranch is rich in history, as the students will discover while treading on remnants of the wagon trail as early gold prospectors did in 1862. Further exploration of the Ranch will include the Gilman House, several outbuildings, and the Jose Pope Adobe Ruins. Contrast between today’s life style and that of people from the 1800’s creates a lasting memory that immerses visitors in days gone by.

    Fee: $8.00 per student (Includes vial for gold)

    Gilman Ranch Tours

    Tours for non-school groups start with a look through the Wagon Museum. The Westward migration, California’s past, and the varied history of the Gilman Ranch come to life through the collection of wagons and other artifacts. Other stops on the tour include the Victorian-style Gilman ranch house, original outbuildings (including the carriage house, milk shed, olive curing shed, and long barn with its blacksmith shop and tool room), Jose Pope Adobe ruins, and old stagecoach trail.

    Fee: $5.00 per individual

    Additional Information & History

    A particular highlight of Gilman Historic Ranch is the Wagon Museum that displays a collection of authentic wagons, including an overland stagecoach, a “prairie schooner,” and a chuck wagon. In addition to exploring the artifacts, visitors can gain insight into life on the Western Frontier when they read diary entries of a Kansas woman, Helen McCowen Carpenter, about the grueling journey west. Inside the museum is an affordable gift shop with unique items for purchase.

    On the ranch, visitors will find authentic sheds that were used for curing olives, storing milk, and housing carriages. Also nearby are the ruins of the Jose Pope Adobe, which was the first structure built in the San Gorgonio Pass when Jose Pope constructed it to use as a bunkhouse for cattlemen. When James Marshall Gilman purchased the property in 1869, he acquired the adobe, which subsequently became his home/general store/stagecoach. Later, he built a larger wood ranch house, a rebuilt version of which stands on the property today. Inside the Victorian style ranch house, visitors will find family photographs and various items owned by the Gilman family.

    In close proximity to the ranch house is the location of the infamous murder of a young woman’s father by Willie Boy, a young Paiute Native American. A visit from President Taft to the Riverside area around the same time led the public to believe that his life was in danger, gaining the murder national press coverage and sparking an extensive manhunt. Though several versions of this story exist, one interpretation was captured in the film “Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here” which starred Robert Redford and was filmed in part at the Gilman Ranch.

    Gilman Ranch is a terrific setting for relaxation or play, with picnic tables and barbeque grills shaded by olive trees planted by the Gilmans over 100 years ago and bordered by a green lawn that hosts a dazzling variety of fruit and nut trees, including white figs, black figs, plums, blood oranges, navel oranges, tangerines, walnuts, persimmons, pomegranates, lemons and grapefruit. Nearby are short hiking trails offering incredible views of the Banning Pass. A very short distance away is a creek that runs year-round and attracts wildlife like deer, bears, coyotes and bobcats.

    A variety of fun and informative programs are offered at Gilman Ranch that serve as an excellent way to explore the Old West. Make reservations to learn more about the California Gold Rush and pan for fool’s gold (Pyrite), or sign up for the Native American program to have hands on experience of the Native American lifestyle. Pick up a park brochure at the Riverside County Park District Headquarters or drop into the park and check it out.