‘Bonanza’: Take a Tour of the Enormous Mansion That Sits on the Show’s Old Ranch

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images)

Fans of the long-running western series “Bonanza” might recognize the view from this stunning estate in Lake, Tahoe Nevada. During the opening title sequence, viewers saw the characters on horseback riding along a trail with mesmerizing Sierra Nevada mountains as the backdrop. 

While many shows were filmed on Hollywood sets at the time, “Bonanza” was actually filmed on the land near Lake Tahoe, before the future owners built the breathtaking 16,700-square-foot lakefront home in 2004.

In 2020, the previous owners sold the estate where the fictional Ponderosa Ranch sat for a whopping $38 million. George and Clare Schmitt, the former owners, recently retired and first listed the home in 2016 for $59 million. That price included an adjoining 23-acre equestrian center with wide-open fields where the “Bonanza” intro was shot.

Sitting on 24 acres on Lake Tahoe’s stunning Zephyr Cove, the two-story home has 278 feet of sandy beachfront along with its own private pier and pavilion. In 2004, the home’s exterior was built with more than 400 tons of Montana stone. 

The Estate From Fictional Ponderosa Ranch From ‘Bonanza’ Sells for $38 Million

The stone-clad mansion features several formal living spaces with high-beamed ceilings, giant fireplaces, and elaborate chandeliers. Inside, the home features eight bedrooms, including the ground-floor master suite. There are two living rooms, a theater, a game room with a bar, and a gym with an ensuite bath and sauna. In addition, there are two offices and a craft room. 

Of course, the home wouldn’t be complete without a grand staircase that crosses the front entrance and circles up the two-story foyer. From the inside, you get a marvelous view of the lake from the large windows. 

In the winters, you can warm up with nine fireplaces and in-floor hydronic heat. The kitchen also includes a butler’s pantry and wine room. There are also two laundry rooms.

For outdoor entertaining, owners can treat their guests to a built-in barbecue, patio, and sauna. Overnight guests can also stay in the two-bedroom guest home over the four-car garage.

According to Realtor.com, the estate and property had been listed and relisted several times in the past few years at different prices from different owners.

The estate has been on and off the market for the last five years. The owners initially listed it for $59 million in 2016, along with another property. Before several price reductions, which divided the land, it brought down the price tag to $39.9 million.