Gunfight at the OK Corral

Visit the Site of the World-Famous Gunfight!


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The "Gunfight at the OK Corral" is an 1881 event that really gave attention to Tombstone Arizona. It's a prime story that put the town on the world-wide map! People still talk about it, hold opinions about it & discuss it today.

Have you heard about it? Seems like you may have - and that's why you stopped by... Have you watched any of the movies about it? Maybe you've already formed your opinion on who was in the right - who was in the wrong? If so - we'd like you to let us in on what YOU think... Sound Off!!

Gunfight at the OK CorralDown Allen St., Past 4th is the OK Corral

There was one immediate outcome of the OK Corral gunfight that day -

3 men were dead, 3 men were injured -  2 somewhat seriously. But many things led up to that gunfight. Other repercussions resulted specifically from the gunfight.

Get the background and the story here:

Read More Now>

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

But first, when you come to town - how can you get a living history view of this famous OK shoot-out? There are a few ways to do that in historic Tombstone AZ. 

We want to steer you right. So what we recommend for everyone - is the place where it actually happened...

Visit the Site of The Gunfight at the OK Corral

OK Corral, Tombstone AZA Visitor in Tombstone at the OK Corral

The block on which the shoot-out occurred has been restored. It's been remade into an authentic production explaining the events of that day. You can be entertained while reliving those historical gunfight incidents.

What you'll want to do is get your tickets for the OK Corral. Here are the details you should know...

  • The OK Corral Entrance is on Allen Street, between Third & Fourth Streets: 326 E. Allen Street, Tombstone 85638
  • They're open every day; except are closed on Christmas Day & Thanksgiving Day
  • The Gunfight at the OK Corral historical site complex is open from 9 am to 5 pm
  • The OK Corral Gunfight Site has specific showtimes for the gunfight reenactment: 12 noon, 2 pm & 3:30 pm - on occasion they add an extra show if demand calls for it (call to ask if you're running late)
  • Also included in your ticket is the Historama Theater. View this production narrated by Vincent Price detailing Tombstone's history and background of the shoot-out. It begins hourly.
  • Walk the OK Corral grounds & stables to see where the gunfight took place & a representation of how it appeared in 1881.
  • Visit C.S. Fly's Photo Studio, where Doc Holliday had a rented room. View the historical photos taken there.
  • Your ticket also includes a tour of the Tombstone Epitaph Museum, the longest running newspaper in Tombstone, open from 9:30 am to 6 pm. Pick up your free reprint of the Epitaph's report of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. Learn about John Clum, its first editor, and first official Mayor of Tombstone.
  • The "Earps" & "Doc Holliday" regularly are out front for individual photos between shows
  • You can tour the OK Corral Gunfight site without taking in the reenactment show.
  • The cost for this attraction: 5 years of age & under are Free; All Activities/Events - $10 per person; Activities Without Gunfight Reenactment Show - $6 per person.
  • For any questions or details call them at (520) 457-3456

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Other OK Corral Gunfight Experiences

Shoot-out at the OK Corral Anniversary Tour: October 26

OK Corral October 26 Anniversary TourWalking the Streets of those involved in The Gunfight of the OK Corral on the Anniversary Tour

Yearly on the Anniversary of the Gunfight at the OK Corral, the OK Corral Gunfight Site sponsors a Free Tour. If you're in Tombstone on this day, we highly recommend it.

There's nothing like hearing the turn of events on the anniversary of this historical day! Here are some details:

  • It's a Walking Tour covering the streets where the men involved walked prior to the gunfight
  • If it's being sponsored, it will be held just after the Gunfight Site's closing time, about 5 pm
  • Stop at the ticket office at the OK Corral Gunfight Site during the day to let them know you're interested in the tour - they'll give you a ticket
  • Everyone with tickets gathers on Allen Street in front of the OK Corral at the time of the Tour's start
  • One of the "Earps" takes you through the happenings of that day as you walk the same streets they did all those years ago

Urban Adventure Quest - Tombstone

OK Corral Gunfight walking tourThe Family Has Lots of Fun On This Tour!

Fun Family-Friendly Walking Tour!

The Tombstone Quest is a unique adventure. Use an interactive story to discover the history of this fantastic old West town. The game starts by asking you to imagine  you've rode into Tombstone on your horse to stake a new silver mining claim. And yes - it's October 26, 1881!

The story includes the O.K. Corral, as well as other Tombstone historic icons like the Epitaph, the Bird Cage Theater, Big Nose Kate's saloon and the Court House. Solve clues and challenges while learning local history tidbits and fun facts.

  • Use your smartphone (T-Mobile & Verizon carriers) on this interactive Tombstone Tour. Great for family groups, especially with teens & kids!
  • Work as a team, and find out Tombstone's secrets.
  • Earn points along the Tour Route. Hints help you out when needed.
  • See the local sights - have fun!
  • For more details & to get your 20% Savings -
  1. Use Promo Code - TRAVELTIPS & then Click Here>

Tombstone Walking Tours by Dr. Jay

OK Corral Gunfight Tour by Dr. JayDr. Jay Explains What Happened at the OK Corral Gunfight

Local resident, Dr. Jay, schedules regular tours through the streets of Tombstone. He covers the incidents surrounding the Gunfight at the OK Corral in his tour. Read More>

Mobilized Tours

Other Tours through town go over the affairs surrounding the shoot-out. The Gunfight at the OK Corral is so identified with Tombstone Arizona, that most tours cover it to some degree. Two general tours you can consider will give you an overview of the gunfight:

  • Stagecoach Tours - These are fun! Take transportation that was common for people living in the days of the Wild West! Hear an overview of Tombstone's history, as well as the OK Corral Shoot-out. More Here>
  • Trolley Tours - Tombstone Trolleys take you to areas that the Stagecoaches don't cover. They do a little overlapping. The narration is exceptional! We really recommend these tours, as well as a Stagecoach. They cover info on the Gunfight, as well as other interesting historical events/areas. Read More>

The OK Corral Gunfight Events 
October 26, 1881 Summary

Preceding Events

The immediate prelude to the Gunfight at the OK Corral began the day before - October 25th. Two area ranchers, known as The Cow-boys arrived in Tombstone around lunchtime. They were Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury. Their intent was to do some errands, and then hit the saloons for some enjoyment.

Wyatt Earp had previously made a deal with Ike. Wyatt had been vying for the position of Cochise County Sheriff the next year. He thought if he could make a capture of recent stage robbers, it would improve his chances.

His deal with Ike had been for help in organizing the capture of those robbers. He had ties to the culprits. Wyatt offered him the (dead or alive) reward money, he only wanted the renown for the capture. Ike agreed with assurances his involvement would be kept secret.

Meanwhile the stage robbers were gunned down & killed by stockmen named the Haslett Brothers. Ike realized the deal was off. He now thought Wyatt had no reason to keep quiet about the agreement. He never had a really friendly relationship with the Earps, and it now deteriorated further.

Ike Growls

Western Bar

So on October 25th, Ike Clanton and Frank McLaury were in Tombstone bars, drinking and gambling throughout the day and into the night. As their intoxication level increased their mood began to sour. By 1 in the morning of the 26th, Ike went into the Occidental's lunch counter for some food. Doc Holliday and Morgan Earp happened to be in there also.

Some say Doc was irritable, and both he and Ike began getting at each other. It's unclear really who began it all, but both were obviously inebriated. They cursed each other, with Doc finally telling Ike to get out his gun. Ike told him he wasn't armed. Doc said "Go arm yourself then."1 Apparently Ike went off to do just that.

Oddly he returned and began playing poker with Tom, Virgil Earp and a few others. But Ike still griped about how Doc had treated him. When the game ended at about 6 am, he walked in the street by Virgil. Ike complained to Virgil the "son of a bitch has got to fight." He replied to Ike, "I am an officer....I am going down home now to go to bed, I don't want you to raise any disturbance while I am in bed." 2 

Ike Violates the Gun Law

Ike Clanton interacted with some others in town, roaming around with a Winchester complaining about Doc Holliday and the Earps. City Ordinance No. 9 did not allow gun carry within the town limits without a special permit. Word spread that there was going to be an encounter.

Virgil comes from behind

When Virgil awoke, he heard of Ike's actions. He called on Wyatt and Morgan - together they found Ike about lunchtime. Right on 4th Street, North of Allen, Virgil went to Ike from the rear. He struck him on the side of his head with his pistol, causing a bloody injury. He took Ike's guns and brought him to court. While Justice Wallace fined him $25 and $2.50 in costs, Ike continuously chewed out the Earps.

On this morning Tom McLaury heard of Ike's arrest and court proceedings. He put up his own gun, as the law required, at the Capitol Saloon and went to find Ike. Nearby the court Wyatt appeared and asked Tom if he was armed - he said no. Wyatt slapped his face and then used his old Dodge City tactic - clunking him hard on the head with his own pistol. Tom fell to the ground, and Wyatt left him there.

Cow-boy Brothers

Big Nose Kate's Bar, Tombstone AZInside Big Nose Kate's

Shortly after this occurred, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton - Ike and Tom's brothers - also arrive in Tombstone. They went into the Grand Hotel (currently where Big Nose Kate's is located) and exchanged greetings with Doc Holliday, shaking hands. Others there let them know the events of the morning with the Earps and their brothers.

Frank and Billy set out to find them, locating Ike and Tom at Spangenberg's Gun Shop, where Ike purchased a gun. Frank secured his horse on the sidewalk in front - against a town ordinance. Wyatt came along, and purposely moved Frank's horse into the street. There was a heated, wordy exchange!

Virgil came along and no arrests were made, since it seemed the McLaurys and Clantons were now intent on leaving town. Sheriff Behan also interceded as they were headed out, and confirmed they weren't in violation if they were leaving town.

The O.K Corral

Tom & Frank, and Ike & Billy walked through Dunbar's Stable toward the OK Corral. They gathered in a vacant lot to the west of C.S. Fly's boarding house and photo gallery. That's also just Northwest of where you see the OK Corral entrance now. A friend of Billy Clanton came in there with them - Billy Claiborne. They stood a bit, talking about what had been going on. Frank and Billy Clanton saddled up, getting ready to ride out.

Sheriff Behan

At the same time, Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan Earp got together with Doc Holliday. Hearing how the Cow-boys had been mouthing off around town of the treatment they'd endured at the Earps' hand that morning, they weren't pleased.

They felt that these Cowboys might not actually be leaving town. And if not, Virgil planned "to take away their arms, intimidate them, and again show them who was boss."3 Walking West on Fremont Street, Sheriff Behan tried calling them off. [See a paper related to his court testimony: pages 13 & 29 - Click Here>]

But they brushed past him, and continued on...

The Gunfight at the OK Corral happened in the space of about 30 secondsThe Drama of the Gunfight Brought World-wide Fame to Tombstone

The Shoot-out is Imminent...

The Earps, Clantons and McClaurys in the Gunfight at the OK Corral

As they went into the lot, Claiborne sensed the ominous tone and left. The Earps went right up to the Clantons and McLaurys. Virgil said "Boys, throw up your hands, I want your guns."4 Another voice said - many think it was Wyatt - "you have been looking for a fight, and now you can have it." 5

Winchester rifle

Then the firing started! Quickly it all happened. It is hard to say with whom it began, it was essentially simultaneously. All told, when it began, there was about a bullet a second for half a minute!

Morgan's first shot hit Billy's wrist, hampering his shooting efforts. He was further hit in the chest and gut, but still managed to empty his gun. C.S. Fly came out of his shop and took Billy's gun as he was calling for more ammo.6

Tom was shot in the chest, close-range, by Doc.7 He wobbled down the street to the corner, and fell over. Unconscious, he lay there while the gunfight was ending.8 Frank was mortally wounded when he was hit in the head.9

Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton were dead by the end of the day. Virgil Earp was shot in the right leg, Morgan Earp took bullets across the back hitting both shoulder blades. Doc Holliday was just grazed by his hip. Wyatt was not at all harmed. Ike Clanton fled the scene after the shooting began.10


The next day town folk watched a procession to the Town Cemetery - Boothill. Funeral wagons carried the McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton. A banner on the front wagon proclaimed "Murdered on the Streets of Tombstone."

Talk in Tombstone was split over who was to blame. The two main newspapers, as well. The Epitaph supported the Earps, the Nugget supported the Cow-boys.

The aftermath of the Gunfight at the OK Corral took on a life of its own. The surviving Cow-boys, especially Ike Clanton, continued seeking his own justice.

The Earps, especially Wyatt, felt their reputation was wronged. Subsequent actions by the Cow-boys provoked further actions on Wyatt's part, which led to another Chapter in the story of Wyatt Earp.


1 Ike Clanton testimony, Turner, OK Corral Inquest, p. 33.

2 Virgil Earp disposition, Turner, OK Corral Inquest, p.191.

3Bailey, L.R. (2004) Too tough to die: The rise, fall, and resurrection of a silver camp; 1878 to 1990. Tucson: Westernlore Press.

4 Linder, Douglas, ed. (2005). "Testimony of Virgil Earp in the Preliminary Hearing in the Earp Case". Famous trials: The O. K. Corral trial. Retrieved 10 August 2017. From Turner, Alford (Ed.), The O. K. Corral Inquest (1992)

Bailey, L.R.(2004) Too tough to die: The rise, fall, and resurrection of a silver camp; 1878 to 1990. Tucson: Westernlore Press.

6 Turner, Alford E. (1981). The OK Corral Inquest. College Station, Texas: Creative Publishing company. ISBN 0-932702-16-3.

7 Weir, William (2009). History's Greatest Lies: the Startling Truths Behind World Events our History Books Got Wrong. Beverly, Mass.: Fair Winds Press. p. 288. ISBN 1-59233-336-2.

8 "Another Chapter in the Bloody Episode". Famous Trials. Retrieved 10 August 2017.

9 Ibid. 

10 Bailey, L.R. (2004) Too tough to die: The rise, fall, and resurrection of a silver camp; 1878 to 1990. Tucson: Westernlore Press.

What Do You Think?

We'd like you to express your opinion on the events of that day. Give us your input. As mentioned, when people learn about it - feelings still run high! Here's a chance to express your view on that shoot-out. And the events leading up to it.

  • What is your assessment? 
  • What comments do you have about the men involved? 
  • Who do you think instigated the Gunfight at the OK Corral? 
  • Who was more at fault? 
  • Do you think it was an inevitable situation?

Let's hear what you have to say...

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