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Mystery Castle

Neighborhood: South Mountain
Sponsored by:
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Address: 800 East Mineral Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040
Phone Number: 602-268-1581
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Monday
Closed
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Hours:
Thu - Sun 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Description:

Built by a father to realize his daughter's dream, this three-story castle,...

Built by a father to realize his daughter's dream, this three-story castle, completed in 1945, is made of stone, adobe, automobile parts and petroglyphs and is held together by a cement mixture including goat's milk. Take a tour - usually led by the daughter, who still lives there - of this odd, yet imaginative dwelling.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 190 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 51
    Excellent
  • 81
    Very good
  • 41
    Average
  • 9
    Poor
  • 8
    Terrible
Very unique tour

I have lived near this place for 10 years but never took the tour. It has a great history and great views of downtown Phoenix. The builder was the original master of recycling... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 weeks ago
Johnson43172
,
Phoenix, Arizona, United States

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190 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
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Time of year
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Lincoln, Nebraska
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I loved the guided tour along with my 3 daughters aged 21 down to 12. The history of the tale, how it was built, the artifacts, the details and the entire story was magical. Wonderful visit and wonderful guides along with way.

Helpful?
Thank Rachel7223
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We were taken here by friends and had no prior knowledge of the existence of the quirky building. We enjoyed the tour guide who seemed well versed in the history and kept the tour flowing. You need to get tactile and feel the materials used and wonder at the struggles overcome to not only put together such a collection of... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mike C
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Great way to kill a few hours. Tours start at any time, I like the way they have it set up so that when you get there you can join part of one tour, then pick up another to see the parts you missed. Admission is $10, I personally feel it is worth $7-8. But I definitely don't regret going.... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Kim B
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Mystery Castle is a fun and quirky place to visit. Hidden at the base of South Mountain you will learn about a man who came to the desert for a sad reason but utilized all he could find to build his castle. If you like the unusual you will love listening to the history of the place and checking... More 

Helpful?
Thank Penny P
Holland, Michigan
Level Contributor
155 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We had so much fun here! There is a wonderful story attached to the castle, and the tour guides were so great in telling it! What an eclectic place! It's amazing that the castle was lived in until 2010 by the builder's daughter. There were so many neat and inovative ideas that Mr. Gulley built into the castle. If you... More 

Helpful?
Thank 123Freckles
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have lived near this place for 10 years but never took the tour. It has a great history and great views of downtown Phoenix. The builder was the original master of recycling. He used old car parts, old railroad tracks and many other innovations to build this structure. It's is worth the visit.

Helpful?
Thank Johnson43172
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We enjoyed our visit to the Mystery Castle. It is fascinating to see what one man's visit can produce! It was fun to see all of the repurposed items and how he incorporated them into the home. The view is beautiful. The tours are continuous, so you can arrive at any time and be accommodated. The tour guides were great.

Helpful?
Thank Helno1946
Monaca, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2016 via mobile

Loved the house very unique. The views were awesome from anywhere in the place. Can't believe he built it himself. The special features were ingenious. The tour guides were very knowledgeable about the history of the Castle as well as the surrounding area. A must see.

Helpful?
Thank Scruffybiker
Las Vegas
Level Contributor
75 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2015

I would recommend this attraction - it has an interesting history and architecture as a homemade building made almost completely of the gatherings of a desert pack rat. A criticism: The tours are quite "unstructured" as you can end up entering a tour or have someone else enter your tour on an almost random basis. This can result in redundancies... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Zoomie70
Fort Wayne, Indiana
2 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2015

I wish the folks giving the tour would be more professional. I wish they had more fun with it, so I would have. I read Mary Lou Gulley's book before going and was glad I did. I almost felt like I knew more than them and they were just passing time giving the tours. It was worth the $10 (cash-really?).... More 

Helpful?
Thank Peg H

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Questions & Answers

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11 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?