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“A Special Castle” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Scotty's Castle

Scotty's Castle
123 Scottys Castle Road, Death Valley National Park, CA 92328
(760) 786-2392
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Group tours/walking tour, Group tours/day tour
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 1920s vacation home in the desert was built by insurance magnate Albert Johnson. However, at the time most people believed it belonged to Death Valley Scotty, who claimed to have a secret gold mine in the tunnels beneath it. 99% of the contents are original from when the Johnssons vacationed there in the 1920s and 1930s. You can walk the grounds or read the exhibits in the visitor center for free. However, access to the House, Underground, or Lower Vine Ranch are by guided tour only. You can reserve tickets before 9pm the previous day, or tickets are usually available to customers upon arrival. House Tours last one hour and are offered every day. Summer hours are very limited (10:00, 12:00 and 2:00 only). Tours are offered more frequently in cooler, busier months. Tours cost $15/person, or $7.50/child 6-15, person with an Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass. Underground Tours are usually only offered a few times per day from November through April. Tickets cost $15/person, or there is a combination price of $25/person for the House Tour and Underground Tour. The 2-mile, 2 1/2 hour hiking tour to Lower Vine Ranch is only offered on select dates, usually from January through March. The cost is $20/person. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Torrance, California
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“A Special Castle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

What an excellent trip. We made this our only activity the second day of our stay in Death Valley, and it was worth it. We booked tickets in advance for both the house tour and underground tour, and good thing as the place is quite popular! The guides are park rangers in period costume, and have an encyclopedic knowledge of the property. Tip: arrive about an hour early to take advantage of the exceptional visitor center exhibits. The property also has a sizable parking lot, and about a dozen picnic benches for snacking or lunch before to begin your journey inside.

Visited February 2013
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Vancouver Island
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“It could be better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

This is a very interesting place. Can you imagine why or how rich people and shysters planned and built a place like this ? The tour is really based on the skill of the guide. We had a very nice guide who was challenged by some dominating guests who were quite frankly a pain in the butt. He just couldn't get past them and we suffered. The house is interesting but we wondered if the National Parks Service could perhaps invest some more money in maintenance ? It is worth a visit

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“You've come this far...don't miss it!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

If you are in Death Valley, do not miss a visit Scotty's Castle. You cannot see the inside of the Castle (really a home, not a castle!) without doing a guided tour. There are two tours, one of the residence and one of the basement where you can see how everything works (my husband particularly enjoyed that). If you have two hours and $25 each available....do both tours...after all, you probably won't be passing by again any time soon! If you can only do one, it is $15 to see the house and the tour takes an hour! 

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Well worth the drive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Scotty's Castle is a good drive from Furance Creek, but well worth it. I recommend both tours, the house and underground. Both are done by rangers in period costume, and while I am sure they all do well, the house tour by ranger / reporter Kate was excellent. She is quite the thespian, and keeps it quite fun an interesting. As a tourist, I can say I was quite satisfied. And ask her why the exit stairs wind in the direction they do. I would allocate at least a half a day for this, given the location, time between tours, and the fact that it is worth wandering around some while you are there. No fuel at this location, and food is confined to what they have in a cold case (sandwiches and the like). Fun drive to out of the park into Nevada from here -- a straight road through nothing but desert.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hudson, Ohio
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19 reviews 19 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Visiting Scotty's castle, Death Valley National Park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Interesting place to visit. Perfect weather in February. Informative park rangers answer all your questions. A little off the beaten track, even for Death Valley. Worth the 50 mile drive from Furnace Creek. note: you cannot buy gas there. Drive with a full tank.

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