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“Way Ahead of It's Time” 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
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.
Whittier, California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Way Ahead of It's Time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

A must see if you go to Death Valley. Amazing technical ingenuity especially for the 1920's. The folklore and mystery surrounding the "CASTLE" are great. Buy your tickets online before you go. And try to get both the house and and the underground tours, they are both well worth the price and the time. Again this is the middle of nowhere, but you wouldn't know by the amenities provided at the "castle".

Visited March 2013
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San Mateo, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Well worth a stop”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

I have toured the house a couple of times... most recently in March 2013. First of all it is amazing... a castle in the desert. Very different from anything else around. The stories of Johnson the insurance man and Scotty the con-man are wonderful. The building is beautiful.

The first time I took the tour (2006) it was first person... the guide was stuck in 1930, and knew nothing of more modern events... It was a spectacular tour. My teen age son had a great time as well. On my recent tour, the guide did not do first person, and when asked was a bit defensive... In all, he was not one of the best house tour guides I have seen, but even with a lesser guide the tour was worth it, and both I and daughter and friends had a blast.

In 2006 I took the underground tour as well... lots of fun, lots more information about the place... also worth it.

The castle is very different than other Death Valley experiences... It is a long way from other things... if staying in Death Valley this makes a good day with a loop through Beatty and Ryolite.

Visited March 2013
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rochester
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Cool living in the dessert”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

Very interesting tours of this home at the north end of death valley. The high volume of water from an underground spring made life here on a comfortable oasis possible. Built by an insurance company owner in the twentys. Had its own generators too.

Visited March 2013
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Anchorage, Alaska
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“What a surprise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

What is surprise ! A cattle in the middle of no where. Turn over it has quite a story. I enjoy my trip so much, even though I had to drive more than 40 miles out of our way to see it. Make sure you stop by to see the Ubehebe Crater also. If you have time, I recommend you take the full tour for both the castle and the underground.

Visited March 2013
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Overland Park, KS
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
41 attraction reviews
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Very Good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

We did the upstairs and basement tours--a little expensive and I was a little skeptical, but ultimately ended up enjoying it. I did have more fun on the underground/basement tour though as it went more into the technology of things there---amazing technology/design for when and where this beautiful home was built. It is a bit of a haul to get up there (assuming you are staying at Furnace Creek), but worth the drive.

Visited March 2013
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