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Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

Atascadero...
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Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

We will be in DV in a couple of weeks and will be doing some of the back roads. We are traveling with people who have never been to DV before and they want to see Scotty's Castle, however we also want to do the drive to the Race Track. Can we do both in the same day? We will be there on a weekend. Will the Castle be crowded?

Edmonton, Canada
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1. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

i thought the tour at scotty's castle was really interesting and i would recommend it. if i recall, i think we were there a total of about 90 minutes.

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

What kind of car do you have re driving rd to the racetrack? You can do both in the same day if you have a proper car. Always ask about roadconditions to the racetrack first.

Atascadero...
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3. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

We are driving a 4-wheel drive SUV and a 4-wheel drive pick-up truck. We have been on 4-wheel drive roads before so we are somewhat experienced. We will be starting the day from the Furnance Creek Inn. How long will it take us to complete the Race Track drive? If we want to do both Scotty's castle and Race Track should we do the Castle first?

Tucson, Arizona
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for Dusseldorf
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4. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

I would do the racetrack first. I would leave myself about 1.5 hours from Ubehebe to the Racetrack depending on the condition of the road and how good your tires are...the road is notorious for eating tires. I have always taken the slow and easy approach and never had a flat but the road was endless....then see the sights and return to Scotties. The two experiences are so very different. Scotties is by time ticket so you should check and see when the last couple of tours are. Have fun, you can do both quite easily depending on how long you spend at the racetrack.

ZB

Sacramento...
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5. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

We did the Racetrack, both Scottie's Castle tours, and spent a bit of time at Ubehebe Crater last year, with 9 and 7 year old kids.

The House tour was first; I don't remember what time, but must have been 9am or 10am a the latest. We bought the tickets for the last afternoon Underground tour (3:45 or 4:00pm?) at the same time, because it sounded really interesting (and was!) and the combo ticket seemed like a good deal.

It took about 1.5 hours each way to the Racetrack, and we spent about an hour on the playa (go to the far southern end and walk out to the rocks; most are at the far end near the mountainside). We had a half hour or so at Ubehebe crater, where I stupidly let my 7yo convince me to take him down about halfway into the crater -- too a lot longer to get back out :-)

Beware that the Racetrack road does eat tires -- we were lucky to make the tour, as one tire was flat by the time we got back up. I changed it in record time (much easier on the paved parking area than it would have been on the Racetrack road!), and we got back to the castle and ran up to our tour just before they went into the building. Phew! Like I said, well worth it though.

The tours do sell out, but I think a lot of people get there later in the morning. Leave FC or wherever early and get there before the first tour at 9am. You can also buy tickets online in advance at recreation.gov.

If you're doing other backcountry roads, I assume you'll have a high clearance vehicle with better tires; I wouldn't recommend a standard passenger car do it, though did see some (we had our Toyota Highlander Hybrid). The berms on the side are what killed our tire -- the trick I know now is when you have to pull to the right for a vehicle coming the other way is to *stop*, and let the other guy roll through the sharp rocks :-)

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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6. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

In busier visitor seasons, it isn't a bad idea to reserve your Castle tour tickets to be sure you can get the time you want, especially if you plan to go to the Racetrack first. Tours are given from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and you wouldn't want to arrive just in time for the last tour to find that it is sold out. That can happen because the tours are limited to 19 people.

nps.gov/deva/…scottys-castle.htm

There are two house tours, the regular one and the underground tour (non ADA), which takes you into the basements and passageways where you can see the generators, plumbing and other utility installations, and solar power system, Someone who is interested in architecture, engineering, or environmental topics would enjoy the underground tour.

At the park visitor center, one of the most common questions is about going to the Racetrack (even in summer). The Racetrack is very famous with people all over the world who are intrigued by its mystique. Many of them have regular rental cars with standard street tires, which would be no match for the road. Aside from telling them that we do not recommend going in the summer, we also have an artifact that we show, a rock that I call the shark's tooth. It came from the Racetrack Road and is about 6 inches long, roughly tooth shaped, with edges sharp enough to make a hole in your hand. I would tell people that if they had one spare tire and encountered one such rock, they would be fine.

Edited: 3:52 am, February 23, 2013
Uden, The...
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7. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

Also don't forget to drive Titus Canyon on another day. I know people who did Titus and the Racetrack in one day from Furnace Creek Inn with a Jeep from Farabees. Took them 9 hours.

Atascadero...
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8. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

Thank you one and all! This answers my questions and gives me a good picture of what to expect. Much alppreciarted.

Camp Sherman, Oregon
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9. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

Lot's of good advice above.

Last March we were pumped up to do the "playa" and as we entered the road for the Race Track on the first slight curve left I was excitedly going a bit too fast and my 2wd truck did some fish tailing and I almost did a slight nose dive into the sandy berms on my right. Luckily I have had a lot of experience in roads such as this in 2wd trucks(many) and was able to carefully correct the situation without plowing in. Always good to have some weight in back. Now I have a four wheel drive truck and we'll try it again next month!

10. Re: Race Track and Scotty's Castle?

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