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“A Castle in the Middle of No Where”
Review of Scotty's Castle

Scotty's Castle
Book In Advance
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$214.99*
and up
Death Valley Day Trip from Las Vegas
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Scotty's Castle CLOSED until 2019 due to flood damage. 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.
Reviewed April 1, 2014

This is one of the biggest attractions when visiting Death Valley. It's about 40 miles off the main road and they're currently doing road work which makes it a more complicated when trying to get in. We got up there finally and bought tickets for the house tour only because we were limited on time. We were told of the "rules" which included no backpacks, purses, food or drink! I'm a teacher and I see the importance of rules but for heavens sake NO water? It's Death Valley people!! I was extremely annoyed by this because I also didn't want to leave my belongings unattended in the car and I didn't want my 14 month old daughter get thirsty on the hour tour. There wasn't much excitement in seeing this place built in the 1930's. They have a small shop with drinks and small snacks but no real food. I would NOT do it again.

3  Thank amanda42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 - 244 of 521 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2014

In the far north end of the park,sits this amazing two story spanish villa called scottys castle. This place is a true larger than life story of a con man, a wealthy investor, and a lifelong friendship formed from the most unlikely of situations. Even today most people are amazed to learn that scotty did not own scottys castle or even live here!

Driving north on the 190 from furnace creek, continue some 55 miles (past stovepipe wells) to the north end of the park. Here you will find signs on the right for scottys castle rt 267. go right for 3 miles to the visitor center on the left. there is ample parking here for plenty of people.

The complex here includes the visitor center (make this your first stop), Restrooms a short walk in back of the vc, a small museum/giftshop, the castle itself,the grounds with additional buildings,and scottys grave.
You will want to purchase tickets for the castle tour ,underground tour or both. the tickets are 15 for each or 25 for both. the tours are about an hour long and run every hour from 10 to 4 pm. Reservations are not necessary but you can buy tickets in advance by calling 1-877-444-6777 or www.recreation.gov

The castle tour itself is conducted by park rangers dressed in time period clothing. All do a great job at putting you in the right setting. The rangers ask your help to protect this treasure by placing booties over your boots/shoes (they provide for you) dont worry one size fits all. In a recent case of damage the rangers are now asking not to bring any backpacks bags or personal items. You can bring your camera just not your camera bag.

During your tour you will learn about the story of how this place all came into being and the colorful people who make it all happen. (i wont spoil anything for you). All i will say is everything in the castle is authentic hand picked and original from the owners. Aside from the castle , there are other buildings and the rest of the grounds you are welcome to explore including scottys grave.

I would allow a 1 and half hour drive from furnace creek to get here (providing no construction delays) check with the rangers before going. I would also gas up for there are no fuel stations here,or restaurants. You will need an hour for the tour half hour to walk around another hour if doing the underground tour.

The center has pre-made sandwiches for sale and a limited drink selection. the price is high as i would expect. But your lucky they have anything at all. close by is the ubehebe crater and the drive to the racetrack.

This was the misses favorite stop in the whole park. I would rank it as a not to be missed attraction filled with history and a wonderful story of tall tales and friendship. I would make time to see the castle if your in death valley you wont regret it....................

3  Thank mountiamsandcanyons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2014

Tour guides make Scotty's Castle come alive. Small group numbers are allowed during each time slot, making for an a more personal experience. Book your tour in advance and allow plenty of travel time from your lodging area. Hard to imagine anyone could have found this place with water, let alone build a "castle". This tour was a highlight during our trip to Death Valley.

Thank Bev W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Well worth paying for both tours. One is a tour of the mechanical, cooling, power distribution and underground that made the house liveable in such a hostile environment. The other is a tour of the house. The guides clue you in on the character called Scotty as you learn the house belonged to a wealthy couple named Johnson.

Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Our guide group had a young lady who played the role at various points in the castle tour. She was good and really made you understand just how slick Scotty was in his day! The place seems unbelievably weird to be seen in the middle of nowhere...all them more reason I guess to check it out....and then do drive over to Ubehebe Crater while in that part of the park. Absolutely remember to bring plenty of water and food...plan a picnic because the food options are very, very slim to none.

2  Thank Mary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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