If you're planning on heading to Death Valley, Scotty's Castle will take you on a trip back in time.
Hidden in Grapevine Canyon in far northern Death Valley, Scotty's Castle takes you on a journey into the past. The castle's structure features Spanish-Mediterranean stylings, while the interior features unique hand-wrought iron and tile, tapestries and European custom-made furniture The property was both the vacation home for wealthy businessman Albert Johnson and a hideout for Death Valley Scotty. Death Valley Scotty was one of the town legends and most famous miners in the area.
The living history tour is sure to blow your mind. Open every day of the year, Scotty's Castle House Tour takes you through the main house interior. Tours last about 50 minutes and are given at least once an hour from November through mid-April (four times a day in the summer). Each tour can take a maximum of 19 people. This is also the only way to explore the main house.
For those who want to dig a bit deeper into the castle, make sure not to miss the underground tour. This tour takes you into the basement of Scotty's Castle where you'll get a look at the historic technology that was highly advanced at its time. You'll also see modern technology used to preserve the castle. See a demonstration of the Pelton Water Wheel that generates electricity in the castle. This tour is completely separate from the house tour and lasts about an hour. If you've never visited Scotty's Castle before, we recommend checking out the house tour first. This tour is not available during the summer months, but is held at least three times a day November through April (occasionally during May, September and October).
Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy a Lower Vine Ranch Hike, a look into the area of Scotty's "real" home. Lower Vine Ranch is usually closed to the public, but sometimes a park ranger can provide a tour. Each hike is limited to 15 people. The two-mile walk lasts about 2.5 hours. Don't forget your good walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat!
While the castle seems like a reasonable lodging area, it is an attraction site only. The Mesquite Spring Campground (no hookups available) is located five miles south of Scotty's Castle. If you plan on spending the day at Scotty's Castle, picnic areas are open 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. during the winter and 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. in the summer. Sandwiches, bottled water, soda and snacks are available at the visitor's center.
Keep in mind that fuel is not available at Scotty's Castle. The nearest gas stations are at Stovepipe Wells (45 miles south), Furnace Creek (53 miles south) and Beatty, Nev. (60 miles southeast). Since there is no cell phone reception, pay phones are available at the Grapevine Ranger Station three miles south of the castle.