Scotty's Castle

Scotty's Castle, Death Valley National Park: Address, Phone Number, Scotty's Castle Reviews: 4.5/5

Scotty's Castle
4.5
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Castles
About
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.
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4.5
536 reviews
Excellent
309
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141
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60
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16

Geo G
Draper, UT449 contributions
It is closed
Oct 2020
Unfortunately, Scotty's Castle has been closed since 2015. The road is also closed so you have to drive back 33 miles if you need to connect to highway 95.
Written 3 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ELKW
United States8 527 contributions
closed
Jun 2019
From the official website of the Death valley National park, it said that "Scotty's Castle is CLOSED until further notice due to flood damage, and is not likely to re-open to the public until 2021. All entry to Grapevine Canyon and Scotty's Castle district is currently prohibited." The castle appearance is attractive, however it is closed when we went there, but we can see the information about this castle in the visitor center. I post the photos taken in the visitor center for you to take a look. Also, there is a hotel in the park, with it's exterior look mimic the Scott's castle, in the same style, same color tone.
Written 5 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mary E
39 contributions
Book far in advance to take a tour - road still closed
Mar 2020
We tried to book a walking tour, the only way to get into Scotty's Castle since the flood, but there were no openings for almost 10 days. Book in advance
Written 15 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

roberth1950
Northampton, MA17 contributions
Closed, but a tour is available
Feb 2020
Scotty's Castle has been closed since 2015 as a result of a torrential rainstorm and flood, but the Park Service in conjunction with the Death Valley Natural History Association does offer two doors every Sunday through the spring. Advance reservations are essential. The tour involves a walk around the grounds with extensive history of the construction and familiar characters from Scotty's Castle as well as a look inside several outbuildings and the first floor of the main house. None of the furnishings or other decor are there, but the building itself is undamaged and even visiting the empty rooms is impressive. Our tour guide was outstanding—very well informed, entertaining, and personable. If you plan to be in the park for a few days including a Sunday, this is well worth the money and time.
Written 2 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Grebos
34 contributions
Closed
Jul 2019
Closed due to storm damage and didn’t look like it would reopen any time soon or if at all.
Shame as lots of history to the place and looked/sounded interesting.
Written 16 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jane S
Valparaiso, IN92 contributions
Research pays off!
Apr 2019 • Couples
Before we visit a national park, we always research the activities available. When we read that Scotty's Castle was closed, BUT - on Sundays a guided tour was available for 13 people, we quickly reserved our seats. We purchased our tickets in December for our April visit. We traveled by 15-passenger van over the partially washed out road to the Castle complex. Our 2-hour tour included traversing the grounds from the main gate to the stand of palms, viewing the power supply from inside the generating station, walking in the courtyard between the castle buildings, and spending good deal of time inside the main room of the castle admiring the elaborate woodwork and beautiful tile work therein. All of the furnishings have been removed due to the flood, but it didn't take much imagination to picture the grandeur that once filled that room. From the living room it was possible to peek into the dining room and the library - both characterized by the same beautiful woodwork. Our ranger, who was conducting her last tour prior to leaving for North Cascades NP, was exceptional! She regaled us with so much history of the Johnsons and Scotty that it was difficult to keep remember it all! Accompanying us was a member of the Death Valley Natural History Association, who also provided information and pointed out the water line from the flood, as it had destroyed some of the structures on the property. All in all, we would say, WOW! to our tour of Scotty's Castle. The combination of walking the grounds and hearing the stories made for an exceptional DVNP experience!
Written 20 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL6 835 contributions
One of Death Valley's major tourist attractions closed to the public
Apr 2019
For years, when planning a trip to Las Vegas, my wife and I had included a visit to Death Valley National Park and Scotty's Castle. Imagine our disappointment when we learned that the historic ranch, which was built between 1922 and 1931 and is a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, has been closed to the public since October 18, 2015, when a significant rain storm destroyed the access road to the property. The castle isn't projected to be reopened to the public until 2020. The two-story Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style villa was named for gold prospector Walter E. Scott. In truth, Scott was a con man. He never owned the property and it wasn't an actual castle. Scott, known as Death Valley Scotty, convinced Chicago millionaire Albert Johnson to invest in his gold mine in Death Valley. Even when the mine turned out to be a fraud, Johnson was fascinated with the colorful Scott and the two became friends. When the stock market crashed in 1929, construction halted. Johnson died without heirs and the National Park Service purchased the villa in 1970. Scott died in 1954 and was buried on a hill overlooking Scotty's Castle. Up until 2015, guided tours allowed visitors to see the Johnsons' original furnishings and clothing, the sounds of a 1,121-pipe Welte theater organ, a generator that provided electricity to the villa, a 1930s hot water heater and a water fountain in the Great Hall. The villa was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Written 9 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

HikingLee
San Jose, CA418 contributions
CLOSED until 2020
Feb 2019 • Family
From the Death Valley Park Brochure:

An unusually severe thunderstorm stalled over Grapevine Canyon one night in October 2015. The downpour landed on steep desert hillsides and quickly ran down to the canyon floor right where Albert Johnson built Scotty’s Castle in the 1920s.

With few plants to stabilize the soil, the flash flood consisted of mud and rocks, as
well as rushing water. In the days just after the flood, National Park Service equipment operators cleared a temporary access route for park staff to be able to drive to the Castle. Crews shoveled out mud from building interiors. In one
room it was 4 feet deep. Over the next few months, historic architects, engineers, and other experts evaluated damage and advised the park on recovery plans.

Scotty’s Castle will reopen in 2020, five years after the catastrophic flood.
Written 24 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ellen S
Estero, FL548 contributions
CLOSED, and more's the pity!
Aug 2018
Unfortunately, Scotty's Castle and the road leading to it are closed (summer of 2018), have been closed for some time (like, more than a year), and there is no proposed opening date. This is due to damage to the roads. Such a shame, because the story behind "the castle" as well as its architecture are fascinating. You can't get close enough (legally or safely) to even see it, so even though the drive to the general area is fun and beautiful, move it way down on your list.
Written 13 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rudy_sparks
Milwaukee, WI7 contributions
inaccessible
Mar 2018
Really wanted to see it but the road to it was washed out. Park info guide said they are doing work on the road and the building. He was surprised when I asked how the workers get to the castle if the road is washed out.
Written 6 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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