Death Valley Scotty's Castle

Death Valley Scotty's Castle
Scotty’s Castle is located in Death Valley National Park, California
near Rhyolite Ghost Town and John S. Cook Bank. Pictures of
Glowing Mountain Golden Canyon, the Badlands, and Ubehebe Crater.

Scotty's Castle is in Death Valley National Park, California, near Furnace Creek, northward on Route 190 on Scotty’s Castle Road. Valley Scotty's Castle is one of the most popular destinations of Death Valley with a gift shop and the snack bar. Scotty's Castle is named after Walter Scott, aka Death Valley Scotty. Scotty was in 1872 in Kentucky. He later moved to Nevada to join his brother who worked as a ranch hand. After several odd jobs Scotty joined the infamous Buffalo Cody’s Wild Wild West Show where he traveled the world for 12 years. This is during the time when Scotty first thought of the idea to convince wealthy businessmen to invest in a Death Valley gold mine. He guaranteed them that his gold mine would produce a substantial amount of gold. Eventually he managed to convince a wealthy Chicago Insurance company owner by the name of Albert Johnson to invest. Johnson was well respected and believed the shady Scotty and decided to invest in his gold mining operation with out ever visiting the mine. After spending thousands of dollars on the gold mine project with no return, Mr. Johnson decided to personally visit the mine. While in Death Valley, Johnson found the hot, sunny and dry weather to be helpful to his health. It was then when Johnson and his wife decided to build a magnificent retreat away from their Chicago home. Once construction began on the two million dollar plus castle, Scotty began telling people that he was the owner of this magnificent castle in the desert.

The castle was powered by a hydroelectric generating system driven by gravity fed water. A nearby water spring provided plenty of water to supply electricity to light the castle. Today the castle continues to run using a similar upgraded system. The main house was designed to replicate a Spanish style manor. The house came with every amenity possible including a bordering chimes tower, upper music room, several guest rooms and theater & organ room. A 270-foot pool was constructed however due to the 1929 Stock Market Crash the project was never completed, and the tile that was to cover the swimming pool is still in storage inside the castle. Over the years several socialites & celebrities including Norman Rockwell, Betty Grable and Will Rogers vacationed in the castle.

Death Valley Badlands

Since there are no electricity generating plants in or near Scotty's Castle, this tunnel provides water to run hydroelectric generating system.

Ubehebe Crater

Located about an hour away from Scotty's Castle I found a series of craters. I visited the largest crater known as Ubehebe Crater. The huge crater created over 6,000 years ago from a powerful volcanic explosion created a half-mile wide, 500 feet deep crater. While hiking down the crater I noticed several colored bands of rock on the crater walls.

John S. Cook Bank, Rhyolite Ghost Town.

John S. Cook Bank is located outside of Death Valley. Here is another bank with a sign that says Overbury Bank. With over 10,000 people at one time the town lasted only a few years before the gold ran out.

When I entered the bank vault, I was quite surprised to find this cute bat sleeping peacefully on the wall. I took a few steps closer to get a better picture shot of it, but was frightened silly when it suddenly turned to look at me with its frightening angry face! I never realized I could run so fast!

This is the Rhyolite Merchantile which was the town's only supply store, and this was the Rhyolite Depot. This Old Union Pacific boxcar was a few feet from the Rhyolite Depot, and here you will find a view of the inside.

I found the sculptures by the artist Szukalski of the "Last Supper Tableaux" incredible, yet spooky.

These are the Glowing Mountains Golden Canyon, and these are called the Bad Lands of Death Valley. You can see why they are called the Bad Lands.

There is no place louder or more picturesque than Death Valley. There, where Clemson folks see magic in a hill and a rock, orange gets more respect than anywhere this side of Gainesville, Florida.
- Dave Brown, Former Duke Quarterback

Moonlight anywhere is a delight. But there's no moonlight in the world that can compare with the moonlight in Grapevine Canyon, our desert canyon, where the Castle stands. Last night the moon was at its full, and we went out on the upper porch and looked down the Canyon and across Death Valley. There are some things one cannot put into words, emotions that surge through the heart; scenes, that fills us, and thrills us, and woos us; such was the scene that we looked upon last night. Something about the clear desert atmosphere seems to make the moonlight brighter than anywhere else in the world, and to glorify it. And the great mountains rise in the splendor of it all. Moonlight in the Desert! You may have cities and electric lights, movies, dancing parties, and surging crowds; but, for a thrill, an emotion, a sense of peace, and a confidence in a God who cares, give me moonlight in the Desert.
- Mrs. Bessie Johnson from Death Valley Scotty by Mabel © 1932

Pictures of the interior of Scotty's Castle:

All the European furniture inside the castle was custom-made.

Sewing room with an antique sewing machine

Here is a picture of one of the many bedrooms with the antique furniture, antique rug and drapes, and a cozy fireplace.

One of the living room’s of Death Valley Scotty's Castle.

The study room with an antique typewriter.

The dinning room with hand-carved furniture, and beautiful antique china.

This is a picture of the Spiral Staircase at Scotty’s Castle which is located on the east wall of Scotty’s Castle.

Albert Johnson's 1933 Packard This is a rare 1933 Packard owned by Mr. Johnson and is considered by many people to be the most desirable Packard.

Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada

The 25-foot tall cinder block woman was built by artist Dr. Hugo Heyrman. He titled it Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada.

A few miles from Death Valley is Zabriskie Point, which is close to the Funeral Mountains.

This mosaic couch was made of cement and covered in various pieces of glass and ceramic. Made by a Belgian artist named Sophie Seigmann. The sculpture was originally located in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Open Air Museum but later moved to Rhyolite in the 80’s.

This is Harmony Borax Works, which is a little ways from Furnace Creek. It was very easy climbing this mountain, but climbing back down was extremely difficult!

Tom Kelly’s Bottle House
was built by Tom Kelly in 1906. Kelly used over 50,000 beer bottles to construct the house. It's a testament to the thirst of Rhyolite's natives that the two-year-old town could quickly generate that many bottles.

Leaving Death Valley
Text and pictures by Savanah Hindi


If I can generate enough income,
I'd like to get a castle,
a historic castle that I can restore.
- Henry Thomas


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