Monday, May 7, 2012


Friday, May 4 – Our last stop in Death Valley was Scotty's Castle.


The castle takes its name from Walter Scott, better known as “Death Valley Scotty,” an ex-cowboy, prospector and performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. A very good Hustler Extraordinaire, to say the least.

Look at the setting. WOW!
Castle front

Clock tower
clock tower

Chicago millionaire, Albert Johnson, who had been urged by his doctors to sped time in a warm, dry climate, was convinced by Mrs. Johnson to build a mansion. At the time, Scotty told visitors he financed the building himself with booty from a secret gold mine in Death Valley.

One of the tiled patio areas.Patio area

Two walkways from the main house to the bedroom suites.

The 1920s-era building is decorated with Spanish and Italian antiques, leather furniture, had-carved redwood beams, and iron chandeliers.

Main room.
Sitting room

Small music room.
small music room

Sitting outside main bedroom.sitting room outside bedroom

Bessie loved her kitchen.
kitchen stove

kitchen sink

Dining room.
dining room

Custom crafted tile floors are covered with handmade Spanish Majorcan rugs. All furnishings are original and visitors are asked not to touch anything but the railing on the stairways.

The floors are beautiful.tile floor

The lighting was something to see.

They had indoor water fountains in several of the rooms.
water fountains

Very unusual vase.

weather vane

The Welte-Mignon theater pipe organ features 1121 pipes, a grand piano, glockenspiel, xylophone, chimes, orchestra bells, sleigh bells, bird calls and a drum and cymbal assortment, and cost more than $50,000 to purchase, deliver and install in 1928. Pipe organs like the Welte-Mignon Pipe Organ in Scotty's Castle were used to accompany silent films.

Here is the funny part…neither Albert nor Bessie could play a note. Not one note did they ever play. They brought guests in to play the instruments and had some them converted to player pianos. Our guide told so many stories like this. It was so delightful to hear these stories.

Small music room
player piano

Big music room. We were treated to a tune from the organ. big music room

Look at this decorative ceiling in the big music room ceiling

Scotty's Castle is a great place to learn more about the strange and colorful history of Death Valley and its only mansion. Tours ($11 for adults with half-off for those with the Senior Pass) run throughout the day. We were warned, that lines can get very long for the tours. We arrived a few minutes after 1 p.m. and quickly joined a tour getting started without any wait!

There is so much more to this castle that it would take tons of photos to show it all. Our advice…don't miss it.

Be sure to fill the gas tank BEFORE heading to Death Valley. There is only one filling-station inside the park and gas prices are “deadly.” Regular unleaded was selling for $5.96 per gallon. We filled our Honda CRV before leaving Pahrump and had about 30 miles in reserve by the time we returned and filled up in Pahrump for $3.58 per gallon.

gas prices

A very long day.....about 10-hours by the time we returned home. Tiring, but glad we say we saw what was on our list! Tomorrow, we'll relax!

Thanks to everyone who let us know that the clicking on the photos for enlargement is working great. So…click away.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all come back real soon. Have a great day.


  1. Wow! We didn't do Scotty's Castle when we were at Death Valley. I had no idea it was this elaborate. We may have to put it back on our list.

  2. Looks like they might be trying to build another castle next to the Chevron station. I did enjoy the castle tour. Thanks again.

  3. We loved learning about the friendship between Albert and Scotty. Death Valley wasn't what we expected either. It's one of our favorite national parks.

  4. Nice house little small but it would do.

    The sign should say Chevron with GOLD!!!

  5. Nice house little small but it would do.

    The sign should say Chevron with GOLD!!!

  6. If one didn't know about the castle in advance, one might be excused for thinking it was a mirage. Thanks for taking us on a tour.

  7. Finally got caught up on your journey to Death Valley. I loved the pictures and it brought back such wonderful memories. I love DV and can hardly wait to go back again. We had to bite the bullet a couple of times and buy fuel there. That hurts. We took a week to do what you guys did in a day.

  8. Loved the castle. If we ever get back, I would like to take their underground tour they offer there. We both really liked Death Valley

  9. Hard to believe you could do all of that in one day! That castle would have made William Randolph Hearst jealous!

  10. We did not go to Scotty's Castle since we were to meet our Daughter in Joshua Tree. Will put it on our bucket list.

  11. Wow - that tile in the kitchen would sure keep you awake and alert!! Thanks for the tour...fantastic.

  12. Can't believe you did all that in one day. We never made it to Scotty's Castle in our week there. Next time!

  13. Now, that's an impressive home! What a joint.

    Kind of incredible to find a place like that way out in Death Valley - amazing.

    Great photos - thanks for posting them.

  14. I wonder why it isn't called Albert's Castle??

  15. Love Death Valley just to much to explore. Scotty's Castle is amazing, loved it. Long trip but the Devil's Racetrack is a real mysterious place. Happy Trails

  16. Scotty's castle looks very interesting. Reminds me a lot of the "castle" that is behind Hacienda Contreras RV Trailer Park where we had been for the last month or so. We have done a couple of posts on it already. Many similarities for sure! Glad that you bought your gas at a lower price that is definitely a "deadly" price!

    Kevin and Ruth

  17. Wonderful tour! It's great to read a blog and get to see something that you missed or maybe won't ever get to see! Thanks for sharing.

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