Beatty was the railroad service center for the
Bullfrog Mining District in 1900. Nearby Rhyolite, the
mining camp, was a booming town of 10,000. Today,
Rhyolite is a ghost town (although a new gold mine and
mill operate near the old townsite), and Beatty is a
casual highway stopping point for travelers to Death
Valley. Rhyolite is worth the short drive south of town.
The wind has knocked down many of the buildings on the
old mining town's main street, and only a few walls
remain. The mission-style railroad station still stands,
as does a bottle house that was constructed with 50,000
liquor and beer bottles by a miner, Tom Kelly. Some of
the features of the old town are to be restored by the
Friends of Rhyolite, a nonprofit society recently formed.
The bottle house is high on their list of priorities.
With six campgrounds and RV parks, Beatty provides a
cooler place to camp than Death Valley during summer
months. There are also several motels, as well as
casinos, bars, and cafes. One campground is at Bailey's
Hot Springs, located 6 miles north of Beatty on U.S. 95.
The hot springs resort has a picnic area and offers
swimming in addition to providing campsites for overnight
The highway drive to Death
Valley (via Highway 374) passes through Daylight
Pass. Travelers during the winter season -- October to
June -- may wish to take the Titus Canyon backroad, an
extremely scenic one-way route that crosses the Amargosa
Range and reaches Death Valley to connect with the road
to Scotty's Castle, near the north end of the valley.
Ubehebe Crater is also in this northern area.
Southwest of Beatty are the Amargosa Dunes, huge hills
of sand open to the public for hiking, off-road driving,
and picnicking. Conventional vehicles (even 4WD vehicles)
are not suitable for driving on the dunes: ATVs or dune
buggies are required. The dunes are just a small part of
what constitutes the Amargosa Desert, a vast tract that
lies in the valley of the old Amargosa River. The river
is now a series of dry washes. Many backroads lead
through Bureau of Land Management lands.
A Low-Level Day-Trip
The Amargosa must be savored -- close up and not just
not driven past -- and a day-trip provides the full
impact of the desert and this fascinating region, with a
drive through the Amargosa plus a tour of parts of Death
Start at Beatty and drive southeast along U.S. Highway
95. Turn south at Lathrop Wells (46 miles from Beatty)
and drive across the desert to Death Valley Junction (the
site of the fabled, quirky Amargosa Opera House).
Continue west, descending into Death Valley through the
Furnace Creek Wash. Drive north, exiting Death Valley via
Highway 95 and 1st Street. Beatty, NV 89003
(702) 553-2250 or 888-845-7401
With 54 air-conditoned rooms, featuring king-size beds,
telephones, cable-TV, and free continental breakfast, the
inn has inexpensive rates plus AARP and other discounts.
Exchange Club Motel
P.O. Box 97, Beatty NV 89003
Easily found on U.S. Highway 95, this basic motel has 44
units (one with whirlpool bath), a coin laundry, and
24-hour coffee shop. There's also a small casino here ($
P.O. Box 7, Beatty NV 89003
Just south of the main part of town -- at Third Street on
U.S. 95 -- the Burro Inn has 62 rooms, laundry, a 24-hour
cafe, lounge, and casino ($).
The town has several private RV parks, including an RV
park at the Burro Inn (see above). There are 42 sites
here, with hookups and laundry (and a casino to attract
or distract you). For reservations, call (702) 553-2225
or 800-843-2078. Bailey's Hot Springs, 6 miles north of
Beatty, has 14 sites with hookups as well as swimming.
(702) 553-2395. The largest RV park in the area is the
Rio Rancho RV Park, with 58 sites (with hookups),
laundry, and playground. For reservations, call (702)
553-2238 or 800-448-4423.
Valley National Park (an hour's drive to the west)
has campgrounds operated by the National Park Service.