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Tours of flood-damaged Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park focus on repairs

Tours of flood-damaged Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park focus on repairs
Rangers will give tours of the grounds of Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park that show repairs being made to the historic building. In October 2015, mud from a flash flood filled the visitor center garage area. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Two years ago, a flash flood swept through historic Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park, causing serious damage to the building and the road. Starting Dec. 2, the attraction, which has been closed since October 2015, is set to reopen to weekly tours for visitors who want to see its renovations firsthand.

The sprawling Spanish Colonial-style house with a turret that looks like a castle was nicknamed for Walter Scott, or Death Valley Scotty. Construction started in 1922.

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The flooding ruined parts of the house, the visitor center and the water system. It also washed away 20 power poles.

National park rangers will lead tours for groups of up to 13 people on Saturdays only.

Most of the tour is outdoors but visitors will be able to see furnishings and some architectural pieces that have been taken off-site for safekeeping, according a news release. They'll also be able to get a look at the home's great hall, though they'll not enter the building).

For those who have never visited the landmark, rangers will tell the "stories of this palace in the desert," which isn't slated to fully reopen until 2020.

The tours co-sponsored by the Death Valley Natural History Assn. and the national park will be held 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays from Dec. 2 through April 14. Tickets cost $25 per person, plus a fee, and reservations are required.

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