National park tips: Death Valley’s castle is closed, but the inn will soon be open longer

Scotty's Castle, in Death Valley, has been closed since suffering flooding damage in late 2015.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Someday, when they get it open again, you’ll want to take a tour of Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley National Park. In the meantime, big things are planned at Furnace Creek.

First, about Scotty’s. The castle was hit in late 2015 by the most severe flooding since it was built in the 1920s. The National Park Service has closed it for extensive repairs and says it won’t reopen until sometime in 2019.

Meanwhile, park concessionaire Xanterra is about to start a $50-million upgrade that will spruce up the 224-room Ranch at Furnace Creek Resort and transform the 66-room Inn at Furnace Creek from a seasonal operation into a year-round one.

The work begins in April at the ranch, which will remain open and already operates year-round.

Work begins in May at the inn, which is to close May 14 and reopen Oct. 21. A Xanterra spokesman said the upgrades at the inn probably will include the addition of casita units, with details coming later.


In Death Valley, a Jeep, back roads and a whole new perspective »

In honor of this year’s National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We’ll post one per day through Dec. 31.

Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds

See travel videos by Reynolds from around the world.