Points of Interest
Beatty has long been known as the Gateway to Death Valley, and
this entrance to the National Park has exciting offerings for all your senses...and your imagination too! Among the sights
and senses you can experience on the 45 mile trip into the valley are:
OF SPECIAL INTEREST...
Goldwell Open Air Museum—You’re in the middle of the desert, on your way to visit the area’s premier ghost town (Rhyolite), and suddenly off to the left you see a towering woman and a series of ghostly forms. This is the Goldwell Open Air Art Museum featuring the Painted Lady, a ghostly representation of the Last Supper, a ghostly bike rider, a “desert flower” and others. While you might think that this is a strange location for a modern art Sculpture garden, each piece has a tie with the history of the area—even the penguin following the miner!
The mining Tunnel—(Just past Death Valley mile post 14) You will find an abandoned tunnel in a rock outcropping on the right, a few short feet from the road. Stop, get out your flashlight, and explore! Less than a hundred feet long the tunnel is tall enough for most tall people to stand erect, the floor is flat, and there are no holes. What the miner was seeking is something of a mystery, but the tunnel shows that he was an experienced miner. Be sure to watch for local inhabitants and give them room--they prefer solitude! The National Park has deemed this mining tunnel to be unsafe and you can no longer enter it. However, because of its length, you can still use your flash light or the flash on your camera to see into the tunnel.
Hell’s Gate—16 to 19 miles from Beatty (on Hwy 374 beginning at approximately Death Valley Mile Post 10). Imagine traveling in a wagon and coming out of the canyon to be hit with a wall of heat that is like opening an oven door. You can experience this today by opening your car windows and sticking your hand out beginning at about 16 miles from Beatty. Within the next mile or so you should be able to feel the sudden change in temperature! Welcome to Hell’s Gate. When the wind is blowing, as it often does in this area, the temperature change is more gradual with pockets of warmer and cooler air until a short distance before the Hell's Gate Rest Area.
Just around the corner is the Hell’s gate information area and your first spectacular view of Death Valley
opens out in front of you. There are few other locations with such a photographic view of such a large area-be sure to
get a picture or two!
While Beatty is known as the Scenic Gateway to Death Valley there is a wealth of desert experiences awaiting you in the immediate Beatty area. You can spend mornings exploring the desert and old mining communities, then escape the afternoon heat in the local shops and casino. Here are some possibilities:
BEATTY MUSEUM--The Beatty Museum and Historical Society that you will visit today is only the latest in what seems like an ever evolving effort to preserve the history of the town, the county, and the Bullfrog Mining District. Began by three women of Beatty, who had “played in Rhyolite and roamed the hills of the Bullfrog Mining District,” the first museum, established in 1995, was just a small cottage. The collection of documents, books, photos and other artifacts has grown into its current home on Beatty’s Main Street. The latest edition to the museum is an outdoor display of equipment used in the old mining district. The Beatty Museum and Historical Society is open Monday through Sunday, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Phone: 775-553-2303. Follow the link above to visit the Beatty Museum site.
Bailey’s Hot Springs, a former railroad depot (once known as Hicks Hot Springs), was built around 1905. In 1907 Bailey’s became a watering stop for the Bullfrog-Goldfield line, and the first baby born in the district, a little girl, was born here. Today there are three private bath houses available, seven days a week with temperatures ranging from 100 to 108 degrees. There is also a RV park on site with 14 RV spaces. They have an area where two buffalo and llama's graze. Don't worry, a shelter is provided for them all year. Phone: 775-553-2395
Beatty Mudmound--From a distance this fascinating outcropping of limestone, about 2 miles south and east of town is simply an out cropping of pale gray rock. But once up close and personal, the casual rock hound can find a wealth of excellently preserved fossil remains some 480 million years old: sponges, tiny crustaceans-related to barnacles, gastropods, and brachiopods as well as others. These Ordovician mudmounds/ bioherms were, in effect, huge underwater mud dunes, able to trap sediments driven by the prevailing sea currents. The mudmound near Beatty probably developed scores of miles from the ancient Ordovician shoreline in seawater shallow enough to allow monstrous algae mats to flourish and enormous quantities of animal life to thrive along the flanks of the mound.
The Swiss Cheese Outcropping-- This unusual rock formation can be found a few miles outside of Beatty, near the Mudmound. Filled with holes this outcropping is an interesting place to explore. You might choose to camp in the area protected by this formation, and you just might be treated to a sighting of a bighorn sheep.
Marta Becket’s Amargosa Opera House is an adventure that encompasses dance, theater, and art in a way that you may see nowhere else in the world. An entire audience adorns the walls, filled with characters who might have attended an opera back in the 16th century. Even the ceiling boasts a mural with cherubs, clouds, music playing ladies, and white doves. Reservations are suggested for theatrical events, but even if you cannot make a show, the Opera House itself is worth a visit. Phone: 760-852-4441
oasis from the harsh environments of the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts — the trees, wetlands and open spaces
along the Amargosa River also give habitat to year-round resident birds and nesting seasonal birds, regularly supporting
21 species that have been identified as NV Partners in Flight conservation priorities. Surveys have recorded some 100
species of Neotropical migrants that make use of this area during spring or fall migration. The area also hosts a significant
number of single-species concentrations, with more than 25,000 individuals from four groups of the wood warbler family
passing through each spring. For optimal viewing, birders should check out areas along the Amargosa River, Species
Springs, Vanderbilt Springs, and Indian Springs.
SPECIES SPRINGS is another watering hole that is in Tarantula Canyon about five miles southeast of Beatty.
VANDERBILT SPRINGS and Bombo’s Pond are south of town, right next to Highway 95. Hidden by the tamarisk trees, this watering hole is enjoyed by many for catch-and-release fishing.
DESERT ADVENTURES OFFROADINGThink you’re tough? These proving grounds put the extreme in extreme possibilities. So maybe your scene is hang-gliding or endurance racing, sandboarding or rock climbing, mountain biking or ATV exploration. Or maybe you just like taking your aggression out on a long, lost weekend. No matter. Prepare to get up-close and personal with a whole new level of punishment when you take it up against the most hostile and demanding rival you’ll ever encounter! Beatty, Death Valley and the ocean of public lands surrounding the Backcountry roads that crisscross the desert offer excitement to the adventure traveler visiting the Beatty area. These roads require, at a minimum, a vehicle with high ground clearance, but four-wheel drive is necessary to maneuver through the tougher passages. Be sure to stock up on emergency provisions and water in Beatty before you hit the backcountry.