Scotty's Castle Overview

A journey to Scotty’s Castle reveals a light-hearted deception begun in the 1920’s by a Chicago millionaire, his wife and their cowboy partner, Death Valley Scotty. 

What the world knows as Scotty’s Castle was really a vacation home for Chicago millionaire Albert Johnson and his wife, Bessie.  The Castle’s namesake, Death Valley Scotty, initially lured the couple to Death Valley with irresistible tales of his mysterious gold mine. 

Although the story of the gold mine proved to be a farce, the natural riches and sweeping beauty of Death Valley captivated the Johnsons.  Albert began purchasing land in lush Grapevine Canyon. It had a series of natural springs that fostered life and prosperity 3,000 feet above the brutal desert floor.  Over time, the rough desert camp was transformed into a luxurious desert estate, complete with modern-day conveniences.

Today, Scotty’s Castle is truly an enchanting oasis in Death Valley.  The detailed ironwork, original furnishings, decorative artwork and desert flourishes create a magical sanctuary.  They reveal the transformation of a peaceful and remote plot of land into a modern, self-sufficient vacation complex.  The sprawling retreat symbolizes the Johnson’s privileged lifestyle and fascination with the uncompromising desert.

Scotty's Castle Virtual Tour

Scotty's Castle Grounds Tour

Death Valley Ranch
Building the Castle
Furnishing the Castle
Desert Lifestyle
Vacation and Recreation