Best time to visit Death Valley

Scotty's Castle Road in Death Valley

The road reveals scenic landscapes of the northern part of the large national park

Best time: all year round (best in mid-October–mid-April)

Scotty's Castle Road

Scotty's Castle Road is a 100-km (62 mi) paved road, located in the northern part of Death Valley National Park. The road leads to Scotty’s Castle historic house museum. Scotty's Castle, also calledw Death Valley Ranch, is a two-story villa built in Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style. It was named after gold prospector Walter E. Scott. Scotty's Castle Road runs across the border between California and Nevada, overlooking beautiful landscapes.

The road is open year-round but if you travel in the summer, keep in mind that Death Valley is listed among the world's hottest places, with a record air temperature of 57°C (134°F). So bring plenty of water and if your car breaks down, avoid spending time outside in the heat. Also be cautious of rattlesnakes, scorpions, or black widow spiders—Death Valley has plenty of those. If you plan to go backpacking, you'll need a free back country permit from any visitor center. The best time to visit is still during the cooler season between mid-October and mid-April.

In 2015 Scotty's Castle Road was damaged by a major flood, so it was closed for repairs until 2020. Scotty's Castle museum was also closed since there was no access.

Practical info

What is Scotty's Castle Road and where does it lead?

Scotty's Castle Road is a 100-kilometer-long paved road located north of Death Valley National Park, leading to a two-story villa called Scotty's Castle or Death Valley Ranch. It features Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture and mission revival style. The villa overlooks scenic landscapes on the California-Nevada border. Show more

When is the best time to visit the road?

The road remains open throughout the year; however, it's advisable to visit during the cooler months between mid-October and mid-April. Being one of the world's hottest places, Death Valley has recorded temperatures of up to 57°C (134°F). Visitors to the area during summers should carry plenty of water, and if their car brakes down, avoid exposing themselves to the weather. Backpackers must obtain a free backcountry permit before heading out. Show more

How long is the road and where is it located?

Scotty's Castle Road stretches 100 kilometers (62 miles) and resides in the north of the prominent Death Valley National Park. The area is famous for its scenic landscapes and straddles the border between California and Nevada. In 2015, the region experienced severe floods that impacted the road, which, after being repaired, reopened to visitors in 2020. Show more

What is Scotty's Castle, and why is it named after someone named Scotty?

Scotty's Castle, popularly known as Death Valley Ranch, is a two-story villa constructed in Spanish Colonial Revival and Mission Revival style, built for Walter E. Scott, a self-proclaimed owner of the property. The castle was built by Albert Johnson for W. Scott as a winter home in the 1920s and is now open to visitors as a museum. It is famous for its lavish architecture and unique history. Show more

Is there anything visitors should be aware of when visiting the area?

Death Valley has extreme weather conditions which could be dangerous for visitors. When visiting the area, especially during summers, visitors should stay hydrated and use sunscreen as temperatures can soar up to 57°C (134°F). Additionally, the park is home to several poisonous reptiles such as scorpions, snakes, and black widows. Backpackers should be cautious, and the necessary backcountry permit is mandatory for overnight stays. The coolest period to visit the road is between mid-October to mid-April. Show more

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