Just 120 miles from Las Vegas, is the historic desert town of Beatty. This area of Nevada was once home to people of the Western Shoshone before miners came in search of gold. Everywhere you look in Beatty, is a reminder of it’s mining history. Located on Nevada Hwy 95, Beatty is a fascination stop on a road trip or even a day trip from Las Vegas. The town is small, with less than 1200 people, but there are plenty of fun things to do in Beatty, Nevada.
Visit Death Valley National Park
Beatty prides itself on being the “Gateway to Death Valley National Park“. Since hotels in the park are pricey, staying in Beatty is an affordable alternative to staying inside the park. It’s just 7 miles. The roads to the park are in good condition and it’s close enough to day trip.
Even if you didn’t want to explore a lot of the park, from Beatty, you would at least have good access to sites on the eastern side of the park like Titus Canyon – if you have a high clearance vehicle – Chloride City – with a 4×4 – Furnace Creek and the Stovepipe Wells section of the park.
Gamble at the Stagecoach Casino
Beatty may not be Vegas but If you came to Nevada to gamble, you can certainly do that at The Stagecoach Hotel + Casino. It’s not a huge casino but they do have poker and slots. The hotel is less than 20 miles from the entrance to Death Valley National Park and the desert drive there is beautiful. The Stagecoach is a good place to cool off after a long hot day in the park since they have a pool and two 24 hour restaurants. Plus you can walk to just about anywhere in town.
The Stagecoach Hotel + Casino
Beatty, NV 89003
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Buy Lots of Candy
Another one of the fun – and delicious -things to do in Beatty is to drool over, then buy – and promptly devour – all the candy from Nevada’s largest candy store, Death Valley Nut & Candy. Hands down this is one of my favorite Nevada stops now.
Located in the same building that the Stagecoach Casino is in, they have pretty much any kind of candy you could want. You name it, they have it. Fudge, peanut brittle, chocolate covered nuts, jelly beans, lollipops, every flavor of gummy rings and other shapes and so much more.
Death Valley Nut + Candy
Beatty, NV 89003
Wander Through Rhyolite
Once upon a time, dreams of gold drew people from all over to Nevada. Just a little over a hundred years ago, Rhyolite was a bustling, thriving mining town. In it’s heyday, it had one of the most productive mines and it didn’t take long for Rhyolite to become a town of modern conveniences. By 1907, it had banks, multiple grocery stores, electricity, running water, a hospital, a school and over 50 saloons. There was so much money and business, it even had it’s own stock exchange.
Sadly, in less than a decade, it was all over. The mines ran out. People had no choice but to leave town and look for work elsewhere. Now Rhyolite is one of Nevada’s most famous ghost towns.
Now managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Rhyolite is just 6 miles from Beatty. Visitors can to walk through the remnants and see some of the old buildings still standing. The beautiful train station, that brought thousands to the area, sits behind a fence.
Along with the jail and walls of the three story bank, there’s also a small cemetery a mine still visible. Don’t miss the one of a kind, Tom Kelly house, that’s built with 51k beer bottles.
328 Greenland Blvd
Death Valley, CA 92328
Southerner Says: once in Rhyolite, stop to see the quirky art and sculptures at the Goldwell Open Air Museum.
Search for Burros
As the highest producer of gold, silver and barite in the US, there are approximately 200k mines in the state of Nevada. When the mines were active, the workers relied heavily on burros to help them work the mines. Many of these burros, or donkeys, were left behind once the mines were depleted and the miners moved on. The descendants of some of these burros still roam Nevada. It’s not unusual to see some of them in Beatty or even in Rhyolite if you are lucky.
Beatty’s climate is the perfect location for the burros to live all year long so they don’t wander far. If you do spot them and stop to take photos, be warned, they are very curious and friendly. In fact, they’ll come right up to the car.
Which means visitors are probably feeding them. Even though it’s tempting, that’s not the best thing to do since they are wild animals. From time to time the Bureau of Land Management steps and takes some of the burros to adoptions centers throughout the western states. So if you’ve ever wanted to own a wild donkey from Nevada, this is your chance.
How to Get to Beatty, Nevada
Beatty, Nevada is 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas on Hwy 95 and just 7 miles from from Death Valley National Park. From the park, turn onto Hwy 374 at Beatty Junction and travel directly into Beatty.
Where to Eat in Beatty
Happy Burro Chili & Beer serves a secret family chili recipe on a patio that was built out of one of the buildings moved over from Rhyolite. You can’t get more western than that.
100 Main St,
Beatty, NV 89003
Gema’s Cafe serves Mexican inspired cuisine and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Look for Gema’s taco truck outside on the weekends too
101 S 2nd St
Beatty, NV 89003
Next time you plan a road trip through The Silver State, make sure to include Beatty. There’s nothing better than experiencing a piece of Nevada’s old west.