Beatty, Nevada is a small historic mining town northwest of Las Vegas. This area of Nevada was once home to people of the Western Shoshone tribe before prospectors came in search of gold. Everywhere you look in Beatty, is a reminder of the town’s interesting and unique history.
Located in what’s called the Bullfrog Mining District, Beatty is one of the best day trips from Las Vegas. It maybe small but there are plenty of unique things to do in Beatty, Nevada for those craving a taste of the quirky side of Nevada.
1. Explore Death Valley National Park
Update: Death Valley National Park suffered major damage in August of 2023 when they received a year’s worth of rainfall in several hours. Secondary roads were washed away and even Hwy 190, the major route through the park from California to Nevada, was damaged. Currently the entire park is closed. Check nps.gov/deva for updates and Caltrans for road conditions.
The town of Beatty prides itself on being the “Gateway to Death Valley National Park”. Since the park entrance is only seven miles from town, it’s the perfect overnight spot for those visiting Death Valley National Park that don’t want to stay in the park.
There are plenty of things to do in Death Valley National Park on the eastern side or the park. Most of the popular sites and places of interest in the Furnace Creek or Stovepipe Wells areas of Death Valley are easy to get to from Beatty.
If you lucky enough to have a high clearance vehicle, the well-liked Titus Canyon Road (currently closed) is nearby and the ghost town of Chloride City is also located on the eastern side of the park. Either of those makes a great day trip from Beatty.
Southerner Says: as you enter the park from Beatty, try to spot Corkscrew Peak on the right. It gets its name from its shape that looks like, you guessed it – a corkscrew.
2. Gamble at the Stagecoach Casino
While Beatty may not offer the flashy glitz of Las Vegas, it still provides a taste of Nevada’s gaming scene at the Stagecoach Hotel + Casino. Step inside and try your luck at the poker tables and slot machines, all conveniently located within the hotel.
After a scorching day in the park, unwind at the hotel’s 24-hour restaurant and take a refreshing dip in the pool. With Beatty’s compact size, you can park your car and explore the town on foot, enjoying the convenience of easy access to various places and restaurants.
3. Buy Lots of Candy
One of the most fun things to do in Beatty is indulging in a shopping spree at Death Valley Nut & Candy, Nevada’s largest candy store. It has quickly become a favorite stop on my Nevada road trips.
Nestled within the same building as the Stagecoach Casino, this confectionery paradise offers an extensive selection of candies to satisfy any craving.
From mouthwatering fudge and peanut brittle to chocolate-covered nuts, jelly beans, Mexican candy and a huge variety of gummy ring flavors, they have it all.
4. Wander Through Rhyolite: One of the Best Things to do in Beatty
Just a little over a hundred years ago, the town of Rhyolite had one of the most productive mines in this part of Nevada. By 1907, it was a thriving town was full of modern conveniences.
During its heyday, Beatty had banks, grocery stores, a hospital, and a remarkable count of over fifty saloons adorned the streets. Besides basic necessities, Beatty offered modern conveniences like electricity and running water.
The economy was so good that the thriving mines even supported a local stock exchange. Sadly, in less than a decade, it was all over. The mines were depleted and as production dwindled, people had to make the difficult decision to move on and look for work elsewhere.
Today, the Bureau of Land Management, manages the ghost town of Rhyolite. This unique site offers visitors a chance to wander through its abandoned streets, imagining the ambiance of a bygone era.
Of all the buildings in town, don’t miss the train station in Beatty, which played a pivotal role in bringing thousands to what they hoped was a better life in Nevada.
5. See the Goldwell Open Air Museum
Also in Rhyolite, check out the quirky public art and sculptures at the Goldwell Open Air Museum. This outdoor art museum of sorts surrounds the Rhyolite ghost town and is one of the very unique things to do in Beatty.
Some of the sculptures are a bit strange but that just adds to the character of this part of the desert.
6. Visit the Tom Kelly Bottle House
One of the more surprising structure in Rhyolite is the Tom Kelly Bottle House. Yes, this house is made entirely of bottles from the aforementioned saloons in Rhyolite.
Built in 1905, the story goes that since wood was hard to come by in this area, Mr. Kelly decided to build his house with bottles. Due to the popularity of the saloons in town, it’s rumored that he was able to collect enough bottles to build the house in less than six months.
Once Mr. Kelly completed the the house, he sold $5 raffle tickets and raffled it off. The winning family lived there until 1914.
7. Look For Donkeys
As the highest producer of gold, silver and barite in the United States, there are approximately 200k mines in the state of Nevada. Workers relied heavily on burros or donkeys to help move their products.
Once the mines ran out, the miners moved on and many of the donkeys were left behind. Descendants of those working donkeys still roam Nevada. It’s not unusual to see some of them in Beatty or even in Rhyolite if you are lucky.
Beatty’s warm desert climate is the perfect location for the burros to live all year long. If you happen to 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.
From time to time the Bureau of Land Management steps and takes some of the wild burros to adoptions centers throughout the western states. So if you’ve ever wanted to own a wild donkey from Nevada, here’s your chance.
8. Snap a Photo of a Junk Airplane
Nevada is no stranger to odd roadside attractions and you’ll encounter one of the weirdest right in Beatty. The significance of this abandoned airplane on the side of Hwy 95 in not completely clear but it might have something to do with an infamous – or famous – house of ill repute.
With prostitution being legal in the state of Nevada, who knows if it’s true. Whether or not, it’s still one of the odd, but fun things to do in Beatty and it makes a cool photo op in the desert.
9. Peruse the Beatty Museum
The Beatty Museum & Historical Society offers an incredible chance to learn more about Beatty and the surrounding area. This small but informative museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that highlight the rich heritage of the area.
Learn about the mining boom that shaped Beatty, explore displays on the early pioneers and Native American history, and gain insights into the unique challenges of desert life.
The Beatty Museum is a fascinating destination for history buffs and anyone interested in the captivating stories of this charming desert town. The museum is open every day 10am to 3pm and admission is free.
How to Get to Beatty, Nevada
The best way to get to Beatty is by car from Las Vegas. Take US-95 North from Las Vegas and continue for approximately 100 miles until you reach Beatty. The drive typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
From Death Valley National Park, take Highway 190 to Daylight Pass Road east (the road is called Highway 374 in Nevada, outside the park) and travel approximately 18 miles into Beatty. Don’t forget to stop by the official Death Valley National Park sign.
Where to Stay in Beatty
Besides the Stagecoach Casino, Beatty has a few other hotels in town. The Atomic Inn is a newer, more modern small hotel. For camping or RV’s stays, check out the Death Valley Inn & RV Park with both a hotel and RV spots for short and long-term stays.
Where to eat in Beatty
Beatty may be a small town, but it offers a surprising array of excellent dining options. Kick off your culinary adventure at Happy Burro Chili & Beer, where you can savor their secret family chili recipe on a historic patio made from a relocated Rhyolite building.
For Mexican-inspired cuisine, Gema’s Cafe is a must-visit, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a tempting taco truck outside on weekends.
And don’t miss out on the delectable barbeque and mouthwatering jalapeno mac-n-cheese at Smokin’ J’s Barbeque.
Things to do in Beatty Round-Up
Beatty, Nevada offers a variety of attractions and activities that make it an enjoyable destination for visitors. From its unique history to its proximity to natural wonders like Death Valley National Park, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy.
Explore the town’s historic sites, dine at local restaurants, and soak in the unique charm of this small desert town. Beatty provides a delightful getaway for travelers seeking a taste of Nevada’s rugged landscapes.
See you on the road!
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