Highway 95 Adventure
Highway 95 Adventure
Hawthorne, Tonopah, Beatty and Pahrump
- Distance: 552 Milesor 888 Kilometers
- Number of Nights: 2
From Reno, head southeast to Walker Lake, a Nevada desert oasis, where you can picnic, boat, swim, or fish. Continue south to Hawthorne, home of the 147,000-acre Army Ammunition Depot and a community that bills itself as America’s Patriotic Home. Visit the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum to see displays of ammunition, military uniforms, photos, and memorabilia. Museum buffs should visit the Mineral County Museum, which focuses on the area’s history and culture. Continue southeast to Tonopah, known as the Queen of the Silver Camps, and tour the Tonopah Historic Mining Park, a preserved mining complex turned into an open-air museum. There’s also the Central Nevada Museum, which tells the story of the area’s mining, ranching, and pioneer past. Museum admission is free. After the sun sets, stargaze under the nation’s darkest skies and discover why USA Today rated Tonopah as the No. 1 stargazing destination in America. Overnight in Tonopah.
Depart Tonopah, heading south to Scotty’s Castle — a unique mansion with a colorful history — in Death Valley National Park. On the way, stop in Goldfield. An early 1900s boomtown, it made its mark on history as the site of the Nelson-Gans boxing match. Today it is home to the reportedly haunted Goldfield Hotel and other turn-of-the-century buildings preserved in a state of arrested decay. Continue on to Scotty’s Castle off Hwy. 267 near the Nevada border. Here, take a living history tour of the unfinished mansion — construction was halted in 1931 — and hear the story of the two men behind the building, Death Valley Scotty and Albert Johnson, and their Hollywood friends who visited this remote corner of Death Valley. From Scotty’s Castle, continue south to Furnace Creek, headquarters for the Death Valley National Park Visitors Center, or head east toward Beatty. Take the Beatty turnoff and visit the ghost town of Rhyolite, one of the most photographed ghost towns in the West, and the Goldwell Open Air Museum, site of several large-scale sculptures. Overnight in Beatty.
From Beatty, head south to Hwy. 373. Stop at the Amargosa Opera House at the Death Valley Junction. The opera house is home to Marta Beckett, a former Broadway ballerina and artist who has lived and worked in Death Valley since 1967. She famously painted murals of audiences on the walls of her opera house so she can always perform before a packed house. Take Hwy. 190 east to Pahrump and have lunch at the Pahrump Valley Winery, a gem frequented by high-rollers at Las Vegas resorts. From here, take Hwy. 160 to Las Vegas, where your adventure may conclude, or just begin!