Beatty nevada

Beatty

Often referred to as the “Gateway to Death Valley,” Beatty is the perfect place to hang your hat and restock on some vital supplies before entering this fascinating National Park, or exploring some interesting southern Nevada landscape. That, or spend the day exploring fascinating pockets of Nevada's past in town, or dive into some impressive ghost towns, just on the outskirts of Beatty.

Portrait of the Past on the Edge of Death Valley

Beatty, Nevada: The Gateway to Death Valley

Located just over 100 miles northeast of Las Vegas—a go-to stop along the Death Valley Rally and Free-Range Art Highway road trips—the town of Beatty Nevada is perfectly situated to be an official gateway to Death Valley National Park. Many visitors initially choose Beatty to be a short 20-minute drive to the park’s Hell’s Gate, but soon discover the amazing mining history preserved at the ghost town of Rhyolite, unusual art at Goldwell Open Air Museum, and a town full of great food and fun. 

Central Nevada on a map

Region

Central

Average Temperatures

Summer

88°F

31°C

73°F

23°C

Fall

67°F

19°C

55°F

13°C

Winter

47°F

C

36°F

C

Spring

65°F

18°C

52°F

11°C

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Beatty History

The town of Beatty was founded in the early 1900s by Montillus Beatty—remembered as “Old Man Beatty—who also served as its first postmaster. Beatty quickly became an important supply center for the nearby town of Rhyolite and the burgeoning Bullfrog Mining District. Railroads reached Beatty in 1906, spurring additional growth. As is common with Nevada boomtowns, the gold went bust in just a few short years, setting Rhyolite up to dwindle into Nevada ghost town status. 

outside of the beatty museum building
Beatty Museum & Historical Society
historic bullfrog mining district with horse drawn carriages
Early Days in the Bullfrog Mining District

Beatty, located along the main north-south route that would become US-95, hung on, with a stint as the go-to HQ for scientists and workers bound for secret projects at the Nevada Test Site, and ultimately cemented its place as a basecamp for travelers headed to nearby Death Valley National Park. Dive deeper into Beatty’s past at the Beatty Museum & Historical Society, which retains an amazing collection of historical photos, books, and documents that immerse visitors in the region’s rich mining and Wild Western history.

Things To Do in Beatty, NV

Many travelers on State Route 374 are headed to Death Valley National Park, the hottest, driest, and lowest place in North America. Park visitors can explore famous features like Badwater Basin, the Mesquite Sand Dunes, and more by day—and then return to civilization for a comfy night in a Beatty motel to rest up for the next day’s adventure.

sand dunes in death valley national park
Death Valley National Park
outside of the tom kelly bottle house in rhyolite
Tom Kelly Bottle House at Rhyolite

However, those who carve out some time to explore Beatty itself are rewarded by the glimpses of the past found at the ghost town of Rhyolite, one of the best preserved (and most photographed) ghost towns in the West—thanks to crumbling ruins, the fully intact railroad depot, and the historic Tom Kelly bottle house, which was made from more than 50,000 whiskey, medicine, and beer bottles (as there weren’t many trees out this way back then). If Rhyolite looks familiar, that’s because you’ve certainly seen it in movies, TV shows, and countless commercials. 

At the edge of Rhyolite is another trip-making attraction: the awesomely eccentric Goldwell Open Air Museum, where you can wander among a ghostly life-sized Last Supper, a 24-foot- tall miner (and his trusty penguin), a towering cinder block lady, and other avant garde art at one of Earth’s most unique galleries, originally founded by Belgian artists in the 1980s.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Embark on an adventure of astronomical proportions along the “Starry-est Route in America.” Beatty is on the Park to Park in the Dark route, which takes you from Death Valley to Great Basin via some of the least light-polluted spaces in small towns in the Lower 48. Just make sure you’re prepared to truly be in the dark. We’re talkin’ long stretches with no cell service, no other people, no nothin’—besides a few thousand stars. Do your homework, journey safely, and let the memories beam down.
statues at the goldwell open air museum
Goldwell Open Air Museum
man standing out front of the happy burro
Beatty Cowboys at Happy Burro

While you’re in town, keep your eyes peeled for some anachronistic characters who, at second glance, actually fit right in with Beatty’s Wild West vibes. We’re talking about the Beatty Cowboys, Floozies, and Petticoats, a group of local living historians who preserve Beatty’s 19th-century personality with historical reenactments, or simply by sidling up to the barstool next to you in full Old West garb.

Beatty, NV Hotels

Beatty NV lodging options include a handful of small motels and a couple of nearby Uncommon Overnighters, to boot. Go retro at the “alien-friendly” Atomic Inn, where Area 51 scientists used to board. The Stagecoach Hotel & Casino offers family-friendly accommodations, conveniently across the parking lot from one of the largest candy stores in the country, Death Valley Nut & Candy Co.

entry sign for death valley inn
Death Valley Inn & RV Park
pink alien standing in front of the atomic inn
Atomic Inn

The Death Valley Inn & RV Park offers all the modern conveniences, plus 39 pull-through RV spaces with 50-amp hookups. Other affordable and cozy options include the 1906-bult, pet-friendly Exchange Club Motel, the poolside El Portal Motel, and the also pet-friendly Motel 6.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

For something totally different, cruise up the Free-Range Art Highway to Gold Point and roam the sprawling, artifact-filled blocks of Nevada’s “friendly ghost town,” then chow down on home-cooked grub, sip fine bourbon in a beautifully-preserved historic Sagebrush Saloon, and bed down in refurbished miners’ cabins at this privately-run ghost town bed and breakfast.

Beatty, NV Restaurants

Forget about chains. Beatty is full of classic mom-and-pop eateries that, while all different, have one thing in common: the goal to fill your belly. Most famous is easily Happy Burro Chili & Beer, a perfect example of truth in advertising, which serves up some of the best chili and coldest mugs of beers in the West. Gema’s Café serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare with a Hispanic twist (the carne asada is a local favorite), or venture into Mel’s Diner (recently voted “Best Dive in Nevada”) for their famous chicken fried steak. Sink your teeth into beef brisket, pulled pork, or even a prime rib sandwich at Smokin’ J’s Barbecue, and top off your sweet tooth with a visit to Death Valley Nut & Candy Co.

flaming pig sign for smokin js barbecue

Events in Beatty

Gathering-wise, the most eagerly anticipated annual event in Beatty NV is the Beatty Days Festival. For three days each October, the entire town gets down on great chili, live music, bike and car shows, historical reenactments and gunfights by the Beatty Cowboys, and some of Nevada’s more interesting competitions, including Root Beer Belching, Chicken “Drop” Bingo, the Pickle Liquor Hoot-N-Holler (drink pickle juice and hot sauce… then yell), and Beatty’s infamous Bed Races. 

Every other year, the event is buttressed by the Bullfrog Biennial, complimenting Beatty Days with performance art, live music, poetry readings, and more in the nearby ghost town of Rhyolite.

#TravelNevada

Whether you’re ghostin’ it up in Goldwell, chowin’ on chili (and beer) at Happy Burro, or going for gold in the Pickle Liquor Hoot-N-Holler, tag your shots with #TravelNevada so we can follow your Beatty area exploits.

Beatty Museum brings our local History to life! Make sure to sop by and say HI!
We took a little trip to Beatty, NV today to try out some BBQ, we originally planned on going on our bikes but things didn’t workout. We took the truck instead. Still had a great day and some sights and some good food too!! #alwaysanadventure #lifeisshort #goodtimes 
#havetrailerwilltravel #goodtimesgoodfriends
#GetOutside #NothingIsOrdinary #AdventureCulture
#RoadTripUSA #Wonderful_Places #LetsGoSomewhere #TravelGram 
#Wanderlust  #OutdoorsUSA #RoadTripUSA #homemeansnevada #homesweethome
One of my favorite ghost towns hidden in the Nevada desert just outside of Death Valley. 
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#rhyolite #beatty #nevada #deathvalley #ghosts #nomadlife #neverstopexploring
Come and enjoy the fun at Beatty Days October 29th thru 31st 2021!
Sunday adventures
#tomkellysbottlehouse #rhyolite 
#beatty #beattymuseum 
#bullfrogcemetery #area51 #indiansprings 
#travelnevada
#beatty #nevada #happyburro #chili #beer #cheese #onion #burros #wildburros #beattydays  #desert #deathvalley
📸 Burro Motel 📸 Living wild in Southern Nevada, the burro’s ability to evolve and adapt to extremely hot and cold climate conditions, go long periods of time without food and water, and outlast predators is ass-tounding. 🤠✌
Just out side our camp. #spicerranchtrailsystem #spicerranch #odnvs4
These beautiful sandy dunes are just about 22 miles from Beatty. It's a great place to take out your Dune Buggy's for the day!
Cute little park I found nearby. The setting sun made for some nice shots 🥰
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