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Park service offers limited tours of closed ‘castle’ in Death Valley

Scotty’s Castle is still at least two years from reopening, so Death Valley National Park is again offering limited tours of the popular attraction as flood repairs continue.

The early 20th-century mansion 180 miles northwest of Las Vegas has been closed to the public since a flash flood in October 2015 sent water and mud into two historic buildings on the site and washed away almost a mile of water line, more than 25 power poles, the septic system and about eight miles of road.

The site is not expected to reopen for general visitation until 2020, but starting Dec. 2, the National Park Service and the Death Valley Natural History Association will host walking tours of the site every Saturday through April 14.

A ranger will lead participants around the castle grounds to survey the damage and the repairs in progress. The tour will include a look inside the castle’s Great Hall, where the furnishings have been temporarily removed, revealing ornate woodwork, tiling and other architectural details.

Each tour is limited to 13 people, and advance reservations are required. They can be made at www.dvnha.org.

Similar “flood recovery tours” were offered in March and April of this year.

Before the flood, Scotty’s Castle drew about 120,000 people per year, and nearly half of them took the hourlong tour to see the inside of the opulent retreat that millionaire Albert Mussey Johnson built in the 1920s.

Contact Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter.

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