Furnace Creek Ranch
Located in the center of Death Valley, Furnace Creek Ranch is a perfect place to stay. Very pleasant yet not too audacious, this resort offers affordable fun & relaxation without snubbing the natural beauty of Death Valley.
The Ranch offers accommodations for $140 to $200 per night depending on the season and the type of room you choose. All the rooms are very nice. We stayed in a Standard room which had air conditioning, 2 queen beds, hair dryers, coffee maker, TV, mini refrigerator and the usual hotel amenities.
The rooms all had a sliding door leading to a small balcony where you can sit and enjoy the view. Just outside the sliding door is a huge green space, perfect for walking around and kicking a ball around. There is a playground within viewing distance. There are tennis courts and a swimming pool filled with natural spring water.
On site you will also find an outdoor historic museum with vintage equipment from the Old West (self guided tour). There are three restaurants, a saloon, and a general store.
At 44-acres in size, Furnace Creek Ranch offers a slew of activities including golfing, horseback riding, jeep tours, and horse-drawn carriage rides!
- Jeep Tours: do more sight-seeing with less driving: guided Jeep Tours.
Classic Tour, $65 per person, 2 hours.
Titus Canyon, $120 per persln, 3 hours
Charcoal Kilns, $130 per person, 4 hours
Racetrack Playa, $165 per person, 6 hours.
- Golfing: 18-hole golf course is open year-round with golf lessons from mid October through mid May. There are 3 golf tournaments too.
$30 for 9 holes,
$55 for 18 holes,
$30 for 18 holes after sundown.
- Horseback Rides: feel how it must have been like 150 years ago when pioneers traveled across Death Valley on horseback.
$45 for one hour;
$65 for 2 hours;
$65 for sunset or midnight (full-moon) horseback rides.
- Horse-drawn carriage rides:
$30 for adult
$15 for child
Hay Wagon rides for groups
groups >25 people: $10 each
groups 16 to 25 people: $15 each
groups <15 people: $20 each
Prices are accurate at time of publication, call 760-786-3200 for more information.
Are you worried about the environmental impact of these wonderful features? Surely such amenities will use energy and produce waste byproducts. Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the mother company operating the Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Vally, is committed to create sustainable tourism that is both enjoyable and environmentally friendly. Go to their web site to learn more.
Of particular interest is the system of solar panels at the Furnace Creek Ranch. These solar panels will produce electricity to power the resort and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A bit of History
This ranch was not built solely for the enjoyment of the general public. It was originally built in the early 1880's to provide accommodations for mine workers in the nearby Borax mines. With the influx of labors, there came a need for elements to sustain and support life. Alfalfa fields were planted to feed the horses, mules, and cattle. Some of these animals served as food for the minors while others were beasts of burden such as the famous 20-mule team (18 mules and 2 horses hauled a wagon full of borax across Death Valley to the nearest railroad in the Mojave Desert).
By 1890, Furnace Creek Ranch was a central hub where miners, prospectors and labors congregated. Here they found food, water, supplies, and camaraderie: it was a thriving establishment.
By the mid 1920's, mining for borax stated to wane since larger deposits were found elsewhere. Similarly, prospectors looking for gold & silver were fading into history. Death Valley was valued for a totally different reason: the mild winter and fabulous landscape made it an ideal winter vacation destination.
The first tourist facilities were tent houses erected near Stovepipe Wells. Furnace Creek followed suit by converting employee cabins into rustic tourist housing. By the 1930's Furnace Creek Inn was built; renovations and improvements are ongoing even today.
All in all, I highly recommend staying at the Furnace Creek Ranch. It is very pleasant and is in a very convenient location. The company is trying their best to minimize their environmental impact and yet provide people with the things they want: an easier way to enjoy the great outdoors.