The photographs in this post were taken at the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel in Death Valley Junction in the Spring of 2011. Mike Harmon and I rode up to the town on a Saturday, took rooms at the hotel for the night, then rode through Death Valley National Park the following day. For a sketch of the Opera House and Hotel’s history, see this Web site. The Amargosa is an adobe structure painted white with blue doors and window trim. White buildings make perfect sense in desert areas with a lot of radiant heat in the summers.
Local legend has it that the Opera House wing of the U-shaped hotel is haunted, but I had no trouble sleeping in a room in the middle of the U. Nothing paranormal happened during the night, as far as I could tell.
If you travel to Death Valley and decide to stay at the Amargosa, keep in mind that the hotel accommodations are very basic. The price for a night’s stay is very good relative to the surrounding hotels/motels, but what you’ll get is a room, bed and bathroom. Entertainment is nonexistant. No televisions or radios are in the rooms. There is electricity in the rooms, however, so you’ll be able to read a book. In order to find a restaurant and a place to buy a couple beers to bring back to the hotel, we had to ride to Amargosa Valley in Nevada, 24 miles away.
The round trip from the Inland Empire, through Death Valley and back is approximately 500 miles so we figured that with less than 300 miles to cover on the second day, we’d have plenty of time to stop and make photographs in the National Park. We could have easily spent a couple more days in the area without running out of views to photograph, but we both needed to return to our respective homes to prepare to go back to work the next day.
An ancient hand-drawn fire pump in front of the Opera House.
The Amargosa Opera House.
A view to the North outside of my room.