Bailey’s Hot Springs, Beatty, Nevada
Beatty is an interesting little tourist town of 1500 people, midway between Death Valley and Area 51, and close to the famous ghost town of Rhyolite. Beatty celebrates its proximity to Edwards Air Force Base, home of Area 51. The area around Beatty has alien cathouses, alien hotels and gas stations, and lots of out-of-this-world activities.
Bailey’s Hot Springs is a 90 acre property that hosts a campground with RV sites and some tipis for rent. There is quite a bit of greenery, most likely because of the spring waters. Honestly, this is one of the nicest areas of Beatty.
There are three bath houses that were built in 1906. Each bath house covers a semi developed hot spring pool; one each at 98F, 102F and 106F. There are gravel bottoms, about 30 inches of water, and a steady trickle of fresh hot spring water coming in through a pipe, with the overflow running out a drain and down the hillside to a little river. Since the bath houses are lockable, you have complete privacy. The pools are quite large, maybe 10ft x 10 ft so there is lots of space to move around. But there is not a lot of light because of the brick structure of the bath houses. It is somewhat similar to a very rustic Japanese onsen.
When we went, there were 3 keys, 3 rocks and a little sign that said “$5 for 30 minutes”. We picked up a key, placed a bill under the rock, and went up to the bath house we had rented! Our time in the bath house was really nice. It was just the two of us, we chatted, relaxed, moved the gravel around, had fun. We didn’t feel any time pressure. It was the perfect little de-stress after the drive from Las Vegas.
If you choose to stay in town, there are lots of hotels and some bars and restaurants. We stayed at the alien themed Atomic Inn (http://theatomicinn.com/). The largest motel seems to be the Stagecoach, and there is a Motel 6 if you prefer chains. On the food and wine front, I’d recommend sticking to the wings and margaritas in this town, or bring your own. I deeply regretted falling for the “pulled pork special”. Bailey’s Hot Springs was definitely the highlight of our time in Beatty!
Outside of Beatty, there are the excellent ruins of the Rhyolite ghost town just off the Daylight Pass road descending into Death Valley.
Death Valley: http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm