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Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park is an Oasis Featuring Luxe Accommodations and a Family-Friendly Hotel with Plenty To Do

April 10, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

With the historic AAA Four-Diamond Inn featuring lush vegetation, warm flow-through swimming pools and fine dining as well as the family-friendly Ranch providing a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of things to do, the Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park has been creating unforgettable vacations for decades.

Spring is a great time to break out the golf clubs, tennis rackets, sunscreen and bathing suits at Furnace Creek Resort operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. This oasis makes for a great base from which to explore the park and as a year-round destination in which to shut out the rest of the world and enjoy life. And the park is recognized as one of the best places in the world to enjoy one of life’s most simple pleasures – just lying back and gazing at the stars.

For more information about facilities in Death Valley National Park or to make room reservations at in-park lodges, call toll free at 1-888-236-7916 or 1-303-297-2757 or go to www.furnacecreekresort.com .

What’s New

Furnace Creek Resort added 26 full-hookup RV sites and created the new 35-site Fiddlers’ Campground adjacent to its golf course. Located at the Ranch at Furnace Creek, both

facilities are within easy reach of the Ranch’s dining and retail options as well as the golf course, Borax Museum and visitor center. All resort amenities are available to guests staying in the sites, including the Ranch’s spring-fed swimming pool, shower facility, coin-operated laundry, wireless internet, tennis, shuffleboard, volleyball, Bocci Ball and basketball court.166096_num695719_600x600

All of the 26 new sites feature water and electrical hookups, and most feature shade trees. There are three sizes of sites that will accommodate rigs up to 35 feet long, 45 feet long and 50 feet long.

The new Fiddlers’ Campground is located just steps from the golf course pro shop and features 35 new campsites that can accommodate 40- and 50-foot rigs. What was once a temporary campground that was created for one of the resorts’ annual golf tournaments is now a very spacious campground with community barbecue pits and picnic tables.

Where to Stay

The Luxurious Inn at Furnace Creek

A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the elegant Inn at Furnace Creek is a AAA Four-Diamond property featuring 66 rooms, including two suites. The Inn is a favorite for many people who return on a regular basis and is open from mid-October through mid-May when temperatures average ultra-comfortable highs from 60-80F (17-30 Celsius). The Inn features a spring-fed swimming pool, tennis courts and meandering gardens.

The dining room at the Inn at Furnace Creek serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a highly popular Sunday brunch. The menu features an array of items made from local ingredients such as prickly pear cactus along with continental selections. The brunch is especially popular with private pilots who fly their planes to the nearby landing strip and catch a complimentary shuttle to the Inn. Reservations are highly recommended for dinner, and the dinner dress code is “casual elegance with no shorts, t-shirts or tank tops.”

The Family-Friendly Ranch at Furnace Creek

Just a short shuttle ride away is the Ranch at Furnace Creek. Xanterra’s year-round operations include the 224-room family-friendly property; a natural spring-fed swimming pool, 18-hole Furnace Creek Golf Course, the world’s lowest course at 214 feet (65 meters) below sea level; four restaurants; a saloon; general store; and a service station. In addition, there is a 3,000-foot (914 meters) airstrip adjacent to the property.

The Ranch features three styles of accommodations. Cabin units are located in single story duplex buildings. Standard rooms are located in four, two-story buildings. All rooms have French doors leading to small patios or balconies. Deluxe rooms are located in two, single-story buildings. Rooms have French doors leading to small patios adjacent to the park/pool area. Most rooms offer two queen beds, and a limited number have one king bed.

The Ranch’s Wrangler, 49’er Café, Corkscrew Saloon and 19th Hole offer a wide variety Western fare and sustainable cuisine in a casual atmosphere.

Meetings, Events and Catering

Furnace Creek Resort offers full-service meeting and special event planning as well as catering in private and semi-private indoor and outdoor function space. The Inn’s Marquez Room faces due west and is especially popular for early evening functions while the beautiful date grove has been the site of many weddings hitting just the right notes for new brides and grooms. The back deck at the Ranch’s Borax Museum combines the right amounts of privacy and rusticity for a one-of-a-kind reception.

Activities

The area surrounding the Ranch’s spring-fed swimming pool has been expanded and renovated to create a cozy and shaded area conducive to relaxation and family gatherings. In addition to tennis courts, a multi-use sport court has been installed, and a putting green, bocce court and shuffleboard court round out the complex.

The Furnace Creek Golf Course is the world’s lowest at 214 feet below sea level. Redesigned by famed architect Pete Dye, the course features plenty of trees, water and small greens that are reminiscent of the great classic courses of yesteryear.

The Borax Museum is located at the Ranch and provides the history of the Furnace Creek Resort and key figures involved in the development of Death Valley. The museum offers a pictorial history and showcases artifacts from the past, such as antique stagecoaches, mining tools and a railroad steam locomotive in the museum courtyard.

The Furnace Creek Visitor Center is a short walk from the Ranch. Operated by the National Park Service, the recently refurbished center is open year-round. A 20-minute film is shown throughout the day and provides a great overview of the history, geology and more of Death Valley National Park. NPS rangers present a wide variety of interpretive programs as well.

For more than 60 years, the 49ers Encampment has been held in Death Valley to celebrate the spirit of the original settlers who braved the elements as they were searching for a way to California to find their fortunes during the Gold Rush. Today’s “49ers” will gather in early November at Furnace Creek for a five-day event featuring a full wagon train, music, art, crafts, costume contest and fun competitions.

Cycling on the paved and dirt roads offers one of the best ways to experience this massive park’s strange and stunning landscapes. Furnace Creek Resort offers bicycles for rent next to the General Store at the Ranch. Guest also have easy access to Jeep rentals, guided horseback rides and carriage and hay rides.

The Inn at Furnace Creek is more relaxed than the Ranch. Guests enjoy a flow-through swimming pool, tennis, strolls through the gardens and gazing from the deck at some the West’s most spectacular sunsets. The poolside fireplaces are great places to gather around and lose any lingering stress. Of course, after a massage just steps away, that probably won’t be necessary.

The Furnace Creek Resort is centrally located in Death Valley National Park and convenient for day trips.

One of the most popular and lavish sites in Death Valley is Scotty’s Castle, located 55 miles (89 kilometers) north of the Furnace Creek Resort. Folklore has it that Walter “Scotty” Scott, an alleged prospector, convinced Chicago millionaire Albert Johnson to stake his secret gold mine. Johnson built a spectacular Moorish-style castle consisting of more than eight buildings that house beautiful furnishings and spectacular tile work created by artisans, architects and crafts people from Spain, Italy and throughout the United States. Rangers outfitted in period clothing provide tours of the structure and offer little-known facts about the castle, the Johnsons and Scotty.

A trip to the park’s mysterious Racetrack Playa requires a high-clearance vehicle and a back road journey of 34 miles (55 kilometers), but the reward is to see one of the park’s great mysteries. Although no one has actually witnessed this phenomenon, rocks slide across a dry lake bed leaving a path documenting their journey. The common theory is that rain landing on the lakebed creates a surface slippery enough that a stiff wind will allow the rocks to “sail” dozens of feet.

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