When driving through the vast desert landscape of Death Valley National Park, the colorful Ranch Hotel truly stands out as an oasis. It is centrally located in Furnace Creek along highway 190, surrounded by towering palm trees. The Ranch is a short drive from The Inn, which is another one of the Death Valley Oasis properties, but is a separate hotel entirely. I did stop at The Inn and it looked luxurious and definitely worthy of checking out on my next visit to the national park, but for this trip I stayed the night at The Ranch.
This article contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. For more info, please see my affiliate disclaimer.
Quick Facts About The Ranch Hotel at Death Valley Oasis
- Restaurants and groceries on site
- Gas station nearby
- Swimming pool, play ground, and tennis court on site
- Newly renovated
- 224 Rooms
The Rooms at The Ranch
The Ranch has standard rooms and deluxe rooms. I stayed in the deluxe room, which was in a single story building with French doors leading to a patio. There are a limited number of rooms with king beds, so I got one with two queen sized beds. Even with two beds in the room, it still felt very spacious. The bed and pillows were comfortable and I slept really well. Noise could clearly be heard from the neighbors talking and laughing loudly until around 10pm. So while perhaps not the best for those going to bed early in hopes for a sunrise start, it was nice to learn that the quiet hours after 10pm were adhered to.
There are plenty of regular outlets and USB outlets at the desk and by the beds, which makes it easy and convenient to charge all your electronics at once. The bonus for me was the mini fridge, always a luxury when staying away from home. The bathroom and shower were spacious and clean as well. I wish I had more time to spend outside in the patio and out on the grounds. I saw some groups gathered at the fire pits nearby. Next time I am here for more than one night, I am definitely checking those out.
One thing to note: The hotel website lists the check in as 4pm and they mean it. I had shown up early around 12pm, and there were no rooms at all being opened for early check in until exactly 4pm. So be prepared to entertain yourself at the restaurant, gift shop, and grounds while you wait for your room.
The Food at The Ranch
The Last Kind Words Saloon
We chose to get our meals from the Last Kinds Words Saloon because it had more of a variety for us than the 1849 restaurant. With indoor dining currently closed for the pandemic, both restaurants only offer take out. Guests are welcome to seat themselves at the outdoor tables after they have picked up their food. Luckily for us the weather was nice, so we sat outside for a light lunch on arrival. The quality of the food was excellent. The price range is on the higher side, but, after all, we are ordering gourmet food in the middle of the desert. Due to limited outdoor seating, we carried our dinner and breakfast to our hotel room. I look forward to returning when I can better enjoy the inside ambience of the saloon.
The decor of the Last Kind Words Saloon is exactly what you’d want to see at an old timey saloon: framed portraits of wild west heroes, rifles on the walls, and a touch of taxidermy scattered about. The bartenders are all very nice and great at keeping everything clean and in adherence with COVID-19 safety guidelines. Only about 10 people could be in the large saloon at once while maintaining social distancing, and the bartender let us walk around upstairs a bit while enjoyed our beers and waited for our food. We were the only two on the second floor, and I had a great time browsing all the decor and enjoying the view of the saloon from above.
The 1849 Restaurant
While I didn’t eat at the 1849 restaurant, I did walk through it a couple times to check out the menu and see what was being offered. I noticed they serve coffee and ice cream, as well as pizzas and burgers in the afternoon and evenings. From the items being offered to the large area for indoor seating (currently closed off due to the pandemic), I can tell this would be the perfect place for a meal when traveling with kids.
The General Store at The Ranch
I was thoroughly impressed with the General Store at the Ranch Hotel. In addition to having an impressive selection of groceries, they had really unique souvenirs (fancy some Death Valley chapstick or a scorpion in a lollipop?). The grocery area had everything from fresh fruit and snacks to cold drinks and a wine display. The refrigerated section had ready to go lunches items like cold sandwiches, wraps, yogurt, and hummus snack packs. The dry foods area had chips, trail mixes, and granola bars. And there was an entire section of the refrigerated aisle dedicated to soft drinks, energy drinks, and beer.
The souvenirs ranged from funky decor made by local artists to everything you could possibly imagine with a Death Valley logo. And it wasn’t just one logo, they had branding in about 5 different styles to choose from. So no matter what type of souvenir you’re looking for, whether it be a coffee tumbler, a t-shirt, or a cell phone pop socket, they not only have it, but they most likely have it in a style that your family and friends will enjoy. Personally, I opted for a quirky 50’s style Death Valley magnet to add to my travel collection currently growing on my fridge.
The Borax Museum at The Ranch at Death Valley Oasis
Honoring Death Valley’s borax mining history from the late 1800’s, the Ranch at Death Valley Oasis has a section dedicated to showcasing the old equipment used in the mining days. We saw old wagons and machines and even a steam train engine. The museum is more of an outdoor, sectioned off area than a typical museum, so there are no entrance fees or entry times. Guests can simply wander among the old equipment and learn about the history of mining.
Summary: The Ranch at Death Valley Oasis
Staying at The Ranch at Death Valley Oasis was definitely a highlight of my trip. After a long day of sightseeing, photography, and climbing sand dunes (be sure to check out my article on the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes), it was a luxury to return to a restaurant I could walk to, and a comfortable bed to crash on. My only regret was that I didn’t have more time here to experience proper relaxation at the hotel itself. If The Ranch is any indication of how the Death Valley Oasis operates their property down the road, The Inn, I’m sure it is a wonderful place to stay as well. I know next time I’m in Death Valley, I am definitely staying more than one night.
What’s Next on Your Road Trip?
- Want more otherworldly desert landscapes in California? Check out my article on the Mobius Arch loop Trail: A Quick Intro the Alabama Hills
- Looking for more California National parks? Check out my Ultimate Yosemite Valley Travel Guide