Beatty is situated in Oasis Valley, a narrow valley which is almost a canyon at Beatty. The Bullfrog Mountains lie to the north of the town, and Beatty Mountain stands just to the east. Rocks in cream and red colors show through sparse vegetation on the mountains, with scattered creosote bush covering the valley. Deciduous trees have been cultivated in town. The Amargosa River passes through Beatty, through the Amargosa Narrows to the south, and into the Amargosa Valley. It is an intermittent river, flowing mainly after heavy rains.
Named after Jim Beatty, a 19th century rancher who settled near here, the town became a railway center for the Bullfrog Mining District in 1905. In the year 2000 the population was 1,154. Several motels and other businesses cater to tourists visiting nearby Death Valley National Park.
U.S. Highway 95 passes through Beatty, following the Amargosa River. Nevada Highway 374 connects from Beatty westward to Death Valley. The ghost town of Rhyolite lies just over the hills to the west.