China Ranch Date Farm is hidden away in a lush oasis near Death Valley.

WOW! 3 Desert Oases & More Near Death Valley

The area southeast of Death Valley National Park in the Mojave Desert has been attracting travelers for centuries.

Artesian hot springs between fragile mud hills of Amagosa Valley is another refreshing stop. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Artesian hot springs between fragile mud hills of Amagosa Valley is another refreshing stop. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This is a land of extremes from summer time temps up to 127 in the shade and a possibility of below freezing in the winter and wind any time, most find fall through spring to be their favorite times to visit. Temps from day to night can vary from 20 to 40 degrees.  What that means if it’s too hot in the day for you it will cool to very lovely at night.

The desert oases has drawn many to its predictable water source. From generations of Native Americans known as the Southern Paiute to the first European explorers, followed by early Mormons, then miners and railroad men, the location yielded a dependable respite from its foreboding yet beautiful desert surroundings.

With Shoshone’s natural warm springs averaging 90 degrees, the pleasant water offered a cool retreat from the desert’s typically hot days and relaxing warmth during its chilly nights. Today’s traveler can enjoy the same benefits from the swimming pool at Shoshone Inn and RV Park.

Each day can be a new experience with the variety of interesting landscapes to explore. Just a five-minute walk from the park, one can view the delicate blue hue of the male Shoshone pupfish in small, warm water pools emanating from the outflow of Shoshone Springs.

Near the town of Tecopa, Grimshaw Lake Natural Area attracts numerous species of waterfowl. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Near the town of Tecopa, Grimshaw Lake Natural Area attracts numerous species of waterfowl. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Save some time for walking amid Shoshone’s 1000-acre private nature preserve along five bird trails attracting dragonflies, butterflies, and numerous species of birds.

Visit the 105-year old town of Shoshone and walk through the Shoshone Museum to see artifacts and photographs of the people that started the town with Ralph J. “Dad” Fairbanks in 1910. Joined by Stella and Charlie Brown, the town prospered with the help of the traditionally friendly Paiutes, whose agricultural success here resulted in mutually beneficial trade with the new residents.

Miners came drawn by resources provided by two billion years of geological events in the region. Then the town became a stop on the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad until the railroad shut down in 1940.

Have a cup of coffee in the Crowbar Café and Saloon. Stroll through the Charlie Brown General Store. Mail a postcard at the Post Office in business since 1915.

Take a day trip to nearby Death Valley National Park. Leave early to see the sun rise over the lowest point in North America at Badwater. Continue further north to find Natural Bridge—a rock formation where erosion created a span across canyon walls. Then follow a nine-mile route along Artist’s Drive to catch an afternoon view of Artist’s Palette where minerals in the rocks create a striking array of colors.

Near the town of Tecopa visitors are welcomed to the desert mystique of the Amagosa Valley. 200 camping sites are located nearby. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Near the town of Tecopa visitors are welcomed to the desert mystique of the Amagosa Valley. 200 camping sites are located nearby. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

About 10 miles to the southeast of Shoshone, the town of Tecopa welcomes visitors to the desert mystique of the Amagosa Valley. Here you will find the ruins of the Tecopa Consolidated Mining Co. and the added bonus of a soak at the Tecopa Artesian Hot Springs. The bathhouse is rustic and was used by miners in the early 20th century. Water temperature is an average 104 degrees. The natural minerals in the spring water will leave your skin smooth and refreshed after a long day hiking and exploring.

Nearby, the artesian hot springs between fragile mud hills of Amagosa Valley is another refreshing stop.

The Tecopa Hot Springs Resort offers motel and cabin rooms and 200 camping and RV sites; dry camping and full hookup sites with 30-amp electric service are available.

Other nearby attractions to explore include the beautiful China Ranch Date Farm, a lush oasis hidden in a desert valley. Imagine towering cottonwoods and willows along a wandering stream, date palms, and abundant wildlife, all hidden away in some of the most spectacular scenery the desert has to offer.

Inside the shop is a variety of date related items; delicious date nut bread, cookies, muffins, date balls, and the ever-important and always delicious date shake.

Inside the shop at China Ranch Date Farm is a variety of date related items; delicious date nut bread, cookies, muffins, date balls, and the ever-important and always delicious date shake. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nestled amongst a small group of homes, is this family owned and operated working farm along with a tiny little date shop, about half the size of a coffee shop, as well as a cool, clever little place aptly named the “Modest Museum”, which is more or less a shed depicting the early history of the ranch.

Travel safe: carry at least one gallon of water per person per day, even in the winter. And beware of the heartstrings the desert may leave you with to draw you back to Mohave over and over again.

Worth Pondering…

Our happiest moments as RVers always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.

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