Mommy Vegas Idea #22
Have your next date at the Date Farm! Imagine traversing a forbidding desert, over rocky ridges, past spiny plants, through dusty canyons, only to emerge into a lush valley filled with green grasses, towering palms, meandering waterways and sinfully sweet fruit. Imagine no more! This is no mirage, this gorgeous little oasis could be your reality in about an hour and a half (assuming you’re already in Vegas)!
Whether you’re planning an excursion to Death Valley to see the soon to be blooming torrent of wild flower color, planning an escape to the warm pools of Tecopa Hot Springs, or just looking for an amazing standalone day trip. China Ranch Date Farm is a GREAT option. China Ranch is located at the far South end of Death Valley, just this side of Tecopa. This family owned and operated farm is open to the public to enjoy the groves, yummy treats, unique shopping, and a look into the sorted past of the wild west. Oh, and don’t forget your sturdy shoes, they offer nearly free reign, to the conscientious, for hiking and exploring, no matter what your skill level!
The farm has been around for over 100 years, changing hands periodically (sometimes more ruthlessly than others, you can read a bit of history here), but has long been a fertile little patch of desert with plenty of water and sunshine.
Date trees were first planted in the 1920s, though many were added in 1990, and propagation continues today. Some of the younger plants are even available for purchase, along with various other desert plants. If everyone is feeling up to it, be sure to plan enough time to hike down to the Amargosa River, check out the old railroad bed, explore the groves, visit the tiny but surprisingly edifying “museum,” and you won’t want to miss the fantastic little bakery, and artfully curated gift shop where you’ll find an ever changing collection of unique antiques, decor, locally grown and/or produced foods, handmade items, as well as locally produced bath and body products,and MUCH more. You can also sample all (or at least a great deal) of their many date varieties, and you won’t want to miss out on the freshly made, world famous (tee-hee), date shake!
China Ranch Road
Tecopa, CA 92389
Take I-15 to Blue Diamond (NV-160) and go West like you’re heading to Pahrump. Continue past the turn off for Red Rock and up the hill through Mt. Springs. About 30 miles out of Las Vegas, before you get to Pahrump, there will be a wide spot in the road, with a turn for Tecopa Highway (Old Spanish Trail Highway) to your left. Take this road through the little village of Calvada Springs, and into the hills. Once you emerge from winding through the hills, the road will straighten out for a bit and you’ll come to a sharp right turn with Furnace Creek Rd. cutting in to your left. Turn left onto Furnace Creek Rd. (this is approximately 33 miles from the NV-160 turnoff, just for reference).
Follow Furnace Creek to a right turn for China Ranch Rd., where you should see another sign. Turn right on China Ranch Rd. and continue down this relatively well groomed, but occasionally steep, dirt road until you arrive in China Ranch! The rest is fun and exploration, just be sure to be observant of posted rules guidelines and cautions! HAVE FUN!