Lori Carey Photography

Friday, January 20, 2012

China Ranch

Winter color along a nature trail in China Ranch, an oasis in the Mojave Desert. A privately owned date farm, the family has opened its grounds for the public to enjoy the several trails throughout the Amargosa Canyon and River area.

We don't usually visit the typical tourist stops but after several friends told us we needed to see China Ranch while we were in the area, we decided to go check it out on NY Day after shooting the sunrise and having breakfast back in camp. China Ranch Date Farm is a family-owned working farm located in a canyon oasis in the Mojave Desert near southern Death Valley. The family has opened the property to the public to enjoy the beautiful and unique scenery. It has miles of scenic nature trails through various terrain that include slot canyons, arroyo badlands, China Ranch Creek lined with cottonwoods and willows, unique geological features, mining and railroad ruins from the old Tenopah and Tidewater line, and paleo-indian campsites. Some of the trails have interpretive information posted along the way.

After our hike we stopped at the gift shop/bakery to treat ourselves to a date shake and a snack (the date cookies are wonderful but the date bread is my favorite) before wandering around the farm to see the historical exhibits and roam among the palm trees. I never knew there were so many different types of date palms and it was a sight to see vast palm tree groves with bags of every color hanging from the trees (to protect the dates). Unfortunately by then the light was too harsh and I couldn't get a shot that I liked.

China Ranch is beautiful and unique and the friendly owners do a wonderful job maintaining it for the public. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

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